Robert Mapplethorpe: Fashion Show

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© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by Permission. Courtesy The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York and Alison Jacques Gallery, London

Gallery owner Alison Jacques has collaborated with Robert Mapplethorpe’s boyfriend, the model and artist David Croland, to gather Mapplethorpe’s key fashion images. Croland was responsible for introducing the celebrated New York photographer to movers and shakers on the New York ‘70s fashion scene. Mapplethorpe died of AIDS in 1989. This exhibition focuses on Mapplethorpe’s style imagery – rather than his saucy S&M series – and includes signature silver gelatin and polaroid portraits of designers of the time including Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint-Laurent and Ossie Clark. Many of the photographs in the show are classic, stylised shots he took for fashion magazines in the ‘80s including Italian Vogue, French Vogue and LA Style.  Look out for a series of three portraits of Grace Jones in wire breastplates, camouflaged in Keith Haring body paint. Unusually, as well as his striking monochromatic portraits, there will be a selection of the wearable sculptures and jewellery he made in the ‘70s – shown for the first time in London.

 

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Jo Harrison

This is an excellent must-see show!! Such perfect timing, to coincide with London Fashion Week. Fabulous fashion photos teamed with some intimate portraits of Mapplethorpe's close friends during the late 70s and early 80s. So incredible to see such pre-digital skill, images such as "French Vogue" and "Miguel Cruz" are exquisite.