SHOWStudio: Fashion Revolution

This event has now finished. Until Dec 20 2009

Tramps, Past, Present & Couture (Christian Dior, Couture Fall/Winter 2001-02), © Nick Knight 2001 Tramps, Past, Present & Couture (Christian Dior, Couture Fall/Winter 2001-02), © Nick Knight 2001

Time Out says  

Posted: Fri Oct 2 2009

Launched in November 2000, when the internet was still in its infancy, Brit photographer Nick Knight's www.showstudio.com website seemed a rather odd premise: fashion and art refracted through wobbly technologies. Attempting to lay bare the usually private processes and performances of fashion shoots, Showstudio's contributor list stuck firmly to industry's elite (its first project a film of Kate Moss warbling out a song with Bobby Gillespie).

Over the years, visitors to the site have styled model Liberty Ross live via email, downloaded exclusive dressmaking patterns by Alexander McQueen and listened to voicemails from Lily Donaldson. With its growing fanbase, this year sees Showstudio's largest expansion yet: a new shop-cum-performance space on Bruton Street and 'Fashion Revolution', its first major retrospective.

At Somerset House, the emphasis is on the experiential. An entrance hall lined with mirrors is a jarring prelude to an exhibition about the creation of image and a terrifying 60-foot-tall 3D Naomi Campbell stands legs akimbo in the first gallery, inviting visitors to graffiti her gigantic torso via digital projection. Pre-YouTube and camera phones, Showstudio's early projects have a lo-fi, pixellated innocence, and are presented through large-format prints, video, music, interactive gadgetry, live installation and fashion shoots (which might, when the galleries are full, feel a bit like the interior of an East End nightclub).

Knight's revolution is fuelled by the net's freedom and his contributors have always revelled in this: designers cavort through photo shoots; icons unveil their secrets to camera (or stare silently and nervously into the lens); and models fall asleep on film. For all the exhibition's grand, technophile ideals, it's this unexpected intimacy that is the real spectacle.

Somerset House details

Somerset House, The Strand, London WC2R 1LA

Somerset House

The original Somerset House was a Tudor palace commissioned by the Duke of Somerset. In 1775 it was demolished to make way for an entirely new...

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