Despite the May rain here in old Blighty, a few amazing days of sunshine and warmth encourages me to look ahead to what’s happening with all things sartorial and summery across the country. And here’s what I found…
Fashion & Freedom at Manchester Art Gallery until 27 November is an exhibition of work from British fashion colleges and big name designers inspired by the impact of the First World War on women’s lives and their subsequent fashion choices. Expect to see the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Roksanda Illincic alongside emerging future stars in what sounds like an interesting and inspiring exhibition.
Fashion Cities Africa at Brighton Museum until 8 January 2017 is an exhibition about fashion tastemakers from four cities across the African continent – Casablanca in Morocco, Lagos in Nigeria, Nairobi in Kenya and Johannesburg in South Africa. The emphasis is on key figures from designers to bloggers, photographers to stylists, who are key players in the contemporary African fashion scene. According to the exhibition co-curator Helen Mears, this is also the first major UK exhibition dedicated to the subject and for the first time it will be possible to see a wide range of apparel that “show that wax print is only part of the story of African fashion.”
Moses, Mods and Mr Fish at the Jewish Museum in London until 19 June is an exhibition focusing on the changing silhouette of menswear from the 19th century up until the 1960s, with an emphasis on key Jewish figures including Montague Burton, Moses Moss, Cecil Gee and Michael Fish and how they have made a lasting impact on our high street today.
Splendid Shreds of Silk and Satin at Bankfield Museum, Halifax until 11 June commemorates the 200th anniversary of the world-renowned author, Charlotte Brontë with an exhibition of quilts made in response to a quote from Jane Eyre: “A certain little drawer, full of splendid shreds of silk and satin.” Also featured is a quilt made by Charlotte and her sisters Emily and Anne as well as a contemporary response made by the Totley Brook Quilters from Sheffield.
Missoni Art Colour at the Fashion Textile Museum, London until 4 September celebrates the Italian fashion house Missoni and the textiles of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni within the context of 20th century contemporary art. Fashion pieces from the company’s archive will be displayed alongside the work of Sonia Delaunay, Lucio Fontana and Gino Severini, for example, as well as unseen textile studies, paintings and Arazzi by Ottavio Missoni.
Lastly, for those who need more of a modernist fix, there are two exhibitions at the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester that will definitely appeal (also, combine this with Fashion & Freedom to make a full day out). The first is one looking at the work of post-war textile designer Tibor Reich through an exhibition of his textiles, photography, ceramics and drawings. The second – focuses on the earlier decades of the 20th century, between 1910 and 1939, when textile designers were experimenting and pushing boundaries with their work. Revolutionary Textiles features the Omega Workshops, Paul Poiret, Raoul Dufy, Barron and Larcher, Cryséde, Josef Hillerbrand, Ruth Reeves, Marion Dorn, and Bauhaus-trained Otti Berger. Tibor Reich is on until 29 August while Revolutionary Textiles is on until 29 January 2017.