I can find inspiration in all kinds of places. Take the Bronx Zoo for example; as well as indulging my inner child on the Bug Carousel with friends and falling in love with the 'ickle baby monkeys, I snapped away at anything that caught my fancy. Think elegant peacocks, enchanting butterflies and the rustic yet worldly setting of the park. Most of the time animal prints tend to veer towards the leopard or zebra variety, but methinks there is an untapped market just waiting to be discovered. Butterfly print leggings, anyone? Some of the best colour combinations are those that appear naturally.
These creatures were rather difficult to capture, though I'm pleased I got a decent close-up
If you're coming to New York for six months, then here's a tip; don't leave your visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art until the fifth month. I don't know why I put off coming for so long; I perhaps didn't find it as interesting on my first visit seven years ago as a moody fifteen year old and needed the American Woman exhibition several years later to kickstart my enthusiasm. It's situated in the Upper East Side on Museum Mile and was deservedly packed out on a sunny (and later stormy) Sunday afternoon.
The Screen Siren section was simply breathtaking, with clips of movies featuring the likes of Greta Garbo playing in the background
I later found that the put photos of most things online, but without the dramatic setting and fancy wigs
The exhibition documents the many guises of 'The American Woman' which continued from where the European ideals left off, in capturing the attention of the mass media. I'd already seen the related exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, but this showing of their collection was decidedly more atmospheric, due to each room having a certain theme to reflect the clothes displayed. As you walk through the exhibition, you can clearly see how the role and ideals of women changed, with a special section showing the militaristic dress of suffragette movement (random fact, I was named after Christabel Pankhurst). I didn't get as many snaps as I would've liked due to the dreaded 'No Photography' rule, but was transfixed by much of the exhibit nonetheless as the Met had really gone to town in the props department with sparkly wigs and antique furniture. Even though I don't have a photographic memory, I know that I want to flit between being a liberated 20s flapper and an artsy bohemian in my day to day life due to the intricate nature of the dresses. Geometric beading was prevalent on most of the designs and I won't be able to help having the images above in my mind whenever I'm next thrifting.
This vid shows more of what I've been haphazardly trying to explain...which is your favourite era?
Amazing ropelike structure by Liza Lou
Eroded White Flag by Jasper Johns
Wish I could actually find an envelope for all those letters I never write; Untitled by Andrew Bush
I guess my lack of Met experience meant that getting lost was pretty much inevitable, however this turned out to be a positive thing as I discovered random works of interest as I tried to work my way around the confusing layout. Whilst in search of phone signal, I ended up seeing some imposing modern pieces and challenging photography. Which envelope do you think is real?
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to see the Big Bambú sculpture on the rooftop as the heavens decided to open, but I did discover the Picasso exhibition instead. Although I had 30 minutes until closing, I used the time wisely to understand more about his life and how it influenced his work. Methinks that the BBC needs to devise a three-part adaptation of his life and I wanted to know far more than just what the plaques explained.
More photos here; most are blurry due to an unsteady hand...
Have you ever been to the Met before? I definitely will be making up for lost time and cramming in a few more visits to this and other museums before I leave. I also want to take a Gossip Girl style outfit photo on the steps!