I arrive at London’s incredible V&A gallery and am made to feel improbably important within seconds, as a pleasant passion fruit cocktail arrives mysteriously in my grasp.
I and my fellow patrons are treated to a lucid and interesting speech by the curator of the British Design exhibition we’re here to enjoy, as further cocktails disappear at an impressive rate.
Design exhibitions can be a tough sell. They can often be more of a narrative entity than art exhibitions.
Their aim is to show progression and evolution. And in doing that Modernism is entirely successful.
There are, as always, some eras that work better than others, the section on the post-war regeneration is thoughtfully thorough for how few exhibits it’s given.
The phase from the punk Seventies to the YBA Nineties is perhaps the most successful, while the final room makes up with scale what it lacks in coordination.
But the exhibition is almost incidental to the evening. It’s more about making you feel special.
And the bowl food, further free cocktails, and brass band playing 90s club classics we’re treated to following the exhibition certainly achieves that.
Sitting on the bus on the way home somehow feels like a desperately unfitting end to this evening.