Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Skin and Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture

Todd Eberle's photographs of the Prada Aoyama Epicentre should have been the first images I saw as I entered the Skin and Bones exhibition at Somerset House. A marriage of architecture and fashion is immediately clear in the two images of the building, demonstrating that two parallel practices can be attuned to the extent that they perfectly compliment each other. Instead chronology was given precedence and the exhibition was introduced by 1980's media images. Consequently I wandered through the ground floor in some confusion, the description of the symbiotic relationship between these two forms of design did not seem to express the same sentiment of creative practice as the initial images. The media is ever changing, 20 years has produced a startling visual difference in magazine photography and the work in the exhibition seemed to be at odds with this. Only when I climbed the stairs and discovered Yeohlee Teng's 1982 'Cape' was I parted from this vague feeling of unease. The black hooded bowing garment brought me back to the aesthetic delights that characterised this show. My particular favourites were Teng's Infanta Two-Circle Dress, Junya Watanabe's garments made of cotton and metal wire from Autumn/Winter 1998-99 and a number of pieces from Maison Martin Margiela. Split into 17 sections with titles like geometry, weaving and suspension the exhibition gained clarity through the main body of design presented and ultimately achieved its original purpose to examine parallel practices in fashion and architecture.

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