Last night we were lucky enough to rub shoulders with some of London’s A-listers as we rocked the red carpet at the launch of the new blockbuster exhibition, David Bowie Is, at the V&A – a landmark exhibition charting the artist’s career through his outlandish outfits, music and inspirations. Having already smashed all of the venue’s sale records (around 50,000 advance tickets have been sold), it’s quite clear that these are the hottest ticket in town. Mark O’Donnell recounts last night’s party and lets us know what to expect inside.
London’s ongoing love affair with the Starman, and his re-emergence into the spotlight thanks to his new album, meant that last night’s opening saw fans queue from V&A’s front door all the way down Cromwell Road and around the corner onto Exhibition Road. Inside, the V&A’s domed foyer was a beautiful sight: swathed in purple and pink hues with a neon Ziggy lightning bolt suspended from the ceiling (the centrepiece for the duration of the exhibition) giving you a sneak peak at the wonder that awaited you past those marble columns. 2ManyDJs were flown in to provide what was a fairly uninspiring electronic soundtrack – disappointing considering we were there to celebrate the music man himself – while noteworthy celebs such as Tracey Emin and Tilda Swinton rubbed shoulders demonstrating the impact Bowie has had on the world of art and entertainment to date.
Sadly – but unsurprisingly – Bowie was most definitely not in the building. So it was left to Emin to give a boozy recollection during the opening speeches that perfectly encapsulated the reason the show is already a runaway success: “Listening to ‘Rock’n’Roll Suicide’ when I was 14, after a bottle of sherry and a packet of cigarettes, was the first time I was touched by Bowie. I was feeling fucked up, and really alone, but he made me realise I wasn’t alone.”
The exhibition itself is an absolute triumph; it’s surprisingly huge in scale with costumes, original artwork, and even a very cool audio tour that splices tailored quotes, music, archive footage and commentary depending on where you stand – basically any Bowiephile’s wet dream. We’ve already given it the glowing coverage it deserves and it’s undoubtedly set to be one of 2013’s defining shows.
For more info and to buy tickets, see our David Bowie Is listing.