Recently I visited two exhibitions in Somerset House London. Tim Walker Story Teller & Valentino, Master of Couture. The Tim Walker exhibition was everything I had hoped it would be. Each room contained a quote from Walker written in all sorts of directions, descending from the top of the walls. “Really I only photograph what I truly love”, it’s evident that the photographer loves all things fairy-tale like & theatrical. The exhibition was filled with past works from editorials to portraits. What really fascinated me were the displays of the props that had been previously used by Walker in his shoots. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tim Walker he is most known for his use of oversized props, creating fictitious story lines with each shot.
The layout of the exhibition for me was well presented, keeping you enticed throughout. With Tim Walker, Story Teller you wouldn't necessarily need to be a lover of fashion to enjoy it as it focusses on his concepts as a photographer. As Tim Walker said himself; “The creation of fictive worlds & parallel lives is the stuff of photography”.
Some photos & quick sketches:
Valentino Master of Couture for me was the least favourable of the two exhibitions. Although it can’t be denied that Valentino has been making exquisite garments since the 1950’s the exhibition lacked excitement & a ridiculous amount of creativity. When entering the first room there was an immediate anti – climax compared to the bright, jovial exhibition I had just come out of. I have put into consideration that the Valentino brand stands for elegant, sophisticated couture however I do believe this is no excuse for a dull atmosphere. The first room contained letters, cards etc. to Valentino from various industry professional such as Anna Wintour, whilst others appeared completely pointless for example a Christmas card from Prince Charles!
The most memorable room was “The Catwalk” on each side it had mannequins some seated, others standing behind a rope whilst spectators (the public) walked down the middle. Empty seats next to the mannequins had paper with names of celebrities written on them to give the effect of a runway. In my opinion this layout was unimaginative. The garments on the models, although extremely well made didn’t intrigue me & weren’t grouped together by collection or year which made the set up quite odd looking.
My favourite part of the exhibition was a section which showed examples & videos on various techniques used by Valentino with fabrics e.g. ‘Pagine’. This is using disks of organze silk piled to create a page effect.
All in all I wasn’t a massive fan of the Valentino exhibition but would strongly recommend Tim Walker, Story Teller to anyone.