Say it with a T-SHIRT

WHATEVER your gender or age, the chances are you've probably owned a T-shirt at some point in your life. T-SHIRT - Cult, Culture and Subversion is an exhibition looking at the history of this understated garment and how its used for personal expression.

Looking at a extensive collection of t-shirt designs, the exhibition explores how they are used as a communicative tool covering topics such as protest, propaganda, gender, sexuality, ethics, music, art, fashion and branding. There is a look  into the garments history and the different techniques used to create them, before  thinking about the  future of fashion and how the concept of the t-shirt is evolving.

T-SHIRT: Cult, Culture and Subversion is a thought provoking exhibition that makes you think about how people want to be perceived and how t-shirts can help express that . L


T-SHIRT runs at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London until the 6th May 2018. Check out the website for more information here.

The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined

"Showing off" Period Dress  Image Source:   
  
 
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  londonist.com

"Showing off" Period Dress
Image Source: londonist.com

FASHION is all a 'matter of taste' but where's the line between good and bad? The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined is an exhibition that explores that idea. Showcasing works from some of the most iconic fashion designers in the world, the exhibition looks at how the boundaries and limits of taste are pushed to create ground breaking designs.

The exhibition is split up into sections each exploring different themes that could be applied to the term 'Vulgar'. Here's a few ideas that got me thinking;

LEFT: "Exposed Bodies" Designs by Vivienne Westwood and Rudi Gernreich  Image source:   
  
 
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  www.smudgetikka.com RIGHT: "Classic Copies" Yves Saint Laurent dresses inspired by Mondrian Image source:   
  
 
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  www.michaelbarnaartvanbergen.com   
  
 
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LEFT: "Exposed Bodies" Designs by Vivienne Westwood and Rudi Gernreich
Image source: www.smudgetikka.com
RIGHT: "Classic Copies" Yves Saint Laurent dresses inspired by Mondrian
Image source: www.michaelbarnaartvanbergen.com

Showing off
Too big, too much, too extravagant, these were all themes explored. The collection included period dresses which were padded to extremes and flamboyant outfits from designers such as Christian Lacroix and Alexandra McQueen.

Exposed Bodies
Showing too much can be considered 'Vulgar'. The fashion on display in this area pushed the boundaries of nudity and the naked body.

"Common" Food packaging dresses by Jeremy Scott for Moschino  Image Credit: Moschino

"Common" Food packaging dresses by Jeremy Scott for Moschino
Image Credit: Moschino

Classic Copies
Exploring the idea of plagiarism, this area included designs heavily influenced by other creatives work and 'Catwalk Copies' from high street shops.

Common
If something is widely available then it could be classed as 'common' or 'Vulgar'. Looking at designers such as Jeremy Scott, who turn 'common' items, such as food packaging into couture designs.

In Summary...
Overall I though the collection was cleverly put together and explored some really interesting ideas. It's a playful exhibition and some of the outfits on display are surprisingly shocking. From a design point of view it's great. Pushing boundaries is a fun idea for a designer and 'Taste" is a very subjective topic, after all good design is a matter of taste! L

The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined has now finished showing at the Barbican, London but will tour will tour to Winterpalais, Vienna from 3 March to 25 June 2017. If you would like to find out more then click here. 

CHANEL Mademoiselle Privé

My favourite part of the exhibition was the vitual tour through Coco Chanel's French couture house.

My favourite part of the exhibition was the vitual tour through Coco Chanel's French couture house.

ANYONE who knows me knows I love fashion. So last year when I heard about the CHANEL Mademoiselle Privé exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea I had to go and visit.

Coco Chanel was a strong, influential woman. Some of her signature designs included tailoring, the 'little black dress' and the iconic quilted handbags. Today Chanel's designs are lead by creative director Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel represents luxury, elegance and celebration of the female form.

On entering the exhibition visitors were encouraged to download the exhibitions app using the galleries wifi. Visitors were lead through a virtual tour of Chanel's couture house where beautiful illustrations were brought to life through the app. I think what struck me most about this digital approach to an exhibition is that it showed how the brand is really thinking of how it can move its traditional image into the digital age.

The CHANEL No5 room

The CHANEL No5 room

The rest of the exhibition was a real multi-dimensional experience. There was a room set up like the atelier where visitors could walk through a maze of fabrics draped from the ceiling, touching the different textures whilst gaining a sense of the artisan work room environment. Another room was set up as futuristic fragrance lab, where visitors could discover the individual scents that make up the brands signature fragrance Chanel No5. An indoor garden based on the gardens at Coco Chanel's home took up a double story space filling the room with beautiful geometric designs (and a lovely aroma).

Upstairs there was a room filled with beautiful couture dresses lit from inside so you really could appreciate the detailing of each garment. An area of the exhibition was dedicated to the famous Chanel costume jewellery and diamond room where you could see the jewellery that many stars have modelled on the red carpet.

In one room there was a short film which showed a sketch between Karl Lagerfeld and Coco Chanel (portrayed by an actress). The story behind it was that the ghost of Coco was looking at what Karl had done since he'd taken over, with him explaining some of his designs. It was done in a very humorous way but it did underline the message of how his vision has been built on Chanel's original designs and values.

Overall I was really surprised by the exhibition, I went there with no great expectations other than to admire some of Chanel's couture garments up close. However, I went away with a real feel for Chanel's heritage and the direction they're moving in. It was nice to see such an iconic brand move away from the traditional exhibition and try something more digital and interactive to capture the creativity of the subject .

For now the free tote might be closest I'll get to owning a Chanel handbag but I've come away really thinking about how the fashion industry is moving forward and embracing modern technology. Moving digital doesn't mean loosing the traditional values of a brand, in fact it can really enhance the overall message. L

Peaceful indoor geometric garden, with real scented hedges... It smelt amazing!

Peaceful indoor geometric garden, with real scented hedges... It smelt amazing!

Diamonds

Diamonds

Fashion passes, style remains.
— Coco Chanel

Some of my favourite couture dresses from the exhibition. The dresses were lit internally which showed the tiniest detailing.