Friday, 27 November 2009

Swinging Sixties

I've been meaning to go to the Fashion and Textile Museum for ages - it's the one that Zandra Rhodes set up, in Bermondsey. Then, while I was at the National Portrait Gallery seeing the 'Twiggy in Photographs' exhibition last week, I saw a poster of this exhibition which is on at the moment.....As luck would have it, the retirement do I was going to last night, happened to be at Blackfriars - not a million miles from Bermondsey - so I decided to visit the exhibition before going on to the drink. I am so glad I did - it was brilliant. Apparently Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin were students at Walthamstow College of Art. Coincidentally, at the same time as they were studying there, I was being born in Thorpe Coombe Maternity Hospital, which is just across the road! They went into fashion design, and had their workroom over a shop in Marlborough Court off Carnaby Street, then when the shop downstairs became vacant they took that over too. The exhibition was set out in the same way - laid out just as the shop was downstairs......Upstairs there was a replica of their workshop, with old Vogue magazines, the pattern blocks, and more clothes. Added to which, there was great sixties music playing. If you are even slightly interested in sixties fashion, I really recommend going - it's on until 24th Feb - I might even go again, and take a sketchbook this time, rather than just a camera. A bit sad, I know, but one of the exhibits that got me most excited was the original Sindy doll from 1963 - apparently they designed some outfits for Sindy. This one belonged to Sally Tuffin..... and this one is mine! I think mine is in better condition - no box, but her hair is all there, she's got both plimsolls and her Tam O'Shanter. (I'm not sure I spelt that right - maybe I should have just said 'beret')
Actually, I've struggled with my conscience about posting that last picture. I just KNOW that my sister is going to bring up the fact that she no longer has HER original Sindy, as she was badly defaced.
Well, how was I to know that felt pen didn't wash off plastic doll's faces??? Anyway, I think the glasses suited her, and I'm sure the spots would have faded eventually. Sorry again sis.
Having spent a couple of hours at the exhibition, I headed up to the Thames Walk, and wandered along the south bank, up to Blackfriars bridge. I really, really love that walk - especially at night, with all the buildings lit up, and twinkley boats going up and down. I should go more often.
And, I think you should be impressed - despite a long day yesterday, a few hours at the retirement do, and a long journey home - by 7.30am I had got up, showered and dressed, done some handwashing, cleaned the bathroom (including washing the floor!) and had breakfast. Hero, or what?!? Maybe I should say that I was only drinking soda and lime, which helps. Not very rock'n'roll I know, but to compensate for that, how about this great photo of Keith Richards looking wasted after a Stones gig. It was in one of the other rooms at the museum, a massive photo which I loved - but way out of my price range. I wrote the title down, in case I could track down a print - "Naughty But Nice" by photographer Christopher Simon Sykes.
Then, when I got down to the shop, in a display of about half a dozen, I saw the same photo in an A5 postcard for a quid - so I bought it!


  1. Really really want to go to that exhibition now! Perhaps I can join you when you go back with a sketchbook!

  2. I really don't know why we still speak, what with you defacing my original sindy, getting the inheritance button tin and causing me a lifelong knee scar after falling from my bike trying to find you when you failed to come home on time . Lucky for you I don't hold grudges

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