Exhibition open 26 May – 1 October 2017. Anna Sui is the classic American fashion designer. From Detroit to New York, her signature rock-n-roll romanticism reinvents pop culture for every new generation. Since her first catwalk show in 1991, Sui has shaped not only the garments, textiles, accessories, beauty and interiors which comprise her design universe, but also the course of fashion history. The World of Anna Sui features over 100 looks from the designer’s archive, presenting a roll call of archetypes from Surfers and School Girls to Hippies, Mods and Punks. This is the first time an American designer has been the focus of a retrospective exhibition in the UK.
Exhibition open 20 October 2017 – 21 January 2018. Louise Dahl-Wolfe (1895–1989) is one of the most important women fashion photographers of the first part of the 20th century. This is the first major retrospective of her work in the UK, and a key focus of the exhibition is Dahl-Wolfe’s 22 years as leading contributor to Harper’s Bazaar. Considered a pioneer of modern fashion photography, the exhibition highlights how Dahl-Wolfe defined the image of the modern independent post-war woman. The exhibition features over 100 photographs spanning three decades, from the 1930s to the 1950s, and presents the work of couture designers Chanel, Balenciaga and Dior, as well as American fashion innovators Claire McCardell and Clare Potter. The models, whose looks set the style for the decade, include Suzy Parker, Jean Patchett, Evelyn Tripp, Mary Jane Russell, Lisa Fonssagrives, Lizzie Gibbons and Liz Benn.
Display open 20 October 2017 – 21 January 2018. America’s first fashion magazine, Harper’s Bazaar has showcased the visions of legendary editors, photographers and stylists and featured the works of noted writers since 1867. From its beginnings as a broadsheet aimed at the rising leisure class, the publication has since transformed into a magazine devoted to examining the lives of women through the lens of fashion. In 0ctober 1929 the first British edition of Harper’s Bazaar was published which helped to promote British talent including designers, photographers and artists. In celebration of the magazine’s 150th anniversary, this display highlights key moments and images in Bazaar’s history. Photographers whose work features in the display alongside Louise Dahl-Wolfe include Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Lillian Bassman, Cecil Beaton, Toni Frissell, Baron de Meyer, Genevieve Naylor, Karen Radkai, Man Ray and Norman Parkinson alongside contemporary contributors.
Display open 20 October 2017 – 21 January 2018. Wallace Sewell is a woven textile design studio founded in 1992 by textile designers Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell. Inspired by the colours and textures of the countryside and cityscapes, and influenced by the aesthetic and ideology of the Bauhaus period, Wallace Sewell weave innovative fabrics using traditional techniques. Combining rich colour palettes with colourful geometric forms, their bold patterns adorn everything from scarves, throws and cushions to Transport for London moquettes. Today Wallace Sewell can be found in over 200 stockists worldwide, from Tate to MOMA. This display highlights the 25th anniversary of a textile success story, founded by graduates of the Royal College of Art whose global success is rooted in British design education and UK manufacturing.
Exhibition open 25 May 2018 – 23 September 2018. Orla Kiely is one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful designers. Her stylized graphic patterns are innovative, influential and instantly recognisable. With a global audience in thrall to the rhythms and repeats of her designs, this exhibition explores the power of decoration to transform the way we feel. Featuring over 150 patterns and products, as well as collaborations with photographers, film directors and architects, Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern emphasises the role of ornament and colour in our everyday lives. Highlights include the original paper sketches for the trademark ‘Stem’ graphic, created in the 1990s, which has evolved to feature on everything from mugs and dresses to notebooks and even cars, plus prototypes for her early signature bags and the evolution of the iconic ‘Pear’ and ‘Flower’ designs. With unique access to the company archives, the exhibition offers a privileged insight into the designer’s world – how she works, what has inspired her, and why her facility with pattern has produced designs that have resonated around the world. This exhibition is a must-see opportunity for everyone interested in the changing look of the 21st century environment.