Better late than never

That's what they say. Thank goodness my eagle eyes spotted a reminder flashing in my inbox about the Maison Margiela 20th anniversary retrospective. Last day and managed to grab a ticket before the closing of the doors. Was it worth - you bet your Tabi's it was. After I had visited a packed VandA for the Grace Kelly Icon show (more later) and bolted across town, I was hoping for an interesting and reflective show. I was surprised then the smile turned into an all out grin. This is a label which already has a mystique about it and I have had to spend a long time deciphering quite what is meant by the show each season. I was greeted by the all white (naturally) interior, life size polystyrene cut out of the anonymous staff portrait and giant sculptured hand grasping a key to the collection numbers.

Whilst each show is your own interpretation, knowing the designers thoughts behind the collection can help the process. The guide that accompanies the show is a clear explanation of the history and to me, an insightful addition to my knowledge about this reclusive designer and his House.

Being enthralled by a show is one thing but actually understanding the full message behind it is another entirely and I now feel I have been educated. I wish this happened seasons before but now I can go forward safe in my new found knowledge.

Back to Grace - I wish the V and A had put this display in a room larger than a small shoe box. The crowds that are passing through have real difficulty in navigating the compromised space. All are eager to see the clothes and press cuttings close up.

The pieces are exquisite and a just show of the Couturier in the 1950's onwards.  Being cramped you can hear the exclamations of those around. This was also a lesson to those who did not know that Christian Dior was a person not just the name of a label..... as I said better late than never