This month ZHD will reveal a selection of key projects and interviews from the archives, in celebration of Women's History Month.
Project: 'Women, Fashion, Power' [2014-2015]
Program: Exhibition Design
Client: Design Museum, London, UK
'The exhibition design is structured around two central hubs or ‘explosions’; the first housing the Timeline component, the second the Arena of Power. This conceptual arrangement expresses the power and energy of fashion as explored by the exhibition. Each fragment of the explosion is employed as a mode of display, highlighting individual pieces whilst also creating a sense of cohesiveness for the many disparate objects exhibited. Suspended mirror panels reflect the displays and further accentuate the sense of fragmented energy and viewing perspectives that are all, ultimately, interconnected.
Visitors experience the exhibition akin to how we experience fashion on a daily basis – as an endless series of visual fragments, each one communicating the distinct personality and desires of the individual, yet collectively defining a visual language that embodies the ideas and attitudes of their time. ‘Women, Fashion and Power’ examines how women of power and influence have used fashion to help to define and enhance their political, social and creative position in the world. Extraordinary women have shaped human history over centuries, but the rise of women into contemporary society’s most powerful leadership roles, across sectors and around the globe, has led to profound social changes.
Fashion is a highly sophisticated visual language and powerful form of self expression. What powerful women choose to wear can also embody the ideas and attitudes of the time, and express politics, personality, creativity, cultural and national identity.
The exhibition showcases prominent women working as heads of state and government, in politics, business, culture and fashion to show how they draw power from, or reflect power in the way that they dress. An introductory panel examines the concept of power through fashion. An immersive visual timeline presents a selection of the key political and social events over the last 100 years, and the designers, that have had a critical impact on the way that women dress. Each section then presents the arenas of power in which women operate and focus on up to five contemporary women, exploring how they dress and why.
The exhibition presents actual clothes but also photography and film to illustrate the dialogue between women, fashion and power.'
Images: Mirren Rosie