St. Petersberg for the Sticky & Sweet Tour?
Events: More from Simply Madonna

Events: Simply Madonna

madonnalicious attended the press viewing of the Simply Madonna exhibition yesterday afternoon and brings you these exclusive shots from the event.

The exhibition runs from Saturday 21 February until Sunday 22 March at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in London and tickets can be purchased from

The exhibition features items from investment company Marquee Capital and mega-fan James Harknett and covers Madonna's 25 year career.

It is a strange experience viewing this collection of items, it seems to lack the life and 'wow' factor you would expect from Madonna. The costumes, which are meant to be the highlight of the collection, are mostly grouped together on two large stages which tends to diminish impact of what should be a great display.
With the clothes being on identical mannequins, with identical facial expressions it reminds you of a 'Stepford Wives' scene and was a bit of a distraction from the outfits.
madonnalicious guesses that these costumes feel so lifeless, is because as a big fan we are used to seeing Madonna in them and without her energy and movement it feels lacklustre.

However there are really interesting items on display for fans to see, including the divorce agreement signed by Madonna and Sean Penn and an American Express credit card used by Madonna in the 1980's. There are some MTV Awards given to Madonna and her personal datebook/diary all displayed with lots of memorabilia in large glass cabinets.

James Harknett's collection is where the heart of this exhibition is - they show the passion of a fan's collection. It is great to see such a huge collection of memorabilia that has been collected with love and devotion and really makes this event.


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Eudu de Oliveira

Unfortunately the exhibition is a complete let down. The pieces might be genuine, but it lacks in professionalism and taste, it's all very tasteless really, apart from the magazine, records and pictures on the wall.
The way they display the clothes with those awful manequins is totaly peculiar, making anyone beliving that the clothes might not be genuine.
It's totally commerce, nothing else. It's an exhibition to make money. I tryed to buy a t-shirt from the exhibition at the entrance and luckily none of them fitted me, I'm a size medium, the t-shirts were for females of all sizes... I mean, from 0 to 9...
The building itself was terrible. I went last thursday 26th march and it had a terrible almost hard to bare smell coming from the hallway.
It's really sad to see amateurs making money behind the back of someone whose been working hard for over 25 years for a brilliant career.
please, don't waste your time and money with that exhibition, buy a bottle of champagne instead and watch The Confessions Tour on dvd, it's far much more exciting!


I think the whole thing looks so lifeless is because those wigs are terrible. They are cheap looking and don't look anything like her hair. It would have been better to just display the costumes I think, rather than using ugly mannequins with cheap plastic wigs.


As fans our expectations are extremely high. We demand the quality that we have been accustom to from Madonna. However, Madonna has nothing to do with this exhibition. I believe the collection is private. I must say the organisers did not have to put up the memorabilia on display. I am extremely grateful that I got a chance to see it. As far as price is concerned...a small price to pay to see large array of costumes and memorabilia spanning three decades.


Guys, as true madonna fans, we are being very harsh. Its obvious that the exhibition could be staged better. I am sure the organisers will learn from this pinoeering exhibition in london. I am just glad that someone has given me the opportunity to see these costumes and artefacts. I can see madonna on stage anytime - and wow does she look great on stage. To get to see her costumes and major memorabilia is a once in a life time experience. Otherwise, the'd be in some bank vault gathering dust.


Also, I think Madonnalicious is exactly right -- it's not the same seeing these outfits without Madonna herself wearing them!


Wow yeah, really a lot of negativity here. I won't be able to see the display but regardless of bad mannequins and wigs it's still a pretty amazing gathering of Madonna stuff.


Maybe Chaz and Louise have got a point here? And I would agree entirely if the exhibition was only about a fan's memorabilia of Madonna but it's also about her costumes and the way it is staged just seems to undermine not only the quality and the creativity behind the costumes but also their contribution to her shows' uniqueness. Where's the spark to it? It just makes the idea of a Madonna's exhibition pointless...Am I being to harsh then?


Nice exhibits. Not sure what the fuss is about. this is not an official madonna exhibition. my understanding is that these items are part of a private collection. given that these are privately held, I feel honored to have been given the chance to see them in the flesh. Where else can you see the material girl costume, music and amercian pie costume, as well as over 30 evita costumes. there are also some rare awards and contracts. I also like the framed posters and photographs around the exhibition... i believe these are part of the James Harknett collection. thank you to the organisers for allowing us to see items which otherwise would be lost in storage facility gathering dust. I feel priveldged to have seen these iconic pieces of madonna memorabilia.


It's SO bad, I think I may have to go!

That "Ali G" and "Juan Peron" are hysterical enough to warrant the admission fee!

Louise Tomassi

I think its a little unfair guys to say that. I haven't been yet, I am going on Saturday but this is somebody's collection and is not therefore a "official" collection done by Madonna herself or her people!

I think good on him for letting everyone see it. He doesn't have to show it!

If you google "James Harknett" an interesting article comes up: (I am not a member of that site or anything I was just searching on him as i didnt know who he was)! Anyway, its interesting and loads of other pictures!


