Wellcome Collection

One of my favourite places in London is the Wellcome Collection with its curiosity cabinets.

Located at 183 Euston Road, London, it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. The venue hosts a museum with permanent and temporary exhibitions, the world-renowned Wellcome Library, the conference centre, a café with some great food and a very cool shop where it is possible to find many unusual gifts.

The Wellcome collection space was opened in 2007, but its story goes a lot further back to its founder Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936). Pharmacist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and collector, he made his fame and fortune by his extensive work in the pharmaceutical business. Being one of the first ones to introduce the medicine in the form of a tablet, Wellcome-funded scientists developed medicines to cure a number of important diseases, from tetanus to diphtheria.
In addition to the pharmaceuticals, Henry Wellcome had a passion for collecting unusual items and curiosities from around the world. His personal collection ranged to over a million of items, stacked away at the warehouse in Willesden. After his death, the Wellcome Foundation was established, which lead to the opening of the Collection over 70 years later.

I would like to specifically concentrate on the “Medicine Man” permanent exhibition, presenting the outright weird items from around the world. The extraordinary objects range from Victorian-era diagnostic dolls to Japanese sex aids, from the samples of tattooed human skin to antique artificial arms and legs.

This is quite a different exhibition to discover in London.

All images by Wellcome Collection / Rama Knight.

I have always been attracted to the mysterious wonders of the world, being captivated rather by the unusual than the well known regular things around us. One of my personal early childhood memories includes the blowfish carcass, from my father´s trips to Africa, displayed in the hallway cabinet. Even now our home is filled with the curiosities from around the world, brought back from my extensive travels. Often these are just random remarkable pieces of nature, such as a piece of bark from an exotic tree, a shell of a specific-looking nut or something more mysterious. If the space allowed, the collection would be a lot wider.
Inspired by the Wellcome collection (and other curiosity cabinets of this kind) I am looking to take this passion of mine further, continuing to collect the unusual items along the way and perhaps sharing the most remarkable finds online.

Burberry´s Makers House – Henry Moore: Inspiration & Process

Burberry continues its tradition of the Makers House, opening the doors of their showroom to public, first run for the in September 2016.

This time Burberry explores the unique collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation.
Henry Moore (1898–1986) was one of the most important artists and sculptors of the 20th century. He is renowned for his semi-abstract monumental shapes and curves representing the human body. England´s landscape and natural world proved to be his endless sources of inspiration. Some of Moore´s iconic ideas can be traced back to the found objects he collected – pebbles, bones, seashells and pieces of wood formed the “library of natural forms” on the shelves of his studio. Moore would sketch these objects and transform them through the addition of new material.
Being born and later based in Yorkshire – same as Burberry´s trench coat factory and the birthplace of current creative director Christopher Bailey – Moore became a global star in his own lifetime. His work came to symbolise post-war modernism and can be said to have caused a British sculptural renaissance.


This exhibition is the celebration of Burberry´s new collection (named innovatively “February 2017” rather than traditionally defined by S/S or A/W seasons, and instantly available in-stores.) alongside the work and creative process of the iconic artist who´s work inspired it. The exhibition looks behind the scenes into Henry Moore´s workshop as well as Burberry´s studios to view the research and creation processes, explaining how the final results were achieved.

The whole showroom is divided into different segments, one corner at the entrance featuring Henry Moore exhibition posters from around the world, spanning 60 years.

The passage to the main showroom is filled with an exhibition of 78 couture capes introduced on the February runway. Inspired by the scale and form of Henry Moore’s elemental sculptures and created using unique constructions and remarkable materials, each design is handmade and available to special order, being a unique collector´s piece. The craftsmanship put into every cape is rather astonishing!

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The main hall features the full Burberry collection, shown first during the London Fashion Week, allowing to discover the garments up close. Unfortunately, for purchasing or trying them on you still have to go across Soho to Burberry shop or online right there on your phone.
The collection features deconstructed knitwear, asymmetric lines, a selection of capes, alongside their signature trench coats, ruffled shirt dresses mixed with lace details and strongly featured nautical stripes.

