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Somerset House has announced an exhibition dedicated to northern style

Written by
Miriam Bouteba

There’s Scouse girls and their wearing of bangle-width rollers round town before a night on the tiles. Manc girls who – presumably through natural selection – can traverse ankle-breaking cobbles in skyscraper heels with grace. Manc lads in those parkas now synonymous with the warring Gallagher brothers. Geordies who are apparently impervious to the cold. And all that’s not to mention the 1980s casual look, originating on the football terraces of northern England. Hundreds of images come to mind when you think of northern fashion. And so it’s only proper that the region gets its own fashion exhibition. 

Curated by SHOWstudio’s Editor-at-large Lou Stoppard – who was also responsible for the brilliant Mad About The Boy exhibition at the Fashion Space Gallery last year – and Adam Murray, lecturer at Manchester School of Art and Central Saint Martins, North: Fashioning Identity is travelling to Somerset House from Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery. Celebrating northern fashion feels right given the wealth of talent that the region has produced. For example, Burberry’s Christopher Bailey hails from Halifax. Agyness Deyn is from Rochdale and bright young thing Matty Bovan grew up in York with his impossibly stylish mum. The exhibition – which is being expanded for its trip down south – will also look at how the north and northerners are represented in contemporary photography, fashion and art with contributors including Raf Simons, Corinne Day and Gareth Pugh. Here’s a hint at what you can expect:

Curlers and Chips, Yorkshire, 1965, Sunday Times Magazine © John Bulmer

Untitled, Manchester, 1997 (c) Jason Evans

From Preston Bus Station, 2010-2015 © Jamie Hawkesworth


North: Fashioning Identity opens on November 8 at Somerset House. 

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