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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.

Students

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

Heritage Lottery Fund Logo

Members

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

Textiles, Sara Chong Kwan, 2012
Textiles, Sara Chong Kwan, 2012
Yves Saint Laurent, Fall 1999
Yves Saint Laurent, Fall 1999. Photograph Philippe Cometti
Jean Harlow - the Eye
Jean Harlow - the Eye
Fondazione Antonio Rotti, Como, Italy.
Fondazione Antonio Rotti, Como, Italy. Photo by Giovanna Silva 2011
Jenna Rossi Camus
Jenna Rossi Camus
Louise Elizabeth Penn Chapman
Louise Elizabeth Penn Chapman

Upcoming events

Bite Sized: Careers, Employability and Enterprise

Bite Sized: Careers, Employability and Enterprise

  • 10 October 2018 - 5 December 2018
  • Location: LCC

Short lunch-time events on topics from temping. Our first event is What is Mentoring? Illustration by Robbie Porter 'Self-Efficacy' for the UAL Creative Attributes Framework

Sound Arts Visiting Practitioners Series Autumn 2018

Sound Arts Visiting Practitioners Series Autumn 2018

  • 11 October 2018 - 6 December 2018
  • Location: London College of Communication

This series of visiting speakers is co-hosted by LCC’s department of Sound Arts and Design and UAL's research centre for Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice and is curated by Dr John Wynne.

A Mythic Understanding: Inspired by David Jones

A Mythic Understanding: Inspired by David Jones

  • 6 November 2018 - 14 December 2018
  • Location: Camberwell College of Arts

To mark the centenary of Armistice Day and the end of the First World War, Camberwell College of Arts will present a major project that explores the life and themes of the work of artist, illustrator and poet David Jones.

Corrrective

Corrrective

  • 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.

Latest news

WEB_Queer-Looks-day-1-July-2017-Brighton-Museum.-Photo-by-Tessa-Hallmann

‘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 […]

Dress For Our Time. Imagery by Holition

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 […]

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Related

International Exhibitions Programme

Presenting fashion and dress through a global, cross-disciplinary series of exhibitions, events and conferences.

Fashion Space Gallery

LCF's contemporary exhibition space, engaging with fashion and design in its widest sense.

MA Fashion Curation

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).