• Katie Elliott

You say you want a revolution?


I recently had the fortune of visiting the exhibition 'You say you want a revolution?' at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Apart from it being an amazing collaboration of artefacts from the years 1966 – 1970, it has been hugely influential on my work as a textile designer.

It covers the music, clothing, politics, emergence (or acceptance) of drug use, second wave feminism, gay rights, civil rights, Vietnam ,fashion, interior design, space travel and the birth of credit led consumerism and computers in a dazzling collection that shoots right to the heart of the sixties.

The exhibition itself is set in a labyrinth of atmospherically lit rooms. Your headphones blast you with music which changes as you walk through the exhibits , sometimes chaotic as if to underline the fast pace with which events appeared to unfold during the decade.

There are some massive impressive screens displaying videos of scenes from Woodstock ( complete with bean bags on the floor so people can sprawl and watch the 'stage'), Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix and Vietnam.

You get a glimpse of The Beatles original lyrics being written out on a scrap piece of paper and the actual costumes they wore on The Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Band cover.

The fashion, artwork, illustration and interior design really struck me. I adored everything from the Twiggy coat hangers to Andy Warhol's 'The Souper Dress' but the one item that really struck me was the 'Double D' dress by Foale & Tuffin, absolutely beautiful in its simplicity and yet so ahead of its time and I would love to try an incorporate it into my own designs. Furniture design turned truly futuristic in its interpretation of imitating the encounters of space travel.

On leaving the exhibition, it not only leaves you in a bit of time traveled daze but you also head straight into the V&A gift shop packed with lots of beautiful items including badges and the original Levi jeans from the era.

All in all, I highly recommend a visit , there is something for everyone. I can not imagine that there will be another exhibition like this for a very long time, if at all.

The exhibition runs until the 26th February and the tickets are £16.00 each.

#revolution #sixties #clothing #consumerism #feminism #gayrights #vietnam #victoriaAlbertmuseum

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