Fashion + Art Collusion @ V&A


The V&A is giving us the opportunity to see the genius pairings of some of the most influential British artists and fashion designers in our jubilee and olympic year. As I adore both art and fashion, I just couldn’t miss this unique opportunity to see the two mediums combined.

Among the designers are Hussein Chalayan, Giles Deacon and Mary Katrantzou, with collaborations including Gavin Turk, Jeremy Deller and Cerith Wyn Evans. For the project, each designer was paired up with an artist and given free reign to come up with their own creation. Included was sculpture, video installation and neon lights. While some disappointed – I found Nicholas Kirkwood and Simon Periton’s chandelier of shoe heels and scalpels painfully reminiscent of the Louboutin show at the Design Museum – others shone. My personal favourite was Giles Deacon and Jeremy Deller’s William Morris inspired dress, interestingly, the only garment in the show. They had managed to make the arts and craft work of Morris appear as some kind of tribal costume. The stained glass print against lycra completely updates a classic piece of history for the main stage today. Another interesting collaboration was from Hussein Chalayan – one of my all time favourite fashion designers – and Gavin Turk. The pair created a video work entitled ‘Four Minute Mile’, referring to Roger Bannister’s record breaking speed. The video showcases a beat, reminiscent of the sound of running feet with vocals layed on the top – a conversation with Turk and Chalayan about identity.

This exhibition is small, but it speaks volumes. It certainly should not be missed and gives a unique look into the world or art and design. While I have only gone into detail about a few works – and truly, Matthew Williamson and Matt Collishaw created a masterpiece too – the works are all worth seeing. The show beautifully showcases Britain and the talent it has produced.

Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion is on display at V&A until 29 July

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer with a special interest in contemporary Middle Eastern Art. She has a BA in Art History and an MA in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She runs the Gallery Girl blog and also writes for After Nyne, Ibraaz and Reorient.

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