Sunday, July 12, 2009

London, Liverpool and Home, oh my!

Official Announcement:

Fredrik and I will be arriving in Louisville International Airport on August 13th! I'm coming home for 2 weeks! I cannot wait! I'm so excited ! Bliss Bliss Bliss!

Ok, enough of that

So last weekend and the beginning part of this week was spent reuniting with Brooke for some good 18th century research touring around London and Liverpool. We tried to get into the collections at the V&A and London but they were not having it (nor was Manchester..lame...all the damn collections are closed to researchers..lame lame lame). Anyways, we had a fabulous time in London, and it was great to be back in one of my favorite cities! We spent the day at the National Gallery where I was in art history nerd heaven. Every single early Netherlandish Renaissance painting on display I had studied at the Arnolfini's Wedding painting. Bliss. They also had great Tudor paintings. I'm much more interested in that than Brooke is, so I tried not to bore her about what they were wearing...the eighteenth-century stuff was wonderful as well... I just adore Gainsborough. His lose brushwork and how he highlights the faces is just to die for. This one is one of my favorites, and it is at the National Gallery. We then had a nice lunch and toured Bond Street where I drooled over Alexander McQueen and yawned at the other designers. For being high end/couture, their sewing was shitty. Prada, why would you not finish a hem? Um, if I wanted unfinished hems, I'd go to Top Shop. Disgusting.

Brooke wasn't feeling so hot, and she wanted to see about Top Shop, so we went to Oxford Circus (um...oops?) It was nuts, and we weren't feeling it. Brooke and I are the same when it comes to traveling and shopping. We don't want to be crowded and we triple check everything Our conversation example:

Brooke: "Okay. Wallet. Check. Phone. Check. Camera. Check. Keys. Check."
Me: "Ok, and I have everything too, and I have my camera in case your batteries die, and I also have 2 copies of our train tickets for later so here is yours and here is mine, and I was thinking we should get to the train station about 30 minutes to an hour before departure so we wont be rushed?"
Brooke: "sounds perfect!"

We never ran late for anything.

The biggest surprise of our afternoon, which was a bit of a shame because we got there not too long before closing and had a long and enjoyable tea (with clotted cream and jam on a scone!) We went to the Tate and for 18th century was to DIE for. I had never been, but I want to go back, just because we didn't get to examine them as closely as we would have liked. Also, I really want to get a better look at the glorious Pre-Raphaelite work (love love love).

We then took the train to Liverpool and spent the next day in the Liverpool National Museum collection, where I got to examine a pair of 1770-80s never before worn stays and all of its intense inner workings. A man's waistcoat (research for Fredrik's), and Brooke and I oohed and ahhed over a number of 1770s-90s gowns. All very similar to the style that we draped and cut out for my masquerade gown. (which we did on the train and in the hotel rooms late at night. however, no pictures of that shall be posted until after the masquerade)

We spent the entire day in the collections and had great fun talking to the staff at lunch. Pauline Rushton (curator of costumes) is lovely and super sweet.

That night (Tuesday) we headed back to Glasgow. Because that morning we went to the Burrell (my 3rd trip now) and looked at some gowns, a corded pet-en-l'air and a sleeve which was really horribly stained...sad sad. It was sad though, cause then brooke left for Wales...I've had the best time with her when we've seen each otherthis year. It's been really great though, having someone to talk to about 18th century clothing. She's the best go to...and to help me drape my gown...I can't even begin to gush about how lucky I am for that. She did a great job with it, and the bodice is almost I'll be able to get a lot of it done when I'm at home i think...which will be nice. We talked about me coming for a visit to Cairo in the fall, and I am really looking forward to that...1 because it'll be great to visit Brooke and 2. I've always wanted to go to Egypt, and this is probably my best shot.

So, after Brooke left, I had a meeting with Sally my dissertation Supervisor, and got a lot of that sorted out (had my official mental breakdown cry fest a week now i know I'm in the downhill stretch) and all that's left is to write my dissertation. I've already been writing now it's just finishing it and making it good. Though I have to admit I'm fed up and want it over with and I just want my damn degree.

That's my life right now. Dissertation and Sewing. I still haven't finished my stays..but all that's left is to do the eyelets in the body and to finish the straps...just...I'll get around to it in an afternoon...

I'm so excited to come home...I can't wait to see you all!!!

<3 <3

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