Old fashion and new meanings come together in an exhibition from London College of Fashion’s fashion curation students
Fifty years ago Carnaby Street was the erstwhile meeting place of swinging London and the home of British fashion. Paying tribute to its history, 15 students from the MA Fashion Curation course at LCF have put on a display with archive pieces from designers like Mary Quant, who used to sell her wares only a stone’s throw away. Running a week from today, re:address is dedicated to British vintage and explores its trajectory from post-war fashions to today.
I think contemporary curation is most exciting when it moves beyond the museum, exploring other media such as music or performance
The exhibition is not solely a rehash of old British fashion favourites. Interviews with pundits from London’s scene including Lady Kamikaze and Arckiv add to the ongoing discourse of our relationship with objects and the past. Has vintage fashion been so wildly removed from principles of anti-consumerism, with its power – though occasionally imaginary – to lend a hip factor today? Will the pieces in our wardrobes now tell a story of our time? Dazed get into the minds of two students to get a sense of the kind of conversations we’ll be having in the near future.
Dazed Digital: What role did you play for re:address?
Daniel Caulfield-Sriklad: I’ve been involved with the visual identity, which includes executing promotional material and making sure the exhibition has a clear and unified aesthetic throughout.
DD: Curation is a popular term today. Can you clarify what it means to you?
Daniel Caulfield-Sriklad: Anyone can curate anything nowadays; it has definitely travelled beyond the traditional museum setting. I’m in two minds about this. I think contemporary curation is most exciting when it moves beyond the museum, exploring other media such as music or performance. However, can anyone then call himself a curator? I was attracted to this profession because I wanted to create inspiration. It’s the words: ‘ideas’, ‘create’ and ‘inspire’ that embody curation.
DD: What is your dream exhibition to curate, no holds barred?
Daniel Caulfield-Sriklad: What’s interesting is the debate of how do you represent the body within the museum without the living body itself, so I’d like to dedicate a show to the museum mannequin (or lack of). How other curators have displayed dress over time, from the traditional glass-cased and full-featured mannequins to cut-out displays where dress appears to be floating, to the mannequins of the recent Jean Paul-Gautier retrospective where animated faces were projected onto the mannequin. I’m also interested in displaying dress through performance.
DD: What’s next?
Daniel Caulfield-Sriklad: I’ll be taking my ideas around the interaction of the body, movement and fashion further in my final project for the MA.
DD: What role did you play for re:address?
Jennifer Munday: Project Manager; overseeing the exhibition and mediating between the teams.
DD: What inspired the subject of vintage Britain? Why is this relevant?
Jennifer Munday: It started out with the idea of lost and found objects, which led us to the topic of second-hand and vintage clothing, their past lives with previous owners and the new identities that we create for them. British people’s relationship with vintage has such a strong influence on our style today.
DD: What is your dream exhibition to curate?
Jennifer Munday: Austerity Fashion and how WWII affected what people wore, including everyday clothing and uniforms. It would look into 'Make do and Mend' with a strong focus on peoples’ experiences and also link in with our current age of austerity.
DD: What’s next?
Jennifer Munday: I would like the experience of working in a museum.
re:address, Unit 1.4 Kingly Court, 22-27 March 2012
Photos by Jinyoung Bae (Private View photo Courtesy of Olha Pryymak)