In a project commissioned by the British Fashion Council and Bazaar Fashion Arts Foundation, nine pairs of top British fashion designers and contemporary artists have collaborated to synthesise art and fashion. The project pulled impressive names from both fields including Giles Deacon and Jeremy Deller, Hussein Chalayan and Gavin Turk — even more remarkable was the work the duos came up with.
Giles Deacon and Jeremy Deller’s untitled collaboration was the only actual garment in the exhibition. The pair created a full-body running suit complete with a flowing train, leather-laced staff and feathered headdress. They were inspired by the Arts and Crafts philosophy of ‘art for all’ as well as a William Morris stained glass window.
Another particularly striking piece was ‘Dissecting Waltz,’ a chandelier created by shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood and artist Simon Periton. The team to examine the notion of positive and negative space, suspending dozens of cast resin scalpels and pieces of shoes from three concentric rings. This is meant to suggest both the creating and dismembering of the shoes themselves.
Hussein Chalayan and Gavin Turk created Four Minute Mile, a song with lyrics taken from an interview between the two, pressed onto copper vinyl and shown with an companying animation of the Olympic rings seen from the point of view of a runner on a track, or a needle in the groove of a record.
Other teams in the show included Stephen Jones and Cerith Wyn Evans, Mary Katrantzou and Mark Titchner, Peter Pilotto and Christoper de Vos and Francis Upritchard, Jonathan Saunders and Jess Flood-Paddock, Paul Smith and Charming Baker, and Matthew Williamson and Mat Collishaw.
Curator Susanna Greeves described the challenges of pairing up internationally established artists. "In some cases, the collaborations came from preexisting relationships,” she said, “but in others we were really trying to engineer a relationship that you need for collaboration with all that that implies in terms of trust and communication and letting go of some artistic control."
See Britian Creates 2012 at the V&A until July 29