Even worse was the way in which the clothes felt tired. I was primarily interested in seeing the black jackets -
They look fabulous in the photographs, but in reality they felt exhausted, like they were melting under the heat of the lighting and the humidity of the crowds. I saw what seemed to be buckling interfacing in lapels and puckers in sleeve heads. One spectacular dress, designed to mimic a tuxedo jacket, literally seemed to be warping, especially at the faux lapel (that curved into a deep U neckline).
Of course, many of these were early and very well-worn garments (if I'd bought one of his pieces in the early '90s, I would have worn it a thousand times too). Other pieces, especially the bold tartan dresses, looked sensational. But somehow I felt utterly dispirited by the exhibit. I can't really say why. Perhaps I'd have enjoyed it more if I'd been able to go when the crowding was better regulated and the atmosphere was slightly more peaceful. Perhaps it was the fact that he died so recently, and as a result it felt oddly premature. Perhaps it was his clearly very complicated feelings about women and femininity. I don't know. The designer himself felt oddly absent from the exhibition--as did his muse, Isabella Blow.
After the exhibit my friend and I walked along Old Brompton Road, to watch the supercars. Again--dispiriting--though less surprisingly so.
London has always been flush with money, but the money no longer makes sense. My friend's Australian hedge fund neighbor has bought all the flats around her modest-but well situated-home. He is building a "super-house" that completely encloses her 1-bedroom flat. He is slowly buying up the six-story building next door, because he wants an indoor pool. That--plus the roar of supercars racing up and down her local streets--makes London feel distinctly less open than it used to. Money trumps everything and there isn't much room here for those of us lacking it.