No fence sitting here at HemDes.
It seems to be that almost every newspaper and every radio commentator is saying that the V&A are wrong for declining to accept and show Margaret Thatcher’s clothing on the grounds that it was not art, craft or of sufficient design quality.
The argument for displaying her stuff at the V&A falls into two camps.
Some say: “How can they decline when they have recently shown David Bowie’s clothing and Alexander McQueen’s collections?”
To me the answer here is blindingly obvious. The David Bowie show featured his stage collections which were theatrical masterpieces and often one off pieces of art, not day to day, often frumpy clothes available from retailers aiming at boring middle Englanders. The Alexander McQueen show was theatrical couture at its most avant-garde. How the hell can you compare the utter boring and artless clothes that she wore to these? Can you imagine a show called “Thatcher Style”. How crap would that be?
Others said: “Margaret Thatcher’s clothes some up an era of power dressing and female influence and empowerment”. But to me, this daughter of a dressmaker, is a rare example of a child of a tradesperson showing no understanding of that trade (unless her mother specialised in “frump”) of a parent. If you want to see 80s power dressing then surely its Grace Jones in Thierry Mugler?
Margaret Thatcher may be one of the most famous names in British Culture, but when it comes to fashion she left us nothing of artistic value. V&A stay brave and don’t cow down to the media who don’t get your high artistic standards.
Anyhow, judge for yourself…