• Out and About: The Politics of Fashion/Fashion of Politics Opening

    On a warm night in September, I had the awesome privilege of standing a foot away from two incredible Alexander McQueen dresses. I can now cross that off my list of shit to do before I die.

    There was a moment when it didn’t look like it was going to happen, a mix-up at the door meant my partner and I weren’t on the list to get in. A brief moment of panic turned to victory as the issue was resolved and we sauntered into the Design Exchange. The evening was a celebration of the new exhibition “ Politics of Fashion | Fashion of Politics ”, curated by Jeanne Beker (her debut!) with art direction from Jeremy Laing.

    Drinks were flowing and the most heavenly pumpkin spice mousse was being passed around as we watched “Proud To Protest”, a video installation that Gareth Pugh and Nick Knight had created with Amnesty International in response to the prejudice towards the LGBT community in Russia. It features members of the international fashion community wearing balaclavas and ripping them off in one minute video clips that you can watch here .

    After we heard from Jeanne Beker and the exhibition was unveiled, guests ran upstairs to get a gander at the show and it did not disappoint. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who can visit it during the run (it closes January 25, 2015) but we saw politically charged work from Stella McCartney, Jeremy Scott, Vivienne Westwood, Commes des Garcons and more more more.

    As a fat chick and a fashion designer in the early stages of my career (and since we’re talking about protest), I’m not going to say that I completely stand behind this industry. There are many problems with fashion and there is a lot to be angry about: lack of diversity in models, sexism, garment production, fat shaming, and environmental concerns to name just a few. Still though, there is inspiration in the activism featured in this thought-provoking exhibit and I’d recommend it to anyone with $20 and some spare time on an autumn afternoon.


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