Manumission Museum opening: 13/08/08

You know Miss W has ALWAYS harboured a secret desire to be a Manumission girl, right? You’ve seen them, sassy, sexy, saucy and skinny, weaving their way through town, flaunting amazing make-up and overly stylised hairdos before heading up to Amnesia to minx around on stage, revelling in their own hotness?

So you can imagine how much I was looking forward to tonight’s opening of the Manumission Museum, a little slice of history wedged between Bar Azuli and the popular Italian haunt Noctambula in the Sa Penya barrio of Ibiza Town.

As I stepped through the doorway, I was greeted by a macabre (yet somehow really pretty – how did they manage that?) antique doll hanging by a noose – there was no doubt I had arrived at the Manumission Museum!

Mike and Claire Manumission were outside, flitting from table to table, greeting friends, visitors and staff from past and present and Miss W couldn’t help but notice Manu-dwarf-in-residence Johnny Golden’s not-so-pint-sized belly poking out from beneath his worn ‘I’ve got a friend in Jesus’ t-shirt (a remnant from the days of the infamous Manumission Motel). Perhaps a sign Manumission has been good to him over the years?

The first section of the museum features a selection of metal headpieces from Manuel Albarran, the designer slash artist who created the metal couture pieces modelled in the Coney Island Review show. Mainly consisting of bronze and silver eye masks of different shapes, sizes and adornment, I’m lusting after a gorgeous bronzed fascinator with exquisite detailed leaves sprouting from the sides.

Through the next doorway, a fashion store, which (if I must be completely honest) didn’t seem to have any relation to Manumission whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong – great clothes, fab accessories but the relevance was lost on me.

It was through the third door that the real museum came to life – a small, cell-like space (with the exhibition behind bars) packed with framed posters, a collage of flyers, books, magazines, photographs, signs, t-shirts, pieces of sets (including a larger than life skeleton) and just general memorabilia. According to the many Manu-clad staff lingering around, everything on display is available to buy, meaning you can own your very own piece of Manumission.

Nice, but will it help me get a part in the show?


THE GOOD: The gorgeous burlesque styling of Claire Manumission and the opportunity to check out photos of her from years gone by – she’s totally my new Ibiza icon.

THE BAD: The space itself seemed rather small – I was expecting more mannequins and costumes, but now I come to think of it, Manumission girls tend to be near-naked so perhaps there’s not a lot to display!

THE GOSSIP: Miss W heard whispers that the Museum was created to find a home for the abundance of Manumission errr, stuff, that was previously stored in Privilege’s basement. Although Amnesia went all out rebuilding the terrace for Manumission’s residency, stretching to a few storage cabinets wasn’t part of the new deal.