Fashion Utopias at Somerset House, London

Artwork: James Dawe Designers: Dian Pelangi with Nelly Stewart and Odette Steele Photographer: Dion Muharrom

Apologies for such late notice but as part of Utopia 2016, a celebration of the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia, Somerset House is hosting a symposium this Friday 19th February entitled Fashion Utopias: Then & Now to accompany the exhibition Fashion Utopias: International Fashion Showcase 2016.

The afternoon event will present papers from researchers from the Courtauld Institute of Art History of Dress Research Department who are ‘exploring the philosophical, political, social and cultural implications of fashion and utopianism.’  The presentations will also include responses from contemporary curators and designers.  Topics related to the theme include fashion and violence, the fashion image, politics and the body. The event costs £10/£8, is bookable online and takes place 13.30 – 17.30.

This symposium coincides with the International Fashion Showcase 2016 exhibition at Somerset House, which features work from 25 international upcoming designers as part of London Fashion Week’s programme of public events to celebrate the universal relevance of fashion in contemporary culture. 

Taking place in the West Wing of Somerset House, 15 galleries will be transformed in order to display the different countries that the designers represent. During London Fashion Week, there will be an award given to the best country and designer. The British Arts Council website has further information on each country included in the exhibition as well as a downloadable guide.  According to Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Chief Critic at who is heading up the awarding panel:

“From the entries we’ve already seen, this year’s showcase will be a chance to witness a phenomenally uplifting inter-cultural compare-and-contrast. Each country’s deeply-felt exhibit is also to be framed with a national curator, a fast-developing field of collaboration on the frontiers between art and fashion. The installations, which for the first time are to be set in the beautiful surroundings of Somerset House, promise to give a flash-forward to the possibilities of multiple happier futures. Prizes will be awarded for both designers and curators, and we expect to see the beginnings of many careers starting right here, in London Fashion Week.”

Portugal/Designer: KLAR Photographer: Nuno Vieira

The exhibition is on daily from 19th February until 23rd February and admission is free. There are other talks and events related to the exhibition taking place throughout the week and more information about these can be found here.


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