Club to Catwalk Exhibition
London’s Victoria and Albert Museum are currently holding ‘Club to Catwalk’ – an exhibition that explores the creative explosion of the London fashion scene in the 1980s.
The exhibition looks at how the impact of underground club culture was felt far beyond the club doors, reinventing fashion worldwide. Club kids became fashion rebels, with venues like Taboo and Blitz their meeting ground, not only to dance but to show off their latest creations.
Leigh Bowery became the ringmaster of the carnival-esque nightspot Taboo, so-called because “there is nothing you can’t do there”, where parodying the norms of everyday life and ‘fashion’ was encouraged. Clothes designed and worn by Bowery are on display alongside fetish wear by Pam Hogg and Vivienne Westwood.
The exhibit will showcase more than ninety looks by different designers, together with accessories by Stephen Jones and Patrick Cox, among others.
The ground floor of the exhibit focuses on the young fashion designers who found themselves on the world stage for creating bold, exciting looks. The mezzanine gallery concentrates on club wear, grouping garments by tribes such as Fetish, Goth, Rave, High Camp and New Romantics. This includes clothes of the type worn by Boy George and Adam Ant, as well as the more extreme designs worn by Bowery.
A highlight of the exhibition is a small club-like area within the space that streams music and film footage of clubs from the 1980s, all compiled by DJ Jeffrey Hinton.
The exhibition is a great retrospective of the decade that is remembered fondly for its fun, colourful and at times silly looks but whose fashion influences always seem to be being referenced in menswear today.
Entrance costs £5 and the exhibition runs until February 16th 2014. For more information head over to the Victoria and Albert Museum website.