Monday, July 20, 2009

Beyond Biba!

I was invited to the premiere screening of 'Beyond Biba, A Portrait Of Barbara Hulanicki' on Friday at the V&A Museum in London and it was awesome!

Biba was a fashion label/shop in the 1960s that was very iconic of the time. It was started by Barbara Hulanicki and anyone my mothers age (including my mother) swoons into fond reminiscences whenever you mention 'Biba' to them. I love their logo, since seeing it on a tiny box my mum had from there which she keeps beads in (I don't know what she actually bought from the shop itself, I think it was a bit too expensive for my mum and dad back then...).

But Barbara Hulanicki actually went on to be instrumental in the amazing 80s-ness of Miami in the 80s, doing incredible interiors there after finishing with Biba. The documentary goes into detail about how she went on to do all these different things which I hadn't known about before. I'd just heard of Biba, rather than all the things that came after it.

The film was really interesting and quite inspiring, as Barbara seems so... I don't know what the word is, but she just goes with the flow and does stuff, and it's all good stuff. I suppose it makes me feel like I don't need to know where I'm going so much as I just need to keep doing stuff with my talents, and go wherever life takes me. I worry so much about what's happening in the future and what happens next that I stop myself from just accepting what's happening and seeing where it goes.

After the screening there was a Q&A with Barbara herself! Which was interesting. She seems so down to earth and relaxed, which was cool as I imagine people who are so reknowned would be kind of haughty, or something. Someone told her how she'd sat in the shop while her mother had shopped there, and that when she had a daughter (who was also at the screening) she called her Biba! Everyone clapped but it seemed kiiiind of awkward. Especially since Barbara had just said how the name was essentially meaningless and someone had told her that it sounded like a charwoman's daughter (if I recall correctly).
I wanted to ask her what inspires her, but I felt like it was a silly question that seemed somewhat self evident after the film, though I'm still unsure of what it was that inspired and inspires her... she said she likes Primark! Which proved a little controversial, but I think she likes that it's very much the disposable fashion that really was kickstarted in the 60s, and it's available to everyone, and Biba was supposed to be accessible and cheap? It was very interesting.

So yes! I liked it :D
If you want to go see it, there's another screening on September the 20th at the V&A, and there's other ones around the world. It's suuuper limited release which sucks, but if you get the chance to see it, I would reccommend!


Jim B said...

The Biba logo is classic style. Wikipedia has more on Biba.

Nitin said...

biba-- salwar kameez and stuff.. nice things.

jennyjenjenjenni said...

i'm with you there, i get down about having so many interests that i find it hard to focus on one, when i should realise i'm lucky that i'm a creative person and should be happy that i've chose to do what i enjoy.

PorkStar said...

very nice!