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Fashion: “REBEL”, a London exhibition celebrating thirty years of unbridled creativity

In 1993, Alexander McQueen, who had just graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins School of Art and Fashion, exhibited his collection “Taxi Driver” – the taxi driver’s father – in the salons of the Ritz Hotel. Thanks to the support of the British Fashion Council, which is equivalent to the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la mode, which launched the NewGen program (“for the new generation”) in the same year to promote young creativity, McQueen was able to show his work to the press and buyers around the world.

The story goes that after the presentation, he put his entire collection into two black garbage bags, which he placed in an alley behind a nightclub in the city, so as not to pay for the jacket, and went to a party with friends. . The bags were missing the next day; The collection was never found.

A few of the pieces — spectacular body-hugging sheer dresses in cracked leather — were nevertheless restored by her friend and early collaborator, textile illustrator Simon Ungles, for the exhibition REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion, at the Design Museum, of course. in London.

This exhibition, which will run until February 2024, tells the story, impact and legacy of the NewGen programme, which over thirty years has seen the most visible talents of the London fashion scene flourish and establish themselves on the international stage. Notable among them are Loewe artistic director Jonathan Anderson, Dior Homme and Fendi Femme artistic director Kim Jones, Grace Wells Bonner, Christopher Kane, Craig Green and Mary Katrantzou.

Extravagant works inspired by rave parties

Organized by theme, this very well thought out exhibition showcases what makes English fashion special. We dive into bright colors and floral or abstract prints mixed together – an English signature if ever there was one! –, which we find under the signature Matty Bovan, Erdem or Katrantzou. Then there is a detour to the art and fashion schools, which are very famous here for the creativity instilled in the students.

We then find ourselves in the heart of the London club, including the vibrating bass, among the must-sees of the 1990s and whose clientele’s style, largely freed from the rules, even spread to the catwalks of fashion shows. The exhibition features extravagant works by the brother, Halpern and Charles Jeffrey, inspired by the free spirit of rave parties. The final rooms faithfully recreate backstage and fashion shows, minus the craziness and noise.

This exhibition is also designed to support the next generation of talent », explains Caroline Rush, President of the British Fashion Council. While the creativity of British fashion has always been praised, the sector is in fact experiencing a severe crisis: in June, Barbara Kealy, a British Labor MP, pointed out that the number of art students in the United Kingdom had fallen. 40% since 2010.

There seems to be a strong push toward science and math and away from supporting arts education. But if we take arts education out of every educational program, it will affect society because we need these free thinkers to question every aspect of it. », analyzes Caroline Rush. A beautiful panel of these freethinkers is highlighted here.

Harry wore a latex cat suit and singer Sam Smith at the Brit Awards in February.
SS Daley Ensemble: Pants worn by Harry Styles in the music video for his song

“REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion”, until 11 February 2024 at the Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, London.

Source: Le Monde



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