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July 14, 2012 / Stephanie Vermillion

Visiting the Victoria & Albert Museum

Museums have never really been a passion of mine, not because I don’t like history (I’ve talked way too much about historical fiction for you to think that), but more so because after 30 minutes I usually get bored of reading little description plaques. Audio guides have helped a bit, but I still have issues trying to stay on track without getting lost, believe it or not.

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

My notion of museum-going changed, though, when I found out that the Victoria & Albert Museum was featuring a ball gown exhibit this summer, in addition to its permanent collection of decor, fashion, jewelry and art. I may have trouble focusing on numerous inscriptions about WWI, but put a plaque with ball gown details in front of me and you can bet I’ll read the full text for the entire exhibit. And I did, with Bevin, for hours. 

Decor at Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Decor at Victoria & Albert Museum, London

The museum itself is, like most London museums, quite massive with six levels and hundreds of varying exhibits. After reading the information guide, I realized I probably couldn’t see everything I wanted, so my plan was to visit the attractions I’d be most likely to purchase in real life: ballgowns/fashion, home decor and jewelry (by me purchasing in real life I mean the H&M versions, of course).

The fashion exhibit felt just like walking through Knightsbridge: I want everything I see, but I’d need a winning-lottery ticket first. The V&A gave me a slight sense of relief, though, because instead of the description plaques saying £2,000 like in Knightsbridge, they had details of who wore the dress and what it was made from. Unfortunately that relief diminished upon reading the words Alexander McQueen, because realistically I know that’s a name I’ll never find in my closet. I guess I’ll just resort to appreciating his and many other world-renowned designers’ works while I’m in London.

The home and jewelry exhibits were the same kind of thing, I loved nearly everything, but seeing as pure gold decor isn’t really on my upcoming apartment-shopping list, I stuck to appreciating and admiring the exquisite pieces for hours.

After leaving I realized I only saw half of the exhibits I wanted to at the V&A, but thankfully its down the road from our BU apartments, so I can easily get back. And most importantly, entrance is free, so when I do go back I can still save up for one of my favorite pieces of the day: This adorable black and white polka dot cocktail dress (a girl can dream, right?).

A favorite cocktail dress from Victoria & Albert Museum, London

A favorite cocktail dress from Victoria & Albert Museum, London


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