The City Reliquary Museum is a non-profit community museum that tells the history of NYC and its inhabitants through their permanent collection of small objects and ephemera as well as a community collections cabinet in which selected individuals have the opportunity to curate a small exhibition on objects they collect. Past exhibits have varied from an assortment of rock collections, ceramic unicorns, and bones to representations of the Virgin Mary, Coca-Cola products, and vintage roller skates. As a volunteer, I had the chance to be a cabinet curator, choosing a collection inspired by an article about the re-opening of NYC’s Rainbow Room in 2014. During a renovation of the iconic rotating dance floor, confetti from the 1940s was reportedly found. Since reading that article, my collection now includes turn of the century illustrations and postcards of confetti and vintage confetti & confetti branded items from the 1920s to the 1990s.
Category: Interviews Page 1 of 4
Freelance fashion researcher Renee van der Hoek, MA Fashion Curation Alumni, talks about her experience working on the fashion exhibition the State of Fashion 2018.
This year marks my 5th year as a freelance fashion researcher and early career curator since graduating with distinction from MA Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion in 2013, a course that provided me with skills and laid the foundation for my current practice.
Since then I’ve had the opportunity to write for independent fashion magazines such as Press & Fold and Monument, whilst also working as fashion researcher on several exhibitions here in the Netherlands. The last major exhibition I worked on and still continue to work for the platform itself is State of Fashion. This time last year I got the opportunity to work as the assistant curator at State of Fashion alongside curator José Teunissen (besides her work as an independent fashion curator she’s the Dean of the School of Design and Technology at London College of Fashion (UAL) and Professor of Fashion Theory).
State of Fashion
To briefly introduce State of Fashion, it’s the successor of the critically acclaimed Arnhem Mode Biennale (2005-2013) and was created to perpetuate its international reputation. State of Fashion is a platform that literally investigates the ‘state of fashion’ and addresses current topics that must be on the agenda of designers and companies, as well as NGOs, researchers, educational institutions and governments. State of Fashion serves as a ‘safe space for dangerous ideas’. We want to inspire, unleash discussions and provide a stage for the disrupters and changemakers within the industry and beyond. Together we focus on the power of collaboration to create a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive industry.
The first edition of State of Fashion, dubbed searching for the new luxury, took place from June 1st until July 22nd. For the exhibition narrative José Teunissen started a quest for a sustainable future for the fashion industry. When I joined the team José had formed the framework of the exhibition, dividing it into 5 themes: New Imaginations, The Product and the Maker in the Spotlight, New business Models, Fashion Design for a Better World and Interdisciplinary Approaches. At that time the actual objects to illustrate the narrative had yet to be chosen. I had the opportunity to closely work together with José on the realisation of the exhibition. This process was a significant learning experience for me as I felt José and the team trusted me and gave me every opportunity to contribute and leave my mark. All the hard work resulted in an exhibition in which we displayed the work of around 50 designers, brands, projects, and initiatives. All focused on possible solutions to change the industry for the better, from innovative materials, transparent business models to designers shaking up the system. Working on this exhibition also changed my own patterns as a consumer as I can honestly say I’m brainwashed by all the facts I’ve learned when researching for and writing the exhibition texts and catalogue
Since the exhibition in Arnhem closed we have had the opportunity to go on ‘tour’ to continue the search for the new luxury by organising events and talks, our so-called ‘Whataboutery’. This series of talks aims to open up the conversation on the challenges that are part of producing sustainable and honest fashion as every potential solution raises new questions: ‘but what about…?’.
So what’s next? At State of Fashion we continue to spread our message and including audiences by organising or participating in talks, events and other exciting opportunities. Please visit Stateoffashion.org to see what we’re doing next or read our digital catalogue of the exhibition in Arnhem here.
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Video interview with Jenna Rossi-Camus
By: Annabel Hoyng – van der Meijden, MA Fashion Curation
16 April 2018
How do you create a fashion exhibition with t-shirts? For curator Jenna Rossi-Camus, it’s all about 21st century style curating: “The keyword is conversation”. Watch the video to find out more.
