The new Fashion Space Gallery exhibition Inside Arc, opens to the public today. It draws from rarely-seen garments, accessories and other items amassed into a comprehensive archive by designer Jennefer Osterhoudt and stylist Nick Royal.

(Left) SILK KNEE LENGTH PLEATED FEATHER PRINT DRESS WORN WITH HORN HEEL FLAME MOTIF SLING BACK SHOE (Right) OFF THE SHOULDER FEATHER PRINT DRESS WITH HANDMADE FRINGE WORN WITH BLACK PYTHON LACE UP SANDAL w/ ENCASED BUTTERFLY PERSPEX HEEL Alexander McQueen S/S 2003 RTW ‘IRERE’. Photography by Hazel Gaskin

(Left) Silk knee length pleated feather print dress worn with horn heel flame motif sling back shoe. (Right) off the shoulder feather print dress with handmade fringe worn with black python lace up sandal w/ encased butterfly perspex heel. Alexander McQueen s/s 2003 rtw ‘IRERE’. Photography by Hazel Gaskin.

The Arc is a working archive, which Jennefer has personally built during her career, and features a lot of work by John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, with whom she worked closely, as an accessories designer in Paris during the 1990s. Co-created by stylist Nick Royal, the archive continues to grow and features an array of vintage and contemporary pieces.

The exhibition highlights eccentricities and rarities, showing elaborate toiles in luxurious fabrics, revealing the complex and labour-intensive techniques used by high fashion to create rarities such as the ‘Evita’ jacket worn by Madonna in her 1994 ‘Take a Bow’ video.

(Above): printed suit in viscose and cotton, (Below): multi-colour knitwear and printed trouser Gianni Versace circa 90’s. Photography: Hugo Yanguela

Each piece in the archive has been collected throughout Jennefer’s career and life in fashion, from personal items sourced from charity shops, rare handmade invitations, and 100 backstage passes from her 100 shows. Crafted prototypes and toiles that made it into production are being shown alongside images of her own vast shoe collection.

This constantly expanding collection is regularly used in contemporary shoots and campaigns. It continues to evoke and inspire processes from fashion greats such as Versace, Vivienne Westwood, Sorcha O’Raghallaigh, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen.

Jennefer Osterhoudt said:

I feel very proud that the collection is being put on display – I’m really happy that it’s no longer sitting in storage. I’m especially excited for people to see excerpts from my ‘Bible’, which has been my main tool throughout my career as an accessories designer, and something I took to my very first interview with McQueen.

This collection is my work and my identity – I have always been a hoarder of fashion items and get a thrill out of coming across an Alaïa or Chanel piece in a charity shop. I always brought my treasured finds from San Francisco back to Paris and London and shared them with Galliano, McQueen and the other designers I’ve worked alongside as inspiration. I think, to them, it was really valuable to be able to see the real American culture that they had no access to.

Above left: Knitted chenille ‘Houpette’ dress, Azzedine Alaia 1992 and Vintage knit replica Ziggy Stardust asymmetrical bodysuit, Unknown circa 1995
Above right: Cream ostrich feather cape, Gucci S/S 2012 and White polka dot silk organza kilt, John Galliano S/S 1996 ‘le Papillon et la Fleur’
Photography by Hugo Yanguela

Nick Royal said:

I met Jenne when I was an intern in my first year at University. I remember on my first day I found out that she’d worked for Galliano and McQueen and I became totally obsessed with hearing stories about them all – it’s those stories that motivated us to start the archive.

There’s a real sense of excitement and inspiration throughout the collection, and lots of pieces that pre-date the internet, like John Galliano’s early work.

Inside Arc is curated by Polona Dolzan and commissioned by Ligaya Salazar, Director of Fashion Space Gallery. Masterclasses with Jennefer Osterhoudt will be announced in May.