Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980's, the V&A Museums latest fashion exhibition - Smudgetikka
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Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980’s, the V&A Museums latest fashion exhibition

Opening on the 10th July,  Club to Catwalk provides a companion exhibition to the huge ‘David Bowie is’ showing how the influence of the individualistic club scene that grew up in the wake of Ziggy Stardust and punk, influenced mainstream fashion the world over with London as its focus and generator.

The ground floor focuses on the work of the main fashion designers of the time while upstairs on the mezzanine the club scene and its costumes are represented. There is also a dark recreated club area with a cool neon Blitz sign outside representing the clubs originated by Steve Strange and other names of the era with video film inserts by Jeffery Hinton.

For anyone who missed out on the 80’s scene it will be a must visit show, for those like myself who were there it will be a reminder of just how outrageous some of the scene was and of the incredible energy and inventiveness of the era. Astonishing to think it defined a decade when it was just a bunch of arty students having fun.

Interestingly, in the 1980’s fashion was one of the biggest industries left in Thatcher’s ravaged post industrial landscape. Today feels similar with the economic troubles but students have little incentive for the wild experimentation of the 1980’s with huge loan debts hanging over them and its hard to see how a small band of kids could ever have such influence again.

Pretty good summing up of the club scene influence from the Club to Catwalk show at the V&A Museum

Pretty good summing up of the club scene influence from the Club to Catwalk show at the V&A Museum

 

1980's club style from John Richmond, Darla Jane Gilroy, Pam Hogg and Johnsons

1980’s club style from John Richmond, Darla Jane Gilroy, Pam Hogg and Johnsons

 

Customised Levi jacket by Leigh Bowery, one of 22 designer customised jackets featured in Blitz magazine and auctioned for charity at the V&A Museum in the 80's

Customised Levi jacket by Leigh Bowery, one of 22 designer customised jackets featured in Blitz magazine and auctioned for charity at the V&A Museum in the 80’s

 

Early collections from John Galliano, habitual club kid and St Martins Fashion graduate.

Early collections from John Galliano, habitual club kid and St Martins Fashion graduate.

 

Amazing body suit by Pam Hogg, one of the key clubbers at the time.

Amazing body suit by Pam Hogg, one of the key clubbers at the time.

 

Customised Adidas outfit by Rifat Ozbek influenced by the Rave club scene which brought the decade to a close

Customised Adidas outfit by Rifat Ozbek influenced by the Rave club scene which brought the decade to a close

 

Vivienne Westwood Pirate collection, much of which was worn in the early clubbing days of the 1980's

Vivienne Westwood Pirate collection, much of which was worn in the early clubbing days of the 1980’s and a Sue Clowes outfit behind, the stylist for Boy George and very influential at the time.

 

The signature styling of Body Map, one of the most successful club to catwalk design teams

The signature styling of Body Map, one of the most successful club to catwalk design teams

 

A re-issued Body Map T-shirt is available from the V&A Museum shop at the Club to Catwalk summer fashion exhibition.

A re-issued Body Map T-shirt is available from the V&A Museum shop at the Club to Catwalk summer fashion exhibition.

Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980’s opend from July 10th – 16th February and is only £5 for entry – the exhibition is supported by TONI&GUY Hair Meets Wardrobe who created the hairstyles for the show.

See the setting up of the show at the V&A Museum blog.

All photos by Smudgetikka – all rights reserved

All posts copyright Smudgetikka – permission must be asked for reproduction 2009 – 2013

 

 

 

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