Works from two Norwegian fashion designers have been commissioned for the new Wapping Project in London.
Designers Siv Støldal and Ragnhild Hauge have been chosen to take part in the event named JERWOOD: FASHION, FILM AND FICTION. It is run by the Wapping Project and the Jerwood Charity, and tackles a fresh way of introducing emergent fashion designers by commissioning 64 new pieces from 29 fashion designers, shoemakers and milliners.
Staged by Jules Wright and Shed54, the spaces of the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station will incorporate ladders to climb, hat boxes to open, wardrobes to hide in and mirrors to reflect and distort fantasies. JERWOOD: FASHION FILM AND FICTION is an experience of contemporary fashion, a complex exploration of memory and fantasy, based on childhood memories and the collective experience of dressing up in parents’ clothes. This is the key to examining the range of fashion talent that is emerging on the British scene.
As one of London’s most daring and visionary commissioners of contemporary art and artists, artistic director Jules Wright takes a characteristically innovative approach to showcasing new talent. “London fashion is currently vibrant and original. Too few people, however, understand the depth and range of workmanship which goes into creating each new piece. By tapping into our common childhood memories of dressing up, and inviting visitors to dress up in the clothes we've commissioned, FASHION FILM AND FICTION will engage people directly and expose them to the craft which has gone into each new work. I hope that it will lead to a plethora of new commissions for the designers we have commissioned”.
In addition to Støldal and Hauge, new works for JERWOOD: FASHION FILM AND FICTION have been commissioned from Aitor Throup, Aki Choklat, Aluma & the Tailor, Aluma Klein, Azumi & David, Chris Liu, Davina Hawthorne, Ebru Ercon, Gareth Pugh, Jean-Pierre Braganza, Jonathan Quearney, Julian & Sophie, Julie Berube, Justyna Michalowska, Mark Emmett, Mei Hui Liu, Michelle Lowe Holder, Monika Cutts-Lipken, Nazinna Douglas, Noel Stewart, Osman Yousefzada, Preen, Robert Cary-Williams, Roksanda Ilincic, Simeon Farrar, Sophia Malig and Yasmin Rizvi.
The staging of the exhibition is by SHED 54, the architects responsible for the conversion of the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. The entrance into the exhibition space will be blocked by a giant wardrobe, 15m x 8m, through which visitors will need to pass in order to enter the space. Once through the wardrobe, they will find themselves in a room lit by a chandelier, and containing three giant distorting mirrors, four beach tents for changing, a massive velvet curtain masking one side of the space, a central skeletal carousel on which clothes will hang, moving in a clockwise rotation and up and down, in and out of reach. The visitor can physically engage in the discovery as all items will not just be on display but will be available to be tried on. A tennis umpire’s chair will overlook the space on which the invigilators will sit. The invigilators, students from the London College of Fashion and Central St Martin’s, will sit knitting one garment throughout the run of the show.
Filmmakers Martin Scanlan, Mark Robbins, Steve Jackman, Julian Roberts & Jules Wright and Gilbert McCarragher & Enda Hughes are making films of the process of five of the designers (The Hatmaker’s Tale, The Tailor’s Tale, The Cutter’s Tale, The Shoemaker’s Tale and The Fashion Designer’s Tale); each will be shown on monitors secreted in giant chests of drawers. Composer Jeremy Cox has been commissioned to create a context for the exhibition, reinforcing the sense of memory, recall and storytelling. Another part of the soundscape will be comprised of childhood stories and songs, told or sung in a number of languages including Swedish, Polish, Afrikaans, Portuguese, Swiss German, Danish, German, Italian, French, Japanese and Cantonese.
JERWOOD: FASHION, FILM AND FICTION culminates in a ticketed champagne reception and auction on 15 November, enabling everyone to bid for the pair of shoes, the hat, the suit or the dress they find irresistible. Half of the proceeds of the auction will go to WPT, to enable the next series of music commissions at The Wapping Project, and half to the designers as recompense, over and above their commissions, for the huge amount of work they have put into the show.
The exhibition runs until 13 November 2005.
The Wapping Project
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station
London E1W 3ST
(Nearest tube: Wapping)
For more info: 020 7680 2080