Phillip Meech for Lara Jensen
06.02.2013 – 23.03.2013
Hats have historically played an important role in fashion, as practical conceits, visible symbols of propriety and class, and vehicles for adornment. While contemporary society no longer dictates the daily use of hats, the appetite for millinery on the catwalk, in editorial and even on the high street, continues to flourish. Head On investigates this new space occupied by women’s decorative millinery, situating headwear within the context of a total look and thereby addressing its relationship to body and hair. The exhibition also showcases contemporary interpretations and subversions of headwear, exploring their dynamic role in fashion styling.
By displaying hats as part of an ensemble on mannequins this exhibition illustrates how scale, shape, colour and proportion may be used by milliners, designers and stylists to reframe the body. Engaging with the body as a whole, these pieces on