24 July 2014

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Event review: 'David Bowie Is' at The V&A


Oh! You pretty things: 'David Bowie Is' at The V&A.

The Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL. Tel: 020 7942 2888.

THE EVENT: the private view of the first international retrospective of David Bowie’s career, ‘David Bowie is’, featuring handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs and instruments.


THE FOOD: canapés, including swordfish ceviche and an Asian crab salad, were served by Last Supper.

TO DRINK: bottles of Heineken and a selection of vodka cocktails were served up in the Dome. We do love a good pun, so we grabbed a Green Genie – a luminous vodka, lychee and absinthe concoction that didn’t taste as nice as we’d hoped.

THE ENTERTAINMENT: DJ sets from David and Stephen Dewaele of 2 Many DJs, with speeches by V&A director Martin Roth and Tracey Emin in between.

THE SUPPLIERS: Audi, Gucci and Sennheiser, who provided headphones for guests to listen to Bowie tracks throughout the exhibition.

THE TALKING POINT: besides the giant queue to get in, talk turned to whether Bowie himself would make an appearance. Sadly, all we spotted were look-alikes.

WE LOVED: The Aladdin Sane-style lightning bolt beneath the museum’s Grand Entrance and the ‘Ziggy’ orange carpet in place of the traditional red.

ON THE GUEST LIST: influential names in the music, fashion and film industries made for excellent people-spotting. Guests included Tilda Swinton, Tracey Emin, Bill Nighy, Christopher Kane, Noel Gallagher, Matt Smith, Pam Hogg, Julien Macdonald, Pixie Geldof, Nick Grimshaw, Bobby Gillespie, and La Roux.

This article was first printed in Square Meal Venues & Events, spring 2013.

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