Managed to catch this awesome exhibition in London on the last few days
INVISIBLE MEN: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE WESTMINSTER MENSWEAR ARCHIVE
CURATED BY PROFESSOR ANDREW GROVES AND DR DANIELLE SPRECHER
25 OCTOBER – 24 NOVEMBER 2019
Drawing exclusively from the Westminster Menswear Archive, Invisible Men covers the last 120 years of predominately British menswear through the display of over 170 garments, the majority of which have never been seen on public display.
This four-week exhibition was arranged into twelve sections, presenting designer garments alongside military, functional, and utilitarian outfits. It explored the design language of menswear, which predominately focuses on the replication of repeats archetypal functional garments intended for specific industrial, technical or military use.
Invisible Men illustrated how designers have disrupted these conventions through minimal, yet significant modifications to produce outcomes that both replicate and subvert their source material. Through this approach, the language of menswear has developed an almost fetishistic appreciation of the working man in all his heroic iterations, referencing the clothing of seafarers, soldiers, athletes, firefighters, road workers, and explorers.
The endless replication, appropriation and interpretation within menswear has meant that the meaning and function of the original archetypes has faded through each reiteration.
This design strategy has, for the most part, allowed men and what they wear to avoid scrutiny: these garments have remained invisible within fashion exhibitions in favour of presenting menswear largely as the story of the dandy or the peacock male.
This exhibition aims to shine a light on these invisible men.
Ambika P3, University of Westminster, Marylebone, London, NW1 5LS