November fashion exhibitions

First exhibited the Open Galley in Liverpool, North: Fashioning Identity exhibition that highlights the artistic and stylistic representations of the north of England is travelling to south and will be on view at London’s Somerset House. Meanwhile, Antwerp’s fashion museum presents the darkly romantic work of Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens before the museum closes for refurbishment. Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt is putting on the first ever solo exhibition for designer Jil Sander featuring fashion and product design, architecture and garden art.  


 

9. Curlers and Chips, Yorkshire, 1965, Sunday Times Magazine © John Bulmer_preview

Curlers and Chips, Yorkshire (1965) Sunday Times Magazine, photographed by John Bulmer

North: Fashioning Identity at Somerset House (London)
until February 4, 2018

An exhibition exploring contemporary artistic and stylistic representations of the north of England. Featuring contemporary photography, fashion and multimedia work, sitting alongside social documentary film and photography, highlighting how the realities of life in the north of England captured in the mid-20th century continue to influence new generations of photographers, artists and designers.

The exhibition features over 100 photographs, fashion garments and artworks from a host of renowned photographers, designers and artists including Alasdair McLellan, Corinne Day, Mark Leckey, Jeremy Deller, Alice Hawkins, Raf Simons, Paul Smith, Off White’s Virgil Abloh, Peter Saville, Stephen Jones, Gareth Pugh, Nick Knight, Glen Luchford, Jamie Hawkesworth, plus the likes of Shirley Baker, John Bulmer and Peter Mitchell.

The show looks at the themes and tropes present in these collective visions of northern England and consider why these regions, or representations of them, are increasingly a source of inspiration and still so idealised today.

Many of the works in the show offer personal reflections on the artist’s sense of northern identity, including a number of interviews with northern talent looking at how their home towns have influenced their creative output over the years. It’s not just homegrown creatives; admirers from further afield are also shaping and spreading narratives of the North. The international impact of northern style and culture – its music, film, sport, fashion, landscapes and communities – is also showcased in the exhibition, from Belgian-born Raf Simons’ parkas with Peter Savile prints to the (Ben Kelly) Haçienda (design) – inspired designs of American fashion designer Virgil Abloh.


 

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Olivier Theyskens – She walks in beauty at MoMu (Antwerp)
until March 18, 2018

MoMu’s exhibition Olivier Theyskens – She walks in beauty takes you on a journey with one of the most fascinating Belgian designers: Olivier Theyskens. The show will explore his creative evolution of twenty years in the fashion business, his craftsmanship and the changing atmospheres of his work through a multitude of silhouettes imbued with the couture spirit.

From the dark romantic side of his early designs which brought him world fame, to the new vision of couture he instilled at Rochas, his mastering of textiles and cut at Nina Ricci, his American adventure with Theyskens’ Theory and the re-launch of his own brand Olivier Theyskens, the silhouettes on show all display the master’s hand.

His extraordinary talent for drawing and autodidactic work method give a great insight into the different aspects of the contemporary fashion industry: from couture to semi-couture and ready-to-wear. The journey will be accompanied by literary voices which form a counterpoint to his visual world, photographs, films and drawings which show the creative process of the artist at work.


 

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Jil Sander: Present Tense at Museum Angewandte Kunst (Frankfurt)
until May 6, 2018

Jil Sander is one of the most influential fashion designers of her generation. Her first solo exhibition ever to take place in a museum will consist of large-scale, multi-media installations and tableaus devoted to the impact of her design approach on the aesthetics, material and form of fashion and product design, architecture and garden art. The presentation, which could hardly be more multifaceted, will showcase the ingenuity and creative power of a designer whose primary objective is to bring out a person’s personality.

Jil Sander’s significance as a fashion designer is due to an extraordinary perceptivity which enabled her to anticipate trends and changes in society. She used them as a point of departure for developing unexpected, truly modern shapes in fashion. Her purism has transformed our notions of beauty and identity. Her design principles — harmony of proportion, sophisticated three-dimensionality, understatement and dynamic elegance — have always remained the same. And yet she has presented the fundamentals of her aesthetics in each of her collections in completely new ways.

With her decision to exhibit her work at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt/Main, Jil Sander has turned her attention to the past. This
is quite a new experience for someone who has always preferred the up-and-coming. After an eighteen months long, intensive involvement of the designer, the exhibition opens as a multimedia spectacle, combining architecture, colour, light, film, sound, text, photography, fashion and art in dynamic spatial compositions. As such, the exhibition is less a retrospective overview than a fresh interpretation of the Jil Sander spirit and its aesthetics.

Curated by Matthias Wagner K in close cooperation with Jil Sander, the exhibition is divided into the following thematic sections: runway, backstage, studio, fashion lines, accessories, cosmetics, fashion photography and advertising campaigns, fashion and art, architecture and garden art. It spreads throughout the museum building on some 3,000 square metres of exhibition space.


 

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