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Cindy Crawford Úna Burke Taylor Swift Bad Blood
Cindy Crawford wearing Úna Burke in Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ videovia

Fashion and sculpture collide at new YKK exhibition

YKK host a new show featuring work by London College of Fashion students – past and present

YKK, the company behind almost every zip, ever, has collaborated with London College of Fashion for an exhibition of clothes and accessories blurring the line between fashion and sculpture. The show features the work of six students (past and present) from Professor Dai Rees’s MA Fashion Artefact course — Ana Rajcevic, Vann In-Wai Kwok, Gabriel Camelo, Niki Ni, Oliver Ruuger and Úna Burke

Rees has worked for Alexander McQueen and has been a professor at LCF since 2007, heading up a course that he describes as “outside the current fashion framework as far as how fashion is perceived” and “for students who will be defining what the industry is and how the industry will react”. Not just a professor, he’s got his own label which launched in the 90s – in fact, his collections have been shown during London Fashion Weeks, and even displayed at the V&A and the Met in New York.

Among his former students participating in this exhibition is Úna Burke, an Irish designer whose designs have been worn by stars like RihannaLady Gaga and Cindy Crawford in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video. Burke uses vegetable tanned leather to create sculptural forms which are both gallery ready and wearable. “Human stories are at the heart of my work, whether this be on a personal basis or in a broader sense, ​relating to​ a cultural or social​ issue,” she says of her creative output. She works primarily in leather because of the material’s character – “You need to get to know its very strong nature and respect this if you want to be successful in working with it. Almost as if it has it’s very own personality, it ages beautifully as it's patina develops.”

The piece on display in YKK’s showroom was actually created by Burke when she was on Rees’ course in 2007, and its a significant work for the designer. “(It) represents a turning point when I started to carve out my place in the world,” she explains, “creating work with an honesty, depth and openness which is often lacking in the fashion world.”

The exhibition is on show at the YKK London Showroom, 154 Commercial St, Shoreditch E1 6NU until November 19th.