Explore the dynamic relationship between the Bloomsbury group and fashion in the first ever exhibition to focus on the clothing of this radical collective, and their impact on 21st century fashion. The story is told through a sensational mix of contemporary fashion, historic artwork, objects and ephemera, many never exhibited publicly before now.
Curated by writer Charlie Porter, expect a multi-layered experience featuring catwalk fashion by Dior, Fendi, Burberry, Comme des Garçons, Erdem and S.S. Daley, personal items belonging to members of the Bloomsbury group including Virginia Woolf and Lady Ottoline Morrell, never-before-seen portraits by artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, plus new commissions and interventions by contemporary fashion designers Jawara Alleyne and Ella Boucht.
Image: Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and the Philosophy of Fashion Dior Men Summer 23 © Brett Lloyd. Image above: Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and the Philosophy of Fashion, The Charleston Trust. Photography by Lee Robbins.
How did Virginia Woolf navigate her disdain for fashion alongside her love of clothing? What can we read about queerness and patriarchy in the clothing of Duncan Grant, E.M. Forster and John Maynard Keynes? How did Vanessa Bell’s hand-made clothing form part of her creative life? And what makes the Bloomsbury group such a rich source of inspiration for 21st century fashion design?
Image: Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and the Philosophy of Fashion, Dior Men Summer 23, Courtesy of Dior.
Here, clothing provides a route into learning more about the key figures in the Bloomsbury group and how, for some, fashion provided a language with which to explore their break away from tradition. You’ll discover how contemporary fashion designers have been inspired by Bloomsbury art and life, both through the energy of the group’s extraordinary home at Charleston, and through their work and ideas.
Image: Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and the Philosophy of Fashion, Duncan Grant, Decorated fan. David Herbert Collection.
Bring no clothes: Bloomsbury and Fashion is on at Charleston in Lewes (UK) until 7 January 2024.
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