Hold on, so much negativity. why? I agree, the exhibition could have been staged better. However, we would never get to see the costumes if the guys organising this event had not put them on display. Also, the like a virgin dress... the description states clearly that there were many made by Andre van Pier for the tour. madonna may not have used this dress on stage... aafter all, she does not have to wear all dresses made for he. I really enjoyed seeing the exhibition. alot people have compared it Kylie... i would say two things (1) at Kylie, you were mot allowed to take photos and (2) most of the key dresses were behind glass cabinets. At least Simply madonna allowed photography and has enough respect and trust in fans to keep dresses outside of glass cabinets to fans cold get a 'real' experience!


Hey guys!! Why don't 'WE ALL TOGETHER' MAKE A BETTER AND MEGA MADONNA EXHIBITION???!!:) I got an idea, Why don't WE ALL get together and bring our own memorabilia/collections from Maddy BUT! With BETTER DISPLAYS!!Hey I can bring my collection and so do you all!! WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK???:) and even we can go all over the world with our MEGA EXIBITION!!!


The wedding dress is actually from "Evita".


one word-SCARY!!!! that wedding dress is not from like a virgin in any form-tour,video,live.headless mannequins would have been far better & photos next to them to jog your memory.i dont recognise quite a lot of them-especially the first photos-the underwear & leather jackets!! shame-this couldve been really something spectacular.x


Can u show pics of the diary? Thanks!


Hi, Me again,
The Wedding dress is definately not from the tour or the video. the tour outfit wasn't even a dress but was a white crop top with leggings and above knee voild type skirt over the top.

Check it out if you don't believe me.

Do you all not notice something oddly unlike Madonna about this dress in the exhibition claiming to be the tour one? There is too much flesh being covered up. Madonna would never wear that as part of a tour. I think this display is a fraud. Is it actually official? It can't be if they say the wedding dress is from the tour. This exhibition is a joke. I think we should all complain about it as it is an insult to Madonna!!



My god.. what a pile of c**p I ve seen better clothes in charity shops... It was so bad it was hilarious! The wedding dress was meant to be from the Like a Virgin Tour, I m sure thats what it said on the notice.. Are they kidding! It was neither from the tour or video. The mannequins, what were they about?! Their wigs!!!! Enough to pertify a small child or even a devoted fan!!
The Who's That Girl Tour black conicle bustier....what was the chair about?? Was that found in a skip? Why didnt they make an effort and get one like she uses in all her tours? Just go to Ikea. They dont cost much... I think this was a lazy, cheap exhibition, insulting to every fan who made the effort to walk all the way up Brick Lane to a venue which stank of bleach, had poor lighting and rip off exhibits. Be careful of the displays on the walls. As I walked passed the magazine covers, one fell off onto the floor!!!!! I admit the memorabilia was very interesting but even that was thrown together in small exhibition cases, piled onto of each other with no lighting so you couldnt see things properly. Loved the dolls! Fantastic, thanks to whoever provided them, I ll buy you a drink! Posters and tour t-shirts were interesting but I think I ve got more in a box under my bed back at my parents house. Who put this show together? Comedians? Must be coz I cant stop laughing.


Oh my God...what a horrid display, what on Earth were they thinking? no wonder is just 8 pounds....horrendous mannequins, terrible display, disgusting respect whatsoever for the items being shown. What a shame.
Thnks for the pics, veeeery informative ;)


WOW, this is SAD and TACKY. I actually thought about flying to London to see this. However, it looks like a bad trip to Fire Island to watch a bad drag queen lip-synching Madonna. This is the worst Madonna exhibition I have ever seen. I think there's more high fashion at a small town's JC Penny's store window that at this show. The lighting is all wrong, the mannequins are wrong, the costumes feel cheap and their wings are wrong!
Please tell me this is a joke. Madonna would puke at all this mess.


They say the wedding dress was from the LAV Tour...(???)


The wedding dress is NOT fro the Virgin tour. But I wonder if it is from the Like a Virgin video? Anyone?

Seeing the manequins is quit depressing as it shows that whoever put them together didn't put a lot of thought into it. As someone mentioned about the wrong wigs etc... it really does spoil what could have been a great exhibition.


This has got to be one of the worst put together shows I have ever seen. Isn't Madonna famous for re-inventing herself? Why are all the mannequins wearing the same wigs?! It just looks so stupid. And why are they all bunched up together? And then all the memorabillia is just thrown together, not even seperated by era. This was just plain stupid. Obviously they didn't do their research.


This looks simply awful and tasteless!!! I toyally agree with you guys...I don't understand why they put the costumes on thin identitical mannquin, it just makes the costumes look like fancy clothes put in display in your average fashion boutique!!! It doesn't capture nor does make her sense of fashion and the uniqueness of the costumes justice...


umm couldnt they have put the outfits on madonna wax figures or something??? but im loving her uniform from a league of their own!!!


I went this morning, and i agree about the mannequins,and having the 'She's not me' S&S backdrop would be a good idea, but it is a fantastic exhibition, we're lucky we have this opportunity to see these items, however they were displayed :)

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