London’s Fashion and Textile Museum’s current exhibition T-SHIRT: CULT – CULTURE – SUBVERSION tells the story of the most affordable and popular item of clothing on the planet. The exhibition looks at how t-shirts are both personal and universal communicators.
T-SHIRT: CULT – CULTURE – SUBVERSION: from 9 February 2018 – 6 May 2018. For more information see the website of the Fashion and Textile Museum.
Click for a profile of Jenna Rossi Camus
Read more about Jenna’s research
One of the most rewarding elements of studying at LCF is being able to communicate a shared passion for curation both within and outside the University. Lecturers on the MA Fashion Curation course invite students to flex their curatorial muscle outside of tutor-led assignments, offering valuable real-world experience and a chance to put ideas into practice.
In December, several of us were invited to install Birdsong London’s festive pop-up shop in Hoxton. Established in 2014, Birdsong is a female-run fashion brand that works with local women’s groups to offer migrant and refugee women an opportunity to receive a living wage for their work. Their mantra is to connect women from worker to wearer, ensuring everyone is offered a fairer deal in the process. Their brief to CfFC was to curate a space that would complement Birdsong’s clothes and accessories with a dash of festive flair; transforming a stark white room into an inviting retail space. Together, we decided on a Primavera-inspired scene and set out to create a sumptuous, scented banquet scene to last for the five days the shop would be open.
Matthew Whaley and I were handed the task of sourcing flowers, foliage and fruit to conjure a table-top feast, worthy of Sandro Botticelli himself – for £40. With the need to maximize our budget we bought winter fruits in bulk from a local grocer and opted for long-lasting eucalyptus branches to fill the room with a rich, woody scent. We arranged our finds Renaissance-style, amidst silver chargers and goblets sourced from local charity shops and finished the arrangement with candles to complete the decadent mood. Annabel Hoyng focused on merchandising Birdsong’s eclectic range of stock: everything from the softest hand-knitted sweaters to Frida Kahlo bodysuits and painted denim from local artists.
Whether you are just starting out in a career in curation, or working in a museum, tight budgets are, and will continue to be, an undeniable reality. It is the way we handle these challenges with innovative and inspiring solutions that will stand us apart from our peers. Important too is understanding what feels right for the brand or institution you are working with. Everything we sourced for Birdsong was from Hoxton’s charity shops, florists and grocers; further supporting one of the communities in which they work.
Would I do it again? Absolutely! Treat every opportunity as a chance to show what you can do, rather than a drain on your time, and your postgraduate experience will be more rewarding than you ever thought possible.
MA Fashion Curation 2017/2018
By NJ Stevenson, practice-led PhD student.
“This autumn, CfFC hosted an event in response to a conversation that I had had with Amy de la Haye, my PhD supervisor, earlier in 2017 about engagement with practice. As a practice-led PhD student, you run the risk of becoming buried in lone doctoral research. After three years of researching the development of an exhibition on the intersection between fashion and film costume between 1967 and 1975, we felt that my project would benefit from presenting my progress to a live audience. I invited practitioners who have been instrumental in helping me with my research to be a part of a panel discussion exploring ideas and implications for the realisation of an exhibition. I called the event ‘Rags to Riches’.
Maxime Laprade graduated from the MA Fashion Curation course at London College of Fashion in 2016. In his post he tells us of his current internship in a design company in Capetown, South Africa.
I was offered an internship project manager role at Formula D Interactive, a design company based in Cape Town, South Africa that specialises in interactive exhibits for museums. A month in to the job, I’m going to tell you how it’s going. But first, let’s go back to why this internship was a fantastic opportunity for me.
I moved from France to study the MA Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion in September 2015. With a background in art and fashion history, I took an incredible journey during my time on the course. I experienced new practices, broadened my interests and challenged my knowledge. I became interested in social media and digital practices, fascinated by the limitless possibilities they offer. I researched how visitors could play a bigger role in exhibitions, using interaction and participation. It’s become an obsession.