A separate section looks at Burberry´s inspiration room, taking a glimpse into the research, creative techniques and sketches behind the new runway collection.

Similar sneak peek can be taken at Henry Moore´s creative process, exploring the artist´s working methods – drawings, found objects and large-scale sculptures showcase the creative process of one of Britain´s greatest artists.

A number of creative workshops are run on the daily basis. There are a few more nooks and corners to discover during your visit.

Runway presentation of the whole collection can be viewed on the way out.

Open daily 10am-9pm until Monday, the 27th of February 2017.
1 Manette Street London, W1D 4AT

Winter Cocktails at Texture – 7SL


The icy winter months make many of us crave warm, spice-infused drinks and tasty comfort food. We yearn for dining experiences that fill our tummies with hearty dishes and flush our cheeks with warming cocktails. Icelandic folk are experts on wintery fayre, hence why we decided to nip into the Michelin starred, award-winning Icelandic restaurant and bar, Texture in Marylebone.

Source: Winter Cocktails at Texture – 7SL

Shun the detox and eat cake at the Barbican Conservatory – 7 Star Life

There is a hidden marvel nestled in the middle of London, surrounded by an erratic maze of concrete walls. During the winter months when the sky resembles a dreary grey blanket of clouds, we crave escapism somewhere wild and green – almost jungle like…

Source: Shun the detox and eat cake at the Barbican Conservatory – 7SL

My newest contribution to 7 Star Life magazine

You Say You Want a Revolution…

…Well, you know, we all want to change the world.
(The Beatles, Revolution, 1968)

Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970 exhibition at V&A looks at different aspects of the time that affected the counterculture of the 60s in the UK and the USA.

Armed with a set of headphones, that change the tune automatically as you move through the rooms, one would enter the exhibition maze, running through the spaces analysing different aspects of the era. The time was highly innovative for the rise of the cultural revolution that embraced various topics, from music to design, politics and lifestyle. Inspired by Thomas Moore´s Utopia, written in 1516, people were looking for alternative ways.

The first section of the exhibition is looking at youth identity and “Singing London” as the centre for fashion, music, photography and art. Twiggy sporting Mary Quant miniskirt, famous works by photographer David Bailey, invitations to art “happenings”, the importance of the mainstream pop music of the time are featured.

The second part looks closer at the counterculture and alternative lifestyles, through psychedelia, underground literature and pirate radio. Psychedelic art is featured on the walls accompanied by some trippy tunes coming from the headphones. The music is the king in this section. It was sweet to see an older lady with a distinctively cool style flipping through the album covers of the time – music she probably grew up with and experienced first hand when it was launched. The exhibition must have taken her down the memory lane…

The third section explores revolution on the street, exploring the anti-politics with peaceful protests and anti-war statements in regards to the war in Vietnam. The revolutionary figures of Martin Luther-King and Che Guevara are on display. Among others are displayed the ideas calling for equality including gay rights´ activists and women´s liberation groups.

Next part of the exhibition concentrates on the design innovations of the time, exploring consumerism, fed by the rapid increase in personal wealth and the introduction of the credit card. The 1967 Montreal and 1970 Osaka World Expos look into the consumer innovations, such as home TV-s, futuristic furniture and fashion, featuring innovative Pierre Cardin dress. The television opened the window to the real-time news coverage of the Vietnam War and moon landings, shocking and enthusing the viewers.

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

The fifth space is dedicated entirely to the Woodstock festival, being designed with a large stage and dramatic backdrop of large screens surrounding the room. One can absorb the atmosphere of the music festival by sinking into one of the bean bag chairs in the middle of the hall. The event that brought together 400 000 people to enjoy music and each others company peacefully despite the rain, was rather unprecedented at the time. Instruments, costumes and ephemera are on display.

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

The sixth and final exhibition environment looks at alternative communities living on the USA’s West Coast during the period as the birthplace of a revolution in communications. These alternative living communes explored sexual liberation, rejection of institutions and a ‘back to the land’ philosophy to the tunes of psychedelic rock music. They lived in parallel with a different sort of alternative community: the pioneers of modern computing. Both believing in the possibility of achieving a better world through sharing human knowledge more equitably. The Whole Earth Catalog, the American counterculture magazine published by Stewart Brand, served the purpose of ‘Google in paperback form’, according to Steve Jobs.

