Stiletto and wheels Stiletto title Sole to sole Stiletto

STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.

WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility. title
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ARTS - December 2010

I went to Somerset House last month to see an exhibition:

Dior Illustrated: René Gruau and The Line of Beauty.

The exhibition was great and I just wish it had been bigger. I love the style aesthetic of both fashion illustration – take a look at the FIG website if you do too – and Dior. Of course Gruau’s work is based on the old – er, original and still fabulous – Dior designs but there are a few references to my favourite designer – the incumbent Dior genius – John Galliano which added to my interest. The exhibition’s on until 9 Jan 2011 so do go if you get a chance, it might be quiet over the Xmas period.

Ooh, and if you like the pretty … you might want to take a look at the website of my favourite illustrator du jourGladys Perint Palmer – nice, huh?

It was my first visit to Somerset House as a wheelchair user and it was … OK. On the (big) plus side, they allowed us to park in the forecourt and the gallery itself was wholly accessible but, though I’d like to be more gracious as they have clearly tried very hard to make it friendly, it suffers from many of those annoying-to-wheelies but lovable-to-everyone-else features of historic buildings such as cobblestones, odd inclines, multiple lifts (3 to get from entrance to exhibition), multi levels, tricky turns and intrusive miscellaneous features that seem to exist to make a wheelchair users life tricky.

I’m not advocating the wiping out of history for my – wheelie - convenience so you just gotta be warned and be tolerant. The main square is easily accessible if you want to join the ice skaters – yeah, right! - and the rest is do-able and, for this exhibition … well worth the effort.

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