Centre for Fashion Curation
Centre for Fashion Curation (CfFC) is a world-leading centre in the field of fashion curation
Garments are especially distinctive as a media in museological and exhibition contexts. Seemingly dramatic, or even mundane, they can be complex to display and interpret (without the animate body) and deeply poignant as evidence of lives lived. It is this often ephemeral nature of fashion that our members aim to explore and present in research outcomes.
What CfFC aims to do
As a group of academics, practitioners and administrators, we respond to the increasing demand for research into, and exhibitions of, fashion. The Centre provides a unique catalyst and platform for research, exhibitions, symposiums, workshops and publications, and collections-based enquiries.
We actively forge close partnerships with global, national and regional museums, galleries, archives, private collections, conservators, creative and commercial industries and publishers to support the theory and practice of the discipline in its broadest sense.
Our members have developed partnerships and worked with amongst others: the V&A Museum, Brighton Museum, the Serpentine Galleries, Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum (Getaria), Barbican Art Gallery, The National Trust, Winterpalais (Belvedere Museums, Vienna) and Mode Museum (MoMu, Antwerp).
We have worked with established fashion houses such as Chloé, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Shirin Guild, Stephen Jones, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Raf Simons, Louis Vuitton and Yohji Yamamoto; practitioners and makers like Judy Blame, Simon Costin, Alasdair McLellan, Jun Takahashi, Julie Verhoeven, Bart Hess, Dai Rees, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin; and designers including Martine Rose, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Christopher Shannon, Benjamin John Hall, Shaun Leane and Gareth Pugh.
We work with organisations like Frieze Art Fair, Architectural Association, Dress and Textiles Specialists (DATS), the British Council, English Heritage, HM Prison Holloway (London), Yale University Press, SHOWstudio, Università IUAV di Venezia (Venice), and consult and write for both the Fashion Theory and Studies in Costume and Performance journals.
As a group of researchers we aim to challenge practices and develop curatorial theory by demonstrating and enabling rigorous, innovative and experimental work within the discipline.
To do this, CfFC supports fashion studies research and curation through internationally-recognised responses to concerns facing museums, curators and exhibition-makers, and collectors of dress.
Through rigorous research around fashion curation, exhibition-making and museology, we are posing ideas and solutions to displaying dress that are inclusive, sustainable and imaginative.
We approach objects from different perspectives. We question, and we offer solutions to the issues surrounding display. We animate what can appear inanimate or intangible. Through this research, we generate different interpretations of fashion and exhibiting. This multiplicity of approach facilitates inclusivity and diversity.
Rigorous interrogation is part of CfFC’s experimental approach to fashion curation. Our work supports the understanding of historical and contemporary fashion dynamics, and curatorial trajectories.
Supporting our students in their future career progression and practice, as questioning, experimental curators and exhibition-makers, is vital to the work we do.
Research, teaching and learning are embedded within the practices of the Centre. CfFC’s academics lead and teach on the MA Fashion Curation and most provide PhD supervision. Committed to supporting career progression, the Centre will facilitate post-doctoral positions and short-term opportunities for UAL staff undertaking projects related to fashion curation. CfFC hosts a number of post-graduate and research students exploring the practice and theory of fashion curation.
Completed PhD research:
- Embedding the personal: the construction of a fashion autobiography as museum exhibition
- Everyday dress and multi-sensory experiences within contemporary dress in the UK
- Relationships between fashion and art in New York and Paris
- Historical and contemporary ancillary trades of the London elite fashion industry.
Ongoing PhD research:
- A cultural analysis of mannequin design and fashionable feminine silhouettes
- Practice-led investigations into curating the intersection of period film costume and contemporary fashion
- Italian fashion collections – preservation, analysis and relationships between scholarship and production
- Curating the fashion victim: establishing strategies for exhibition-making when presenting fashion and humour
- Immersive theatre techniques and costume practice interventions for display
- Practice-based investigations into exhibition-making and contemporary gender-neutral fashion displays in museums and gallery spaces
- Material culture: menswear collections and the biography of objects
- European dress related superstitions: curating the personal, the private and the immaterial
- Frida Kahlo: de-stigmatisation through dress.
