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THE CIRCLE exhibition
THE CIRCLE exhibition© Paulina Otylie Surys

An exhibition of Margiela and McQueen is coming to London

Hackney’s Live Archives present THE CIRCLE, a new show exploring the notion of glamour

What is glamour? This is a question posed by Hackney’s Live Archives’ upcoming exhibition THE CIRCLE.

Bringing together work from designers including Alexander McQueen, Ann Demeulemeester, Dior Homme, Lanvin, Maison Martin Margiela, Rick Owens and Vivienne Westwood, the concept for the show was inspired by “A Note on Glamour”, a 2007 essay written by Elizabeth Wilson, a visiting professor of cultural studies at the London College of Fashion. In the text, Wilson suggests an alternative notion of glamour to that modelled by modern-day celebrities. “Glamour is primarily an attribute of an individual,” she writes. “It is an appearance, including the supernatural, magical sense of that word – as in apparition.”

“The appearance of glamour resides, though, or is created in combination with dress, hair, scent, and even mise en scene,” she continues. “Its end result is the sheen, the mask of perfection, the untouchability and numinous power of the icon.” It is, as she says elsewhere in the text, in “dazzling or blinding the spectator”. 

And if anything is going to “dazzle” the spectator, it’s probably going to be one of the above-mentioned designers – a group which represents some of the most influential voices in contemporary fashion. A selection of their garments will be put on display, curated by Jeffrey Horsley, who’s already responsible for exhibitions on Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto (which was also staged at Live Archives).

THE CIRCLE will be open to the public November 27–December 5, 2015 at Live Archives, 81 Mare Street, London E8 4RG.

Head here for tickets.