October 2019 / Diary / by Alice Leng

Fabric Hot List: October 2019

What to see and do in London in the month of October.


Mary Quant: Until 16 February | V&A

Discover how this icon of new feminism launched a fashion revolution on the British high street, with over 400 items on display, including garments, accessories, cosmetics, fashion dolls and photography. The exhibition features unseen pieces from the fashion designer’s personal archive, too. As one of the most influential designers of her time – taking credit for the infamous ’60s mini skirt – the event is full of vibrant colours. A fascinating delve into the world of a true fashion pioneer.

Cromwell Road, SW7 (020 7942 2000;


Moving to Mars | 18 October-23 February, Design Museum

Mars is not only a new frontier for science, but for design, too. This fascinating exhibition considers the role design plays – and will play – in humanity’s journey to the red planet. Featuring over 150 exhibits including original objects from NASA, SpaceX and the ESA, Moving to Mars considers such practicalities as what we’ll be wearing when we get there. With full-scale prototypes, unique spacesuits and a multi-sensory installation, this is an incredible opportunity to experience the potential future of life beyond Earth. 224-238 Kensington High Street, W8

Design Museum (020 3862 5937;


Notre Dame/Our Lady| 4-27 October | Boogie Wall

Featuring artist Delphine Diallo, photographer Namsa Leuba, and artist and model Alice Herbst, this exhibition marks the launch of the Boogie Wall gallery concept. The aim, using art as a catalyst, is to empower women and break down the walls formed by gender, race and class. A creative platform of innovative contemporary art – all by international

female artists – Boogie Wall seeks to generate change around societal issues. This unique and powerful show is well worth a visit to see the exquisite artwork by these innovative and influential women.

50 Brook Street, W1K (0800 994 9179;


Affordable Art Fair | 17-20 October | Battersea Evolution

Looking to brighten up a room? Or simply want to inject some creativity? Twenty years after their first event, the Affordable Art Fair invites us to enjoy a first look at the incredible works on offer on their opening night; wind down after work with a complimentary drink and live music; or instead, come along for cake and coffee over the weekend. With thousands of original, contemporary artworks from an array of UK and international galleries – and all priced between £50 and £6,000 – uncover the joy of collecting, or discover the beautiful artwork ready to transform your home.

Queenstown Road, SW8 (


Faded Glamour by Pearl Lowe | Published 8 October

Minimalists, avert your eyes. This month, rock ’n’ roll vintage queen Pearl Lowe invites us into her exquisitely styled home that celebrates the once-plush – a cacophony of colour and pattern including lived in and loved velvet armchairs, too beautiful for the scrap heap. We get a peek into the similarly glamorous pads of her fashionable inner circle, too. “To me,” she says, “an object that was once the height of elegance but is now a bit battered has far more allure than something brand new.”

Hardback, £19.99 (


Costume at the National Theatre | From 3 October | Wolfson Gallery

The NT invites us to delve into the creative world of those who source, construct, alter, repair, organise and maintain costumes for over 20 new productions each year, including War Horse, Follies, and Antony and Cleopatra. The exhibition visits each stage of the process, from design and construction to dressing and repairs. The show’s designer, Tom Paris, says it “offers the chance to get up close and to touch some of the most exciting and interesting items from the extensive collection.” An unmissable insight into the extraordinary work that goes into even the most ordinary costumes.

Upper Ground, SE1 (020 7452 3000;


Lungs| 14 October-9 November, The Old Vic

Matt Smith and Claire Foy reunite in Duncan Macmillan’s unconventional love story that follows a young couple who want a child, but who, in a culture of terrorism, political tension and global anxiety, are running out of time. They want a child for the right reasons, but they just don’t know what those right reasons are. Poignant, funny, outgoing and brutally honest, we follow their story as they’re propelled into an uncertain future in the hope their relationship will survive.

The Cut, SE1 (0344 871 7628;