Celebrating a New Year … and London in January

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Despite the winter weather, there is plenty going on in London to keep visitors to the capital enthused and inspired.  Here are just a few of our personal recommendations…

1. Victoria & Albert Museum, Hollywood Costume

This wonderful exhibition (only on until 27th January, and essential to book to advance!) explains the costume designer’s process in the creation of characters from script to screen.  Including video interviews with directors and costume designers, it also demonstrates the changing social and technological context in which they have worked over the last century.  The costumes displayed cover the whole spectrum from Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz to Daniel Craig in Skyfall.

2.  Somerset House, Tim Walker: Story Teller

If you are a fashion enthusiast and on your way to see the impressive Valentino exhibition anyway (running until 3rd March), please don’t miss this very quirky and totally inspiring exhibition …. you don’t need to book but you do need to go before 27th January.  Tim Walker is one of the most visually exciting and original fashion photographers working today, and this exhibition, displayed in a series of rooms, much like wandering from room to room in a private house, is filled with examples of his recent work (from the world’s leading magazines, including British, French, American and Italian Vogue).  It also includes many of the fantastical stage props used to achieve his magical photographic ‘stories’’.

3. BFI:  Roman Polanski retrospective at the BFI

For film buffs, and in addition to its consistently great selection of old and new films, the British Film Institute on the South Bank is showing a retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski throughout the month of January.  The nicest way to get to the BFI is to walk over the Embankment Bridge, which has arguably one of the best views of London – on a clear night the view down the Thames to St Pauls, all lit up with the moon behind, is sensational!

4.  National Portrait Gallery, Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair

In addition to its permanent collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people, the gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of photographs and magazine covers of Marilyn Monroe.  Covering the years from 1947 – 1962, the works show the transformation of the world’s most popular pin-up to acclaimed actress, highlighting the British photographers and personalities who admired her and worked with her. The exhibition runs until 24th March 2013.

5. The Judas Kiss, Duke of York’s Theatre

Transferring from the Hampstead Theatre to the West End, this compelling drama by David Hare, stars Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde and rising star, Freddie Fox, as Lord Alfred Douglas.

6. The London View – View from The Shard

Opening on February 1, 2013, the View from the Shard is a four-storey observation deck on floors 68 to 72 of the Shard, offering Londoners and visitors with a good head for heights panoramic, 360-degree views across the capital and beyond.

 

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