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Published: 10 July 2014

By Andy Ross

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A visit to London

To make up for the lack of newsletter last week, here is the reason why! A visit to London and Paris  is always exciting. This trip has been no exception.

If you are in the capital over the next few months there are two shows that you must see if you like textiles and fashion.

Showing at the Tate Modern is Louise Bourgeois, always a favourite of mine, and the show has some exquisite books made of fabrics which I would be very happy to own. Sadly I shall have to make do with photographs (Isn't it fantastic that more and more museums and galleries are allowing us to take pictures of our own so we can remember what we have seen?) The piece I really loved is one of the books which is printed with music staves, symbols and writing (pictured opposite). Louise Bourgeois' family were tapestry sellers and restorers and her beautiful stitches tell of her background in textiles. Louise's art is difficult to see - remember the enormous spider which reared over the Tate's Turbine Hall? - and one of the rooms in the exhibition is autobiographical; her memories of motherhood, mother and father, and relationships. It makes for moving and disturbing viewing.

On another note entirely is the Jean Paul Gaultier show at the Barbican. A celebration of fun, joie de vivre, and sheer devilment, the exhibition is full of beautiful tailoring, wonderful colours and all very beautifully displayed. The picture opposite is Jean Paul's Jungle theme. Parrots of the world, beware!. We loved it hugely and I shall go again before it finishes in August. If you do manage to get along, do let us know what you see...