The many faces of Somerset House

12 November 2009

After numerous blog recommendations, I finally got round to seeing the ShowStudio- Fashion Revolution exhibition at Somerset House.  It was strange to see the venue deserted without the hustle and bustle of fashion week, but also somewhat refreshing to see no fashionistas, photographers and general randomness. In fact, it was so deserted that we almost got lost trying to find the exhibition.  This gave the perfect opportunity to take an outfit picture.

Wearing the h&m dress I'd bought the previous week over a white t-shirt and underneath the much loved denim shirt.  The two-tone Asos tights also make a long-awaited re-appearance.

This is what you wear when you're ever so slightly deluded about the weather. I bought this Topshop leather biker jacket a few years ago when I received my first ever student loan payment and went a bit crazy, but the amount of times I've worn it has more than justified the purchase.  I'm sad that I won't be able to get away with it for much longer, due to inevitable Arctic temperatures.

In my opinion, Showstudio was one of the first sites aiming to make fashion an interactive experience, before all these designers started tweeting and streaming their runway shows online.  The exhibition has taken this to a new level, inviting visitors to observe and play around with many exhibits, immediately bringing to mind a fashionable version of the Science Museum.  What I like about the exhibition, is that it doesn't stay the same for long; there are constantly updates and additions, such as new body parts being revealed on The Fashion Body (beware of the NSFW* image) reflecting the fluidity in the world we live in today.  There are even computers at the exits so you can immediately share your thoughts online, reinforcing our need to constantly document our experiences (I realise I'm obviously a big victim of this). 

I was trying to go for a nautical look with Naomi, complete with vintage belt and polka dot tights.  Computer says no.

Whatever your feelings are about Naomi Campbell, you can unleash them here by drawing on a giant sculpture of her.  You don't even have to be in the exhibition to be a part of it, try it online.  If you're ever bored, I'd highly recommend writing cryptic messages to people such as 'I know what you did.'

Sweet wrapper inspired dress, maybe we'll all be wearing this in 2019?

In theory, there is meant to be a live model here that you can talk to, but unfortunately they were otherwise engaged.  I somehow saw the funny side in this, I guess similar to when arriving at a zoo and being told there are no pandas that day or that your favourite theme park ride is out of order .  The point of the performance project 'Sittings' is that a model is styled by Simon Foxton and sits in a chair, which is linked up to a live webcast, showing the reality of a photographer's focus.  You can even phone the model, which could go either way depending on the personality of the subject involved.

 Maison Martin Margiela left a half finished pattern, leaving particpants to come to their own conclusion.

Being the creative person I am, my personal highlight was seeing the results of the Design Download project.  Many well known designers submitted paper patterns for viewers to interpret, and participants were able to send in a styled photo of their garment to be judged, with the most inventive and well-executed being shown in the gallery.  If you're able to decipher the pattern, you too can become part of the fashionable elite that owns a high fashion garment, whilst putting your own spin on it.

I was very taken by the above Alexander McQueen design, and will be on the hunt for the perfect fabric to make such a creation, as well as this Junya Watanabe dress.

Video is not amazing quality, but hopefully you get the idea

The highlight of the exhibition is the many live events they have going on each week, and I just happened to be there when they were shooting a live Vogue cover shoot with the gorgeous Natalia Vodianova.  You get to see the process through a two-way mirror and although it was extremely confined where I was (forget about the desertedness I spoke of before, everyone was in here), I found it a revealing experience.  It was great to feel the energy of such an important shoot and to see the way how Natalia responded to the photographer Nick Knight, putting any of those ANTM contestants to shame. 

Meet the happy cupcake family, clockwise; chocolate cookie, peanut butter, red velvet and coconut.  Ella's Bakehouse are now doing 4 for the price of 3 on a Friday.  Didn't matter that there were only two of us...

After the exhibition, we decided to reflect on everything while consuming some tasty cupcakes. Although random at times, Fashion Revolution managed to capture the Zeitgeist of the interactive fashion experience; where news and trends are instantly shared online and people in both Brazil and Bratislava can both be rocking the same 90s grunge look.  There were so many unique exhibits such as a candid webchat with Kate Moss (who wishes never to return to Croydon) that could be appreciated by more than just the desired audience.  Even though the exhibition is happening right now in London, it can be experienced all over the world and in years to come.  The viewer is rarely passive, but a part of the experience and it's certainly made me think about the changing way that we are viewing fashion today.  As Nick Knight says, 'We have only just begun.'**

*Not safe for work
** Quote found here.

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  1. Wow, I really had no idea about all these funky places in London. Will have to visit. Those cupcakes look delicious and I swear you always have the coolest tights! xxx

  2. Ooh you chose a lovely day to go then! I was watching the Nick Knight shoots online. =]
    There was a live model sitting in that chair when I went though! =D

    The whole exhibition was just so different to anything I'd been to, and the live shoots are a wonderful idea.

    Florrrie x

  3. This looks totally amazing. Its so cool, such a great idea. And i want the cookie cupcakes from Ellas Bakehouse. They look delicious. ;)

    zoey x

  4. Hey sweetie, thanks for the lovely comment you left on my blog :) AND for all your amazing help with the meet-up! You're such a star! And I'll bring cupcakes of some sort dw... lol :)

    I reallyyyyy want to see this exhibition! I think I'll definitley have to go soon.

    ♥ Hannah



  5. loving your two tone tights x

  6. Oh I'm so jealous you got to go when Natalia Vodianova was there! It was soo good wasn't it? Those cupcakes look divine!!

  7. Hello my dear! I've given your blog a wee award, come and pick it up!

  8. Amazing post! I need to check it out!
    Lovely outfit too. I really need a decent biker jacket. Mine is Primark! The shame!

  9. Thanks for visiting my site and for the sweet comment! :)

    Your two tone tights are AMAZING! I love them and you pull off the look so incredibly well!!

  10. one of my favorite parts about london is the cool exhibitions! i'm so envious!

  11. oh i would totally wear the sweet-wrapper dress...i think it would look great made out of flower shaped chiffon