Whilst I eagerly await the opening of this year's spectrum-tastic Serpentine pavilion, I've been finding other colour & shape on show around town at the moment. From top to bottom: Christina Mackie at Tate Britain, Guyton\Walker at Zabludowicz Collection, Yinka Shonibare at The Royal Opera House, The Chinese Phonebook at the Photographer's Gallery, Shout Out! UK Pirate Radio in the 1980s at the ICA, Jack Smith: Abstract Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, White Cube Gallery, HINT Project by Felippe Johann at VOGUE FABRICS, various displays at the Science Museum including Metahaven WikiLeaks scarf, Bertrand Lavier Fountain at The Serpentine, Carsten Höller: Decision at The Hayward Gallery,
Friday, 19 June 2015
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Some uncatorgrised moments from the menswear shows ................ MAN celebrating its 10th anniversary, beautiful knitwear & jacquard weave at James Long, spectrum Superstars, Yu Masui at Kit Neale, PHRH & Mr. Hat, Nina Scott at the Astrid Andersen / ASAP FERG Red Bull Catwalk Studio Party.
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Isamaya Ffrench kills it every time. One of the nicest and most talented (not to mention beautiful) artists in the industry. I always look forward to seeing what she pulls out of the (kit) bag for LCM. This season she took Agi & Sam's "Bed Time Pyjama" theme to the moon & back. I'm assuming the cosmic inspiration came from those glow in the dark stars you had on the ceiling of your bedroom as a child. The spray of constellations across the model's faces twinkled under the lights and weirdly made them look like they uniformly had grey contact lenses in - although apparently not! Being the cheeseball that I am, it made me think of that classic chirps line " Your father must have been a thief. Because he stole the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes. " So good.
Monday, 15 June 2015
For me, fashion should be fun. Especially shows. This is the one chance we have to create an experience to uplift, escape and create a magic special memory. Not only are there now double or triple the amount of "fashion weeks" per season but also the slots are are so swift that to keep up with the daily schedule is like the manic hysteria of a game of musical chairs. Run in, plump your rump on a packed pew, get subjected to a blast of moronic music and jump up quick enough to run to the next before it finishes.
In the past Ossie Clark set the precedent for a happening with dancing models in the 60's / 70's, and BodyMap brought it thru the 80's with Michael Clark and network of cosmic muses. Thank fuck there is a glimmer of that flame still flickering, burning bright against the suffocation of the straight up and down sixty second runway.
Today Charles Jeffrey gave me faith in the future of that legacy with a presentation using his own club-night as the formula. Models were cast from his Central St. Martins contemporaries, the soundtrack was the DJ spinning live at the centre of the dancefloor catwalk. The "Loverboy" collection took its name from the night which is held at Lyall Hakaria's "Vogue Fabrics" venue and the production was actually funded from the business's takings. Under his art direction the interior recreated that underground world, with the trails of bog roll that get stuck to your shoe when you leave the loo. I hope to God that actually happened when a fashion editor visited today. If there weren't a few terrified reporters I don't think Lyall would have considered that he'd done his job properly. And this is why we are London and why the Menswear week is literally called "London Collections". Props to Fashion East for using The ICA to host this kind of event with its own history of the avant-garde and risk-taking.
It seems to me that we are celebrating McQueen at the V&A with recreations of his theatrical stagings and simultaneously stamping out any platform to honour his subversive success. If only the industry could step off its whirling carousel of cramming in these superflurous seasons we might all have a chance to catch up. Take a breath. Appreciate clothes that have taken time to be made and want to invest in them as key pieces for a timeless wardrobe...................... agree? Lets shake on it and have a dance.
Just as a quick interlude to the menswear show coverage, I have to mention the are the best in contemporary portraiture and painting that I have seen for a very long time.
Wales Bonner was the show I was most looking forward to and it was indeed an absolute winner. Devised in the galleries of The ICA the choreographed presentation fitted perfectly with artifact props placed to turn the familiar rooms into a new imaginary location. The collection "Malik" has built on last season's debut at Fashion East, extending to a larger production to show more looks hinged together with her crystallised styling. On what first glass appears to be a skullcap is actually crafted more like loose jewellery for the crown with links of shells and Swarovskis. "A Prince found in cowrie skullcap and rare gemstone" explains her press release which also outlines another printed collaboration with Ditto Press & Jamie Reid. Head over to her site to see more from all of this all-encompassing and thorough vision.See last season here.
The collection may have been called "Foam Party" but the play on words in the playful set design was piles of upholstery sponge but evidence of bubbles floating around were the spherical pockets. This motif of SS16 was absolutely gorgeous in the neutral tone twill suits as worn by the designer himself on the day. My favourite thing about Alex's brand is the bold crossover into fine-art technique which is so fresh and so free. There is a sense of some other designers playing safe and sticking to reproducing easy pieces to please buyers, so it's a delight to look at these hand-painted details. Just look at this Breton knit with inked in lines - brilliant!