Designers: Una Burke, Sarah Williams, Larra Torres, Oliver Ruuger, Wei Wang, Ana Rajcevic, Taeseok Kang, Octavia Xiaozi Yang, Melissanthi Spei, Mirja Pitkaart, Begum Yidirim, Daniel Ramos Obregon, Kate Langish Smith, Vann in Wai Kwok, Maria Sokolyanskaya, Sage Townsend, Biyuan Zhang, Jo Cope, Gabriel Camilo Ramirez, Bei Zhang, Dai Rees, Naomi Filmer, Eelko Moorer
Curated by Dai Rees
Why What Who was an exhibition of works from selected alumni and staff organised by London College of Fashion and was curated by course leader Dai Rees celebrating ten years of UAL’s MA Fashion Artefact course.
The project stemmed from the fact that, since the late 1970s, it has been not just artists but also the fashion avant-garde who explore fashion in relation to the body.
The project presented fashion as an influential form of expression in contemporary culture and explored how it can be viewed as a post-modern metaphor for what occurs in today’s society. Featuring work from 21 alumni and 3 members of the course team, the exhibition showcased 4 key areas of research and studio methodologies: heritage and craftsmanship, performative body and prosthetics, product and manufacture and artefact as a political voice.
For anyone who lived through the 1990s, there is something here wonderfully reminiscent of the disruptive performative spirit of the late Leigh Bowery. Although the body of work is diverse – from Mirja Pitkäärt’s smooth-as-pebbles leather accessories to Sarah Williams’s surreal leather luggage and Una Burke’s extraordinary sculptural kneeling figure – every piece is sublimely crafted. It’s no wonder many of the students were immediately snapped up post-course by luxury fashion houses such as LVMH.