September fashion exhibitions

September exhibitions are primarily focused on the contemporary world of fashion. Curated by Lou Stoppard, Fashion Together, in London College of Fashion’s Fashion Space Gallery, examines collaboration that have helped to shape the industry. Fashion photographer Jamie Hawkesworth, who shoots advertising campaigns for the like of McQueen and JW Anderson, is showcasing a portfolio fashion, landscape, and still-life work at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam. The Overworked Body, on display in New York, aims to create an anthology of 2000s dress whilst FIT’s Expedition highlights historical and contemporary examples of fashion inspired by survival clothing. 


 

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Silver and Porcupine Quill Ear Cuffs, Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen, Irene Spring/Summer (2003). Courtesy of the Shaun Leane archive.

Fashion Together at Fashion Space Gallery (London)
until January 13, 2018

The fashion industry is often seen as the home of eccentric personalities and unique, exceptional talents, but it’s the collaborators, rather than the individuals, who really push the industry forward and inspire this exhibition.

Fashion Together spotlights the process and output of seven selected duos and showcases the work of individuals from a broad range of roles within the fashion industry, from photographers and filmmakers to designers and milliners. Never-before-seen photographs and sketches sit alongside garments, films, photographic prints and recordings of the pairs in conversation with the curator, Lou Stoppard.

The show features collaborations by: Rick Owens and Michèle Lamy, Nick Knight and Daphne Guinness, Shaun Leane and Alexander McQueen, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Gareth Pugh and Ruth Hogben, and Thom Browne and Stephen Jones.


 
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Coat (2014) by Junya Watanabe

Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme at Muesum at FIT (New York)
until January 6, 2018

Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme is the first large-scale exhibition of high fashion influenced by clothing made for survival in the most inhospitable environments on the planet — and off of it. On view in Expedition are approximately 70 ensembles and accessories from MFIT’s permanent collection, as well as a compelling selection of objects borrowed from leading museums and private collections. These garments are presented within dramatically designed “environments” in the museum’s Special Exhibitions Gallery. Collectively, the objects and the exhibition design evoke both the beauty of extreme wildernesses — on land and sea, as well as in outer space — and the dangers these locales present to human explorers.

Interest in the natural world flourished during the Victorian era. Thanks to the pioneering works of explorers and naturalists such as Charles Darwin and the wildly popular science fiction books by Jules Verne, quests to reach the poles, the peaks of the highest mountains, the depths of the oceans, and even outer space, became increasingly popular, aspirational endeavors. Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme illustrates the ways in which select items of clothing made for survival on such journeys of discovery eventually become modern wardrobe mainstays. The parka, for example, was invented by indigenous Arctic peoples; then, during the “heroic era” of polar navigation (1890 to 1922), it was appropriated by explorers. Eventually, the parka was redesigned for sports and the military, before finally finding its way into leading fashion magazines.

Likewise tracing the progression from strictly utilitarian to fashionable, the exhibition presents an array of down-filled “puffer” coats — perfected for extreme mountain climbing — that includes opulent, high-fashion versions created strictly for show. Experimental, high-tech materials, such as neoprene and Mylar, initially developed for deep sea and outer space exploration, have also made their way onto the world’s most exclusive runways and into this exhibition.


 
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The Thinly (2015) by Jamie Hawkesworth

Landscape with Tree by Jamie Hawkesworth at Huis Marseille (Amsterdam)
until December 3

“Photography is a disarmingly subtle act of sensing, then waiting, until a subject reveals itself. It is my chosen medium because of its capacity to intensify what we see, and to capture the unique truths that lie beneath the surface of our encounters. This enduring and patient economy of means channels our shared, multivalent sense of wonder at being present in the world.

This exhibition has offered me the daunting but welcome opportunity to think deeply about the bodily experience of photography. I create material photographs, and my full discovery of the colouration and character of each photograph happens in the darkroom. Each of the fourteen gallery spaces here at Huis Marseille has its own character. My aim has been to create a photographic experience in synergy with the architectural setting, and in anticipation of your engagement with the works. There are moments of intimacy, simplicity, and intensity in this exhibition that, without being overtly instructive, mirror the experiences that I’ve had through photography.

The series Preston Bus Station constitutes the architectural and narrative heart of Landscape with Tree, my first fully realized photographic work. It is set in Preston, the Northern English city where I discovered and studied photography. This portrayal of the people passing through the bus station became a blueprint for my photographic practice: it is where I learned about light, and the patience of waiting for an encounter to unfold. It is where I learned how to approach strangers and capture the details of beauty that drew me to them. I began to appreciate the essential and alchemical possibilities of photography to translate and fix the chance-sent and the fleeting.

My interactions with fashion are included in this exhibition as part of my path in photography. It is through luck and happenstance that my visual approach found a place in this creative industry, with its fast pace and ever-changing predilections. Fashion has been a rich space for me because it hinges on collaboration and offers broad photographic possibilities, in part due to the intensity of commercial shoots. Through fashion photography, I became comfortable engaging with unfamiliar people and places. With each commissioned encounter— each a visual challenge in itself — I aimed to capture the specific, imperfect, and human vitality of the collaborative moment for the pages of magazines.

In Landscape with Tree I can see the spectrum of experiences that I have sought out with my camera over the past ten years, and the places my curiosity has taken me. The exhibition manifests my sustained and transitory intimacies, planned and unexpected journeys, and wonderful immersions. I hope I have created an exhibition environment in which you can experience — perhaps even beyond the restraints of body, place, and time — an encounter with photography and its sublime potential to take us anywhere our imagination desires.”

— Jamie Hawkesworth


 

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The Overworked Body: An Anthology of 2000s Dress ­at Ludlow 38 (New York)
until October 15

In 1971, Cecil Beaton presented Fashion: An Anthology at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Under the connoisseurship of a bon vivant, fashionable modern dress received its first museological moment. Now in 2017 over 30 contemporary designers will be included in a new anthology of 2000s fashion at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38 and Mathew Gallery.

Fashion during the 2000s could be described as a period of hybrid subcultural styles remixing former selves, championing the principle of individual expression. The decade also saw the industry of fast-fashion massively expand its market, proliferating the presence of smart-casual wear. As such, fashion during this time embodied the conflicting roles of both globalization and homogeneity alongside pastiche and pluralism. However, what makes fashion from the aughts so debatable to define is its proximity to the present. It is only through the machine of history that fashion finds its protagonists.

How to define a recent history of fashion? In an effort to obstruct our tendency to assign a specific style to a decade, The Overworked Body: An Anthology of 2000s Dress surveys the iconoclastic to the underground, the everyday to the critical, and presents a period in fashion that is overloaded and overworked.

From key graduate collections at acclaimed schools such as Central Saint Martins and the Antwerp Academy, to designers’ first collaborations with multinational companies such as Target and H&M, the exhibition confronts the complexities that construct a fashion history yet to be understood.


 

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