at Bradford's National Museum of Photography, Film and Television,
gives visitors the chance to explore the relationship between art
and fashion through the work of many world-famous designers, artists
Top designer Alexander McQueen has lent some of his recent fashion
creations to the show along with other famous designers like Viktor
& Rolf and Hussein Chalayan. Several artists including Benoit
Meleard and Turner Prize-nominated Yinka Shonibare will have their
work on view to the public and well-established photographers Steven
Meisel (for Versace) and Terry Richardson (for Sisley) showcase
their fashion photography.
Beecroft, Twins 5, Vogue Italia, October 2003
photographers have a key-role in the relationship between fashion
and art according to exhibition co-curator Lars Nittve: "At
the centre of this zone of mutual, if not symmetrical, fascination
we find fashion photographers. Some have come from the art world,
others see the fashion world as their base, but their images work
fantastically, albeit in a distinctly different way."
He says the borderline between art and fashion today has become
blurred: "Many of the more notable fashion designers of our
time produce collections and shows which, if they were exhibited
in an art gallery or museum, would automatically be assimilated
himself is one of the founding fathers of Fashination. He says the
idea was conceived in 1995 when an exhibition he worked on made
a "tentative examination of the borderland between art and
design." An early form of the show came in 2001 with a Steven
Meisel exhibition in London which transferred Meisel's features
of Versace from the pages of Vogue magazine to the walls of White
Cube art gallery in London.
says Fashination is not a statement about how art became fashion
or vice-versa; instead he argues the show merely "poses questions
that will probably lead to more questions, and to a few breathtaking,
The artists were all specially chosen for the Fashination show because
they are "cutting edge" says co-curator Magnus af Petersens:
"We chose artists with an expressed interest in fashion and
the fashion system - not just artists who made clothes or textile
works. Most of the works had appeared or been commissioned for a
fashion context. The same goes for photographers.
& Rolf, Bluescreen Collection, Autumn/Winter 2002-03
chose fashion designers who are cutting edge, avant-garde, challenging
the rules of the fashion system, but who are also part of that system.
Designers who are taken seriously in fashion and not only operating
completely from the outside, or as artists."
says the reaction in his native Sweden has been diverse: "The
audience were very enthusiastic. The international press was very
positive, but the Stockholm press was mixed. Some critics accused
it of being superficial, which is a traditional reflex reaction
from many in the art world towards fashion.
"I am not sure how it will be received in Bradford. In general,
I think the British audience has seen more exhibitions investigating
the borderland between art and fashion and they may have a better
possibility of comparing and seeing how ours is different."
You can see Fashination at the National Museum of Photography, Film
and Television in Bradford from 10th June to 18th September 2005.