Thea Porter Exhibit @ Fashion and Textile Museum, London

After a lovely walk through the warehouses and homes of Bermondsey (i would certainly consider a flat rental in this area) I turned the corner to see the saffron and pink exterior of the Fashion and Textile Museum. If I hadn't know it already, the brightly colored facade and pink door should have confirmed the involvement of the designer Zandra Rhodes. I was here for the Bohemian Chic exhibit.

I loved the exhibit which focused on the life and designs of Thea Porter who was responsible for much of the bohemian chic of the 1960's and 1970's including; caftans, diaphanous patterned shifts, and Middle Eastern influences dresses. The displays had so much more heart and interest than those at the Design Museum's Women, Fasion and Power exhibit which felt half dead and didactic at worst. 
Here the mannequins were displayed mainly in a diorama style with ephemera, decorative items, fabrics and furniture (and indeed music) from the period. There was even a Pink Floyd album cover featuring the lads in her jackets! 
The exhibit was strengthened by audio excerpt read from Porter's unpublished autobiography in which she discussed her childhood in the Middle East, her famous customers and the establishment of her shop in Soho. The show was filled with wonderful colors, textures and flowing lines.
All in all a good exhibit, it ran until May 3rd so here is a recap for anyone who may have missed it. 
Here were a series of more restrained pieces made for an French line.
The show covered a number of famous women who came to Porter  for bespoke creations including Faye Dunaway, Joan Collins and Elizabeth Taylor. More recently Nicole Ritchie and Kate Moss have been photographed wearing vintage Thea Porter.
You can see that the 1980s designs fbelow look quite different. Unfortunately Porter  had always struggled with the financial side of the business it became more difficult to survive financially as aesthetics changed.
You'll find it hard to miss the museum! With no permanent exhibit the Fashion and Textile Museum is always showing something new, right now it's hosting exhibits on Rayne shoes and one on Riviera Style.