The Hepworth Wakefield, 18 March – 18 June 2017
If you’re a fashion devotee, you’ll need no introduction to J.W. Anderson. Described by i-D magazine as ‘the most exciting and challenging designer of our generation’, Anderson has produced collections for Versace, Loewe and Topshop and was the first fashion house to win both Menswear and Womenswear brand of the year in the 2015 British Fashion Council awards.
In this superbly curated exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield, Anderson and 6a architects bring together fashion, sculpture, textiles, design, film and photography to create an eclectic maze of innovative and inspiring art.
The use of the ceiling-to-floor fabric divisions directs the viewer through smaller, intimate spaces inhabited by curvaceous sculptures and tailored garments, textural ceramics and contemporary video art, or evocative furniture and found objects.
There are big names from both the art and fashion worlds to enjoy – Sarah Lucas, Henry Moore and Louise Bourgeois for the former; Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Helmut Lang for the latter. Bodies become shapes, clothes become canvases – art and fashion combine to play with expectations, encourage imagination, and challenge ideas of gender and sexuality.
It is a fun and quirky exhibition imbued with important socio-political concepts; a visual exploration of what every artists, designer and maker – Anderson himself included – hopes to achieve through their word.