Revolution exhibition photography 06-09-2016

From global civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism, computing, communality to neoliberalist politics, the world we live in has been vitally influenced by five revolutionary years: 1966 – 1970. The whole exhibition reveals and explores the origin of tendencies prevailing today and encourages a rediscovery of an imaginative optimism to envisage a new and better tomorrow.

You Say You Want a Revolution on until 26th February 2017.


1920s Jazz Age and fashion

Sparkle, fun and excess – this is what ´20s people were craving for, what they longed after the war and what the economy of the day allowed.

The exhibition at London Fashion and Textile Museum looks back nearly 100 years ago at the glamorous time when women´s rights expanded for the first time after the WWI and the ankles started flashing in the decade-long celebration of life. Women´s style of dressing changed unprecedentedly. Jazz music also played an important role in the decade, as well as fashion – allowing more comfortable dresses for dancing, as well as the whole idea of movement, energy and self expression. The clothes were designed to move and shift and allow the movement while wearing them.

The display looks back at the glittering haute couture, as well as everyday ready-to-wear, alongside large display of accessories, ranging from fans to cigarette holders, gloves and headbands.

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The photographs by James Abbe: Photographer of the Jazz Age, depict portraits of the well known ladies of the time reflect the realistic look of that time. Although on illustrations depicted always so slender, the real life women of that time looked rather healthy and far from the anorectic models.

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Of course, the bitter economic crash followed at the end of the decade, due to the overspending, but it was a decade to remember. The ´20s of this century are just a few years away, lets wait and see how this decade will turn out!

1920s JAZZ AGE Fashion and Photographs exhibition at London Fashion and Textile Museum open till 15th January 2017.

The Vulgar

Vulgarity is a word usually associated with negative connotations. Hence I was very curious to see what “The Vulgar” fashion exhibition at Barbican Art Gallery is all about. It was much more than the common meaning of this word – the curator was pushing boundaries and exploring the wider concept and background of what has been considered vulgar in fashion through times and how that changes along with the general view and progress.

In a nutshell, almost anything can be vulgar. And who is to define what is vulgar and what not, as it depends on the point of view – while punk can be considered vulgar for someone, for Johnny Rotten high fashion or the smart suit would have been considered as vulgar.

Good taste changes with time, but vulgar is not exactly the same as bad taste. It is bold and shameless. Vulgarity always exaggerates, it never retreats. It is committed to enjoyment. It is the theater of ambition and kitsch is its celebration. Here the pleasure is viewed as vulgar and restraint as a virtue.

The exhibition presents over 120 exhibits of well known fashion designers, including Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Iris van Herpen, Pam Hogg, Stephen Jones, Manolo Blahnik, Hussein Chalayan, and many more.

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To be frank – fashion without vulgarity would be boring! Vulgarity is intriguing, experimental and boundary-pushing.

Stephen Jones has said: “Vulgarity is the salt and pepper of fashion”.

“We must never forget that vulgarity is tremendous fun!”

Even high fashion is in constant play with vulgarity. For example Chanel´s show staged at the supermarket. By the way, note all the products in the Chanel “supermarket” are especially crafted for this purpose, bearing Chanel labels – some of them were presented at the exhibition and the rest probably sold out as collector items.
In this show you can spot ripped and holed tweed sweatpants and tops, crafted purposefully by the couturiers.

Another definition for vulgarity is someone or something pretending to be what it is not. For example commoners trying to belong to so called “elite”, but failing at some crucial details or a dress trying to be labor-intensive couture, while instead being a print-on of that, or a print-on of a naked body instead.
Moschino is known for its pretend-playfulness and games with kitsch. This can also be seen in their latest collection show.

Vulgarity as the unrestricted joie de vivre. Better vulgar than boring!

The Vulgar – Fashion Redefined at Barbican Art Gallery in London is open till 5th February 2017.