…it’s good to be back

16/03/2012

My poor reader must have thought a calamity had befallen me as it has been so long since my last musings appeared… however I’m delighted to be back and penning a new post. You’ll be delighted to hear that I haven’t been living under a rock for the last couple of months (just lots of work on abroad) but I have missed posting about some of the really fabulous things which are  happening in the world so its time to catch up on what we’ve missed…

First and foremost I have to congratulate Cartier on their astonishing mini-movie, L’Odyssee de Cartier, which I have to say I absolutely love. What could be better than a three-and-a-half minutes journey of bejewelled fantasy, taking in key iconic moments in the history of the house, and animating some of their most precious and important animal jewels, including the masterpiece snake necklace and baby crocodiles made for the Mexican actress Maria Felix in the 60’s and 70’s. The star (s) of the film other than the jewels are the three young leopards who bring to life the preeminent motif of the Cartier universe. It really is gorgeous to watch (although the ending is perhaps a bit of a cliche and they could have done something much more wonderful as a finale with Paris as the infinitely chic backdrop).

It pains me to say that the Cecil Beaton exhibition at the V&A is disappointingly underwhelming, which is a real shame as the museum is a true treasure house and could not be more praiseworthy. These images of our Sovereign are among the defining images of decades of Her reign, but the exhibition is presented in a sadly two-dimensional, poorly lit and unimaginative manner which does not do the portraits justice. Where are the gowns, the jewels, the backdrops… the objects that would bring these masterpiece photographic portraits to life? The best the exhibition can muster by way of actual objects (aside from the beautifully evocative silver gelatin prints) is a handwritten journal in Sir Cecil’s own hand and a Coronation issue of Vogue. Sadly, if you skipped this one you wouldn’t be missing much. Go anyway, to see for yourself, and afterwards make time to visit the stunning jewellery gallery on the first floor, a must for anyone who loves the jeweller’s art. You won’t find a better collection anywhere in the world.

Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton runs at the V&A in London until 22nd April 2012.

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