Alexander McQueen: Savage beauty
Undoubtedly one of the must see events in London this April, the highly anticipated this exhibition explores how McQueen pushed the limits of art, fashion and technology in his work. Each section of Savage Beauty seeks to convey snapshots of his career, presenting the individual influences and styles that made up the work of a designer renowned for his influence on tailoring. Complementing the creations is an array of film footage, holograms and theatrical elements, which work together to create a fittingly beautiful and inventive collection.
Throughout April – V&A £16
Fashion on the Ration
This exhibition looks at WWII’s impact on fashion and the way people dressed, exploring how styles changed during the period as a result of the austerity measures in effect. With rationing affecting more than just the food on people’s tables, the early 1940s saw British people adopting new fashions in light of the need to recycle and reuse materials. A fantastic exhibition to visit this April, the range of accessories, photographs, films and artworks on show reveals a great deal of ingenuity from a nation at war, not just on the part of the wearers but also the clever marketing tactics used by retailers during tight times.
Throughout April – Imperial War Museum £10
Star Wars Secret cinema
Yes yes, though, under normal circumstances, an event happening in June shouldn’t feature on an April list of ‘things to do in London’, the rate at which tickets for the Star Wars edition of Secret Cinema are selling calls for some forward planning. Secret Cinema has made a name for itself by creating immersive cinema experiences in, you guessed it, secret locations across London. Secret Cinema is an experience that shouldn’t be missed, especially if you’re partial to the odd bit of classic sci-fi cinema. True, tickets are expensive but, once you find yourself transported to a galaxy far far away, it’ll all seem relative.
ASAP – Venue TBC £75
London Vs Cambridge Goat Race
Oh, I’m sorry I thought you said goat race. Ah, but we did, and for good reason indeed. Who needs a boatload of 7-foot tall intellectuals when you’ve got two goats dressed up in little outfits? Expect a day of silly goat-based nonsense with booze, bands and bookies to liven up the mix. Taking place at Spitalfields Farm, there’s plenty of other stuff to see once the gates are opened. The race takes place whenever the goats feel like it, which is usually somewhere between 1pm and 5pm.
April 11th – Spitalfields Farm £10
The Boat Race
A rather more serious, traditional affair than the above, the boat race takes place, not on an inner city farm, but on London’s river Thames. This year will mark the 161st boat race between Oxford and Cambridge. It will also mark the first time that the men’s race is joined on the water by two women’s teams – only took a 160 years eh. Somewhat of an institution – no offence goats – this is another April event not to be missed. If you can, make your way to one of the many pubs lining the waterways for plenty of raucous nautically inclined cheer.
11th April – London Free
Renegade Craft Fair
An important April fixture for anyone with a penchant for craft and crafty things, this U.S export makes its second London appearance this April. A variety of makers and designers set up shop at the Old Truman Brewery, selling everything from hand-knitted scarves to tiny plant pots. With a range of DIY workshops and activities on offer, you can really let those creative juices flow.
April 11th-12th – Old Truman Brewery Free
We love tweed just as much as we love a good cause. A good cause involving tweed? Well that takes things to another hemisphere. A slightly more relaxed, wholly refined precursor to the London Marathon happening later in April, the Tweed Run is fun for both participant and spectator alike. Taking in all the iconic London landmarks, this 10-mile charity bike ride sees cyclists get decked up in tweed to raise money for the London Cycling Campaign. Whether riding or supporting, grab your tweed jacket and get involved.
April 18th – Across London £20/Free
Udderbelly Festival opens
Playing host to a jam-packed line up of events happening throughout spring, all taking place beneath the udders of a giant upside purple cow, Udderbelly is a delightfully bizarre highlight in the London calendar. The unique venue plays host to a variety of acts including comedy, theatre, circus as well as all manner of other acts.
From April 9 – Southbank Prices Vary
Oi Polloi opens
Iconic Manchester menswear brand, Oi Polloi gets set to open its first store outside of the city in, you guessed it, London. ‘Expect to find a Smörgåsbord of schmutter and a mezze of magnificence’ at the new store, which will span 1,170 across two floors of carefully curated independent brands. Named as one of the top 10 menswear retailers last year, this should come as exciting news for style conscious Londoners.
‘Sometime in the middle of April’ – Carnaby St
Sadly, it’s now too late to enter for running the marathon. Ah well, there’s always next year. Still, this famous annual April event sees the world’s eye turn to London for a day of people running incredibly far dressed as butterflies and rhinos. Lots of fun to watch and a fantastic cause, there’s no reason not to pick yourself a spot somewhere along the route and get cheering. Let’s face it, it’s so long you probably won’t have to go far.
April 26th – Across London Free