Last night academics from London College of Fashion, University of Applied Arts in Vienna and the Warsaw Art Academy came together to discuss the different ways in which art and fashion influence Austrian, Polish and British culture.
Dr Monica Titton, sociologist and critic, began with a focus on Helmut Lang to discuss how fashion and art are intrinsically linked. She compared the Wierner Werkståtte, a community of artists in Vienna who were “totalising design,” going so far as to match their wardrobes with their wallpaper, to Lang’s Séance de Trevail shows, “purest in detail.”
Warsaw-based journalist and curator Marcin Różyc examined Polish post-World War II fashion which “blossomed during Communism” taking the audience through his new book Chrysalis. He told stories of designers such as Barbara Hoff who worked at state-run fashion houses during this period.
LCF’s Dr Shaun Cole linked Polish creativity and culture born of the socio-economic climate to London with ‘Nightclubbing; music, subculture and fashion in 1980s London.’ He gave a potted history of music, fashion and art through the characters who inhabited these worlds; Bowie and the Blitz Kids, Steve Strange and Vivienne Westwood to Judy Blame, Leigh Bowery, Princess Julia, through to Jeremy Healy and the birth of Acid House. Nightclubbing has always been a “safe environment to mix tastes, to create something new.”
The talk ended with a question from the audience, “where can you find this kind of place nowadays where fashion and creativity meet?” This was answered by another member of the audience, “You have to go out and make it happen.”