At the Tim Walker exhibition the curators took the playful nature of the photographs and extended them into the space of the gallery – some of the fantastic, often gigantic props used in the fashion shoots are displayed alongside the images. A giant replica of a spitfire appears to have elegantly crashed through one room, whilst in another a menacing, monstrous doll looms over visitors – as it did over a model in Walker’s original photographs. In yet another, the sand in an image literally spills into the gallery space.
The larger (paid) exhibition devoted to the career of Italian designer Valentino also takes the visitor into the world of fashion. In the main space, the gowns are displayed on mannequins standing and sitting either side of a central aisle. Roles are reversed, as we, the visitors, walk down the catwalk observing the anonymous, glamorously-dressed spectators around us. A selection of samples and short films also provide an awe-inspiring glimpse into the creation of Valentino haute couture by nimble-fingered seamstresses.
Tim Walker: Storyteller is on at the East Wing Galleries until 27 January 2013, FREE.
Valentino: Master of Couture is on at the Embankment Galleries, South Wing until 3 March 2013, £12.50/ £9 concessions.