SMU-in-London: Arts 2012

During the SMU-in-London: Arts summer program, students are taking courses that explore solo performance and the city “as” performance. The students will create and perform original works, all against the backdrop of the Queen’s Jubilee and the Summer Olympics.

Read more from SMU-in-London: Arts 2012

Blast from the past

An update from Lee:

When you stepped into the Vintage Village at the Battersea Park Queen’s Jubilee Celebration, you stepped back in time. Tents were filled with corsets from the ’20s, hats from the ’30s, dresses from the ’40s and ’50s and jewelry that spanned the decades. Each booth invited you in, welcoming you to view the fashions of the day like small museums with their wares on exhibit. You could touch anything. You could try on anything. Of course, you could buy anything, and the booth keepers hoped you would buy it all. They stood encouragingly nearby and pointed out objects you may have missed, as well as sizes and colors you might prefer.

Aside from the wet grass and the rain, the atmosphere was perfect. The Village was strategically placed near the main band stage so that the loud music set the mood. I found myself dancing and singing as I moved from booth to booth, and I wasn’t the only one!

Because there were so many booths, and because they were so spread out, access to a booth was rarely a problem. It was rare that a booth was so crowded you couldn’t get to the object you wanted to see. This made shopping easy. The only barrier to actually buying was that most booths only accepted cash payment.  This may have been in keeping with the past, but few who shopped had brought with them the kind of cash to afford items that cost 45 or 75 pounds, if not more.

Many village visitors had come dressed in their finest vintage costumes. The better their costumes, the more you wanted to look like them. This was certainly incentive to buy from the vendors. The best dressed were selected to walk the runway set up near the village.  A trio that sounded and looked just like the Andrews Sisters kicked off the runway show with classic hits.  Surrounded by sights and sounds of the past, you were reminded of just how long the Queen has served England. Sixty years covers so many changes in music and fashion.

I am hard-pressed to think of any event in America that remotely captures the import and the spirit of what I experienced at Battersea Park. A sea of British flags waved as far as the eye could see. Thousands of British subjects cheered their Queen. As I watched, I was filled with emotion and a sense of awe. Who in America has borne the responsibility of 60 years of service to their country in such a public and prominent position? I cannot help but wish that our country had someone who would inspire that much pride in our country and unite us.

Share this story:

    About Sarah Hanan

    EA-PubAffairs(Periodicals)
    This entry was posted in SMU-in-London: Arts 2012. Bookmark the permalink.