London seems to be alive with fashion exhibitions and installations at the moment so Hawthorne & Heaney have been making the most of the location privilages and have been enjoying the culture on offer. One such opportunity is at the Louis Vuitton’s Series 3 exhibition on the Strand.
The exhibition is staged as a walk through Nicolas Ghesquiere’s mind coming in underneath a hugely imposing hanging ball grid structure in a highly mirrored room, a theme that runs throughout.
The exhibition is a great example of how technology and fashion can come together as art, which is effectively used in the laser room. Green lasers from the ceiling cut down around what seem to be meaningless shapes below but as time goes on, and all the pieces are cut out, they come together seamlessly to form a shoe or a handbag. This then slowly transforms into the CAD mock up of the finished piece with all its fastenings and details.
You then move on to see a more real world explanation of the making of the Petite Malle bags in the Artists hands room where close up videos are shown of how the bags are put togther. This is then renforced by as you are also able to interact the the makers in person in the Craftsmanship room.
Seeing the makers constructing in person really helps to give a sense of the difficulty and intricacy of these bags which are made like trunks, but on a much tinier scale. This combination of rooms flows easily through the design process, from idea to drawing and development, to the construction and realisation.
Finally there is the rare opportunity to see upclose some of the garments that you have been watching walk towards you throughout the exhibiton, but more so to feel them as they are hung in a giant perpex wardrobe installation. This demonstrated the variety of fabrics and qualities that have been used in the collection including whitework lace, jaquard, leather, fur and diamantes. As an embroiderer this last room and the craftsmanship rooms were probably the most interesting of the exhibition as they give a good understanding of the craft and techniques used in their creation. One does leave the exhibition feeling a little disorientated by all the mirrors and lights which drew the attention away from the skills themselves. However from the general public’s point of view this provides an interesting fusion of technology and art whilst perhaps giving a little glimpse at the chaos of Ghesquiere’s mind.
If you would like to see the exhibition and decide for yourself, it is on until the 18th October at 180 The Strand, entry is free so make the most of it! Also check out the Hawthorne & Heaney website for our blog about recent projects and events.
Claire Barrett is an embroidery designer who has been working in the embroidery industry for six years. A former Creative Director at Hand & Lock, Claire runs Hawthorne & Heaney, dealing with celebrity clients such as Kanye West and high profile companies such as Henry Poole & Company Savile Row tailors. Claire is passionate about making embroidery accessible to everyone by offering sponsorships to young designers and even running the London Embroidery School to teach beginners classes to those who are interested in getting a taste of what embroidery has to offer.