On April 11-12, and as part of their class ‘Curating Fashion’, first year MA Fashion Studies students went on a trip to London. They visited various art and fashion museums, and studied methods of display for their final exhibition, An Anatomy of the Fashion Museum.

The first day started with a visit to the Westminster Abbey Museum, located above the Abbey floor inside a 13th century triforium. There, students could view the funeral effigies of English royalty as well as some of the Abbey’s greatest treasures.

The Fashion and Textile Museum was the second visit of the day, where the class saw the Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution / Terence Conran — Mary Quant exhibition. This exhibition presented the work of architects, designers, photographers and artists who redefined the concept of youth in London in the 1950s. With fashion designer Mary Quant — who is known for inventing the mini skirt — and designer and restaurateur Terence Conran as leaders of this revolution, Swinging London explored the style and socioeconomic factors of that time through the presentation of textiles, fashion, furniture, ceramics and ephemera.

The day ended with a visit to the Whitechapel Gallery, where the class saw two exhibitions. Queer Spaces: London 1980s — Today presented uncharted documents from LGBTQ+ campaigning groups and social spaces during those years, providing the students with invaluable insight into working with ephemera and unexplored archives. The second exhibition, Is This Tomorrow?, reinterprets the gallery’s This Is Tomorrow exhibition from 1956. This time, architects and artists proposed solutions to issues that the world faces nowadays.

The second and final day started with a guided tour of Sir John Soane’s Museum, an artistic and architectural marvel. Students were guided through the house, museum and library, and had the privilege of accessing Soane’s private apartment, which, upon his own request, looks exactly as it was at the time of his death in 1837.

The trip concluded with a visit to the exhibition Hanna Moon & Joyce NG: English as a Second Language, at the Somerset House. In this exhibition, NYC-based fashion photographers Moon and NG, from South Korea and Hong Kong respectively, introduce their own perspectives on Western beauty and fashion ideals, problematizing and challenging the notion of “the other”.

The first year MAFS exhibition, An Anatomy of the Fashion Museum, will take place at the Mona Bismarck American Center from May 17-19.


Written by Sandra Mathey and Amanda Stedman

Photos by Sandra Mathey, Amanda Stedman and Marco Pecorari