Monday, October 05, 2009

SHOWstudio Fashion Revolution

Show Studio Fashion revolution article

As Fashion Week and the Design Festival hit London, so did the opening of SHOWStudio Fashion Revolution. As well as providing the new base for London Fashion Week, Somerset House is also the venue for the temporary exhibition.

SHOWStudio is a website and blog platform established by fashion photographer Nick Knight that aims to ‘demystify the creative process’ ( Opening the virtual doors to The Studio, a mostly hidden world, provides an insight into concept developments, mistakes and inspiring moments that precede the ubiquitous polished fashion image.

The diversity of projects documented within the unique SHOWstudio frame are regularly uploaded by an industry network of contributors and collaborators. Viewers are able to voice their opinions and interact with the website content, blurring the divide between ‘viewer’ and ‘artist’. One feature of the exhibition that demonstrates this concept is Design_Download. Paper patterns for garments designed by Martin Margiela, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, to name a few, are available to download and viewers are encouraged to incorporate their own unique creativity as they construct the garment. When complete, the interpretation is photographed and uploaded onto The beauty of this concept lies in the fascinating results. Unfortunately sometimes within the mainstream fashion industry ideas of unique interpretation and diversity are replaced with repetitive garment shapes. However, this process communicates the multitude of possibilities that stem from a single pattern when you encourage creativity and participation.

The three main areas of the exhibition are Process, Performance and Participation. As well as including the work of well known designers and fashion in a familiar catwalk or studio setting, the exhibition successfully questions how we see Fashion. It opens our eyes to the importance of movement, body, life, art, music, colour, film and photography. They weave together and pull apart to stimulate ideas and challenge opinions.

As I left the exhibition I felt forced to redefine my view of ‘Fashion’ - an appropriate question in uncertain times of necessary change. SHOWstudio Fashion Revolution displays our time of Fashion transformation, for which the internet will continue to provide an essential platform. Interaction and communication are also vital elements that have the ability to involve and sustain the artist/viewer.

To look beyond the final product and styled image, to question the process, to ask ‘how did it get here? ’ is not exclusive to the core of SHOWstudio. The future of the fashion industry requires all involved within it to ask questions, to redefine, challenge and doubt what we already have. To look behind the scenes, to realise our clothes are part of a much larger ‘fashion’ chain of actions and events. Challenging such actions and looking beyond what we see, remains a key element to sustaining our industry.

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