MA Fashion Curation
The MA Fashion Curation challenges students to critically interrogate and respond to a burgeoning field of practice and research. It is a well-established, innovative course that has seen, since 2004, over 80 students engage with a wide range of subjects addressing contemporary curatorial concerns including:
- The wardrobe of Frida Kahlo
- Egyptomania and fashion
- The ‘Spectacle’ and fashion exhibitions
- The internet and online fashion collections
- Early modern female cross-dressing (1570s to 1625)
- Youth cultures and fashion
- Private and public fashion collections
- World dress
- Museological objectives and social inclusivity
- Fashion and neo-orientalism
- Performance, technology and new interventions in the display of fashion
- Display and fashion design houses, including Lachasse and Vionnet.
Our students have gone on to work and curate at institutions such as the V&A Museum, the Frida Kahlo Museum (Mexico City), National Museum of Scotland, Fashion and Textiles Museum (London), Somerset House (London), The Design Museum (London), The Simone Handbag Museum (Seoul), the Fan Museum (London) and the British Council. Many have chosen successful freelance careers in fashion curation, project management, archives and collections management and consultancy.
The Costume Society
CfFC is proud to support the UK Costume Society through administering two of their student awards – the Museum Placement Award and the Jerwood Award.
Heritage Lottery Fund
Based at London College of Fashion (LCF), the Centre for Fashion Curation is directed by exhibition-maker Professor Judith Clark and curator and dress historian Professor Amy de la Haye. LCF’s Fashion Space Gallery, the International Exhibitions Programme and the Archives are central to its activities, as are the professional activities of University of the Arts London and the wider communities of curators, archivists, conservators and students.
Current PhD students
- 7 November 2018 - 4 January 2019
- Location: Window Galleries
Corrrective is a design collective of seven recent graduates of Central Saint Martins whose practice subverts that which is oppressive, and challenge and disrupt what is seen as the norm.
Went to Work, Came Back (MA Culture, Criticism and Curation final project)
- 13 November 2018 - 17 February 2019
- Location: South London Gallery Fire Station
'Went to Work, Came Back’ explores issues around gender in the workplace inspired by the SLG’s 1975 exhibition, Women and Work, by artists Margaret Harrison, Kay Hunt and Mary Kelly.
Wild Drawing Experiment
- 17 November 2018 - 4 January 2019
- Location: Window Gallery One
Funded by the CSM Staff Refresh scheme, the Wild Drawing Experiment is a collaborative landscape walking and drawing project led by Helen Savage, Graphic Communication Design programme.
Of Tools and Creatures
- 17 November 2018 - 4 January 2019
- Location: Window Galleries
Of Tools and Creatures documents working methods involved in MArch Architecture’s summer building unit: Constructing in detail.
Project Trans(m)it: Phase Three
- 26 November 2018 - 1 February 2019
- Location: Wimbledon Space
Immersive installation and performance created with dancers from different countries.
State of Fashion exhibition now open featuring LCF’s Making for Change project
Professor José Teunissen, Dean of the School of Design and Technology at LCF curated State of Fashion, an event in Arnhem, which opened on 1 June and runs to 22 July. A […]
LCF Professor Claire Wilcox and MA Fashion Curation alumna Circe Henestrosa curate V&A’s upcoming Frida Kahlo exhibition
This summer, the V&A will explore how Frida Kahlo, one of the most recognised and significant artists and women of the 20th century, fashioned her identity. Frida Kahlo: Making Her […]
‘Queer Looks’ launches at Brighton Museum
The Centre for Fashion Curation recently launched the Wear it Out project (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund), a collaboration with Brighton Museum that explores LGBTQ* lives through dress and fashion […]
A short film looking back at last year’s Cabinet Stories project
Last year, LCF Social Responsibility and the Centre for Fashion Curation commissioned Cabinet Stories – a specially designed cabinet to host a series of small exhibitions/installations, being taken to audiences […]
Wear it Out: exploring the cultural heritage of dress in Sussex’s LGBTQI* communities, a project by LCF’s Centre for Fashion Curation
LCF’s Centre for Fashion Curation has won Heritage Lottery Fund support for a new project called Wear it Out. In partnership with Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove, it explores the cultural heritage […]
LCF 2016 Highlights: Better Lives
The LCF Better Lives agenda encourages dialogue between staff, students and the wider community to develop an understanding and definition of what sustainability means, and how we can use fashion […]
Presenting fashion and dress through a global, cross-disciplinary series of exhibitions, events and conferences.
LCF's contemporary exhibition space, engaging with fashion and design in its widest sense.
A unique curation course that creates an opportunity to explore both the theoretical aspects and practical challenges of curating contemporary fashion and historical dress in a wide range of formats and locations.
Gluck: Art and Identity
The exhibition, ‘Gluck: Art and Identity’ is based on the life of Sussex-based artist, Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein, 1895 – 1978).