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Requiem: Material/Memory

Torn. Moth-eaten. Tarnished. Degraded. Discarded. From the infinite potential of a pair of unworn shoes to a tweed jacket crumbling from years of use, our clothing resonates with memories of our lives. Displaying garments from The Contemporary Wardrobe Collection spanning the last two centuries, Requiem: Material/Memory explores the intimacies and contradictions of memory as embedded in fabric.

Close up of brown woollen clothing unravelling

Requiem: Material/Memory

Presented by curator and archivist, MA Fashion Curation alumni Cyana Madsen with support from The Horse Hospital, Requiem: Material/Memory features works by artist and material culture researcher Ellen Sampson and sound designer and composer Jonah Falco.

The exhibition is at Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury London, WC1N 1JD

Saturday 4 May – Saturday 25 May

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Pink – exhibition review

Pink: the History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color explores the colour pink and its multitude shades and cultural meanings. Organized by Dr Valerie Steele, Director, The Museum at FIT, Pink interrogates the history, materiality and cultural meanings of a colour that, as the exhibition guide points out, ‘provokes exceptionally strong feelings of both attraction and repulsion.’

Pink. Installation view. Image © Jeffrey Horsley courtesy The Museum at FIT

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Eckhaus Latta: Possessed

Eckhaus Latta was established in 2011 by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta is a US-based bi-coastal, collaborative creative practice. Eckhaus Latta: Possessed is the duo’s exhibition and first solo venture, debuting at the Whitney Museum of American Art in August 2018.

Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta met as students at Rhode Island School of Design. They set up Eckhaus Latta in 2011 and the brand, based in Los Angeles and New York and known for collaborations with artists, musicians and designers, reflects an increasing trend for practices that operate between the worlds of fashion and art.

Four colour projections displayed in Eckhaus LattaL Posessed exhibition space leaning against the wall containing a photograph close up of a women's face, a full length shot of a woman, a torso and head shot of a women and a foot in a sock standing on a ball.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed. View of installation. Image © Jeff Horsley

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Footnotes – Sutton House, 9 May 2018

The installation of Footnotes, an exhibition of artist responses to the LCF’s historic shoe archive, took place last week for the exhibition at the National Trust’s Sutton House in Hackney. Shoes from LCF’s diverse collection which includes 1930s orthopaedic footwear, silk slippers from the 1800s and even a shoe made for a sheep, are for the first time on display with Artists Eelko Moorer, Ellen Sampson, Linda Brothwell and Laila Diallo all producing new works inspired by the shoes’ remarkable histories.  New interpretations are revealed in five categories: Scale, Balance, Fragility, Singled Out and Common/Uncommon that employ film, dance and virtual reality in their telling.  The exhibition, which was funded by the Arts Council and supported by Kurt Geiger, is accompanied by a programme of talks and performances running 9 May – summer 2018.

CfFC’s Alison Moloney, curator of the exhibition and research fellow at LCF said:

London College of Fashion’s shoe archive has been compiled to inspire and instruct students in the making and designing of shoes. As objects, the shoes have so many interpretive possibilities for artists because the provenance of each one is unknown. Sutton House provides the perfect backdrop to Footnotes because of its own extensive history. Through this exhibition and accompanying programme of workshops and talks, we want to immerse people in the history of the everyday and in shoes as ways to reanimate the past and access personal and shared cultural memories among the audience.

 

Footnotes  9 May – Summer 2018.

Norell: Dean of American Fashion

By MA Fashion Curation Alumni Susanna Shubin.

The Norman Norell exhibition at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology is a long overdue tribute to the great designer, known as the first American couturier. Sadly, Norell suffered a stroke the night before the Met was to open a one day retrospective in his honor in 1972. He died 10 days later. Fast forward almost fifty years and you have what is possibly a more extensive, comprehensive representation of his work, thanks due largely to the collection of collector and fashion designer Kenneth Pool.

Read Susanna’s full review

Central Stage. Assorted wool and sequin evening ensembles and sequined “Mermaid” gowns ‐ 1965‐1972. Norell Dean of American Fashion. FIT NYC, March 2018

 

Off‐white evening gown with red bolero jacket and peacock blue sash. 1968. Norell Dean of American Fashion. FIT NYC, March 2018

 


Heather oatmeal shirtwaist dress with white scarf and belt, 1971, Wool. Norell Dean of American Fashion. FIT NYC, March 2018

Central Stage. Norell: Dean of American Fashion. FIT, NYC, March 2018.

 

Black and brown evening dress circa 1961. Lace and ostrich feathers. FIT Norell Dean of American Fashion. FIT NYC March 2018.

 

Conversations

The new installation of the galleries comes from an invitation from the Cristobal Balenciaga Museum to respond to the new curatorial route through the archive. The exhibition Cristobal Balenciaga Fashion and Heritage collects together moments in the history of the houses Balenciaga established in Spain and in Paris, and each chapter illuminates different modes of display: the aesthetics and romance of the archive, of conservation, of performed museologies that evolve and revolve around these monuments of dress history. The exhibition format allows us to build up associations and conversations across collections, each adding a new perspective. My own conversations and installation pays homage to the new routes through the archive in the way that a new visitor might, finding one’s own associations to the material. The design therefore quotes remembered past exhibitions that have paid homage to Balenciaga bringing another kind of reference to the project. We see the work through the eyes, for example, of Diana Vreeland, Marie- Andrée Jouve, Pamela Golbin, Kaat Debo, Miren Arzullaz, Hamish Bowles or Olivier Saillard, among the many curators,  researchers and fashion historians who have sought new approaches to Balenciaga’s legacy, that are shown along the route as props. The architecture is temporary against the fixed vitrines of the museum: the tension between fashion and heritage underlining the questions the exhibition itself raises.

Judith Clark, March 2018

Fig 1: Left, The Salon, Gesmonite. Right, Rebuilding Janine Janet’s Balenciaga window of avenue George V in Paris, 1956.

Fig 2: Left, How might we acknowledge an exhibition as a prop to a new one? A homage to Olivier Saillard. Right, Film Stills from the salon.

Fig. 3: Left, Hamish Bowles’s exhibition Balenciaga and Spain looked at his roots in traditional dress. His chapter on Dance is populated with images of the models in the salon wearing white gloves. Right, Naomi Filmer’s gesmonite gestures.

 

Fig 4 The map of Clark’s research inserted into the museum leaflet. Charlie Smith Design.

 

 

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