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Dior by John Galliano Haute Couture AW98
Dior by John Galliano Haute Couture AW98© Guy Marineau

London exhibition to celebrate ‘vulgar’ fashion

The Barbican will question the meaning of bad taste with shocking, excessive pieces from designers such as Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano and Marc Jacobs

This autumn, the Barbican is opening an exhibition that will question the very nature of bad taste. According to the gallery, The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined will be “revealing in its excesses” and “inviting the visitor to think again about exactly what makes something vulgar and why it is such a sensitive and contested term.”

The show will bring together 120 exhibits, including a Pam Hogg body stocking, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s tits top and Walter van Beirendonck’s elephant skirt outfit.

Several hats by the visionary milliner Stephen Jones will also be on display, along with some 90s haute couture by John Galliano for Christian Dior and creations by some of fashion’s most distinguished designers such as Raf Simons to Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis VuittonMarc Jacobs and Yves Saint Laurent

Curated by Judith Clark and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips, the exhibition comes at a poignant time, with brands such as Moschino which is lauded for its use of kitsch, and Vetements which opened its SS16 show with a DHL-branded t-shirt.

The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined will run at the Barbican Art Gallery from October 13th 2016 to February 5th 2017