Mad About The Boy @ Fashion Space Gallery

Not many reviewers can say that they have been inside the personal home of the set designer of the exhibition that they have just visited. Moreover, there will not be many who have more praise to heap on the set designer than the curator. However, the incumbent Mad About The Boy exhibition at Fashion Space Gallery is different on many levels, and provides a unique and immersive experience for the viewer.

It is a little unorthodox to begin a piece by first talking about the show space than the work on display inside. However, it is the very environment that Mad About The Boy is presented in, that will have you remembering the show. The Fashion Space Gallery has clothes and miscellaneous objects hanging from the ceilings, there are fairy lights, neon lights and toilets on display, as well as skeletons clad in clothes, films and audio recordings. There are paper planes falling from the ceiling as well as tents that have been pitched up on the gallery floor. Last Summer I modelled in a dolls house themed fashion shoot in Hornecker’s home, and I can tell you, his personal dwelling is just as visually stimulating.

The exhibition, which has been curated by SHOWstudio editor Lou Stoppard, has been staged in an effort to examine fashion’s fascination and fetishisation of youth.

Two designers, who have had a big influence on the display are the duo behind the now defunct Meadham Kirchhoff label, Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff. The label was famed for bright colours and androgynous models. In fact it was Benjamin Kirchhoff who directed Stoppard to Hornecker. This resulted in a recreation of Meadham Kirchhoff’s return to the runway in 2012 after a six year hiatus – a theatrical and euphoric mess of disney print meshed with glamour.

The show moves thematically. There is no wall text, however there are paper information cards for viewers to take and collect into their own booklet. With emphasis on the teenage boy, the display explores the outsider, the rebel, the fan, the boy as a sexual being and gender fluidity. While fashion is obviously a big part of the exhibition, it is the ideals of the boy that are at the core of the show.

Amongst the plethora of items on display, are pieces from the likes of Gosha Rubchinskiy, J.W. Anderson, Nasir Mazhar and Raf Simons. Images taken by Alasdair McLellan and Nick Knight are also on show amongst tear sheets from AnOther Man, Arena Homme + and Dazed & Confused.

The exhibition, which fittingly opened on the first day of London Collections: Men, is a feast for the eyes and a flashback to a candy-hazed teenage youth, definitely not to be missed.

Mad About The Boy is on display at Fashion Space Gallery until 2 April

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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 has written for After Nyne, Arteviste, Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, ReOrient and Suitcase Magazine. Lizzy is also curator of Arab Women Artists Now - AWAN 2018 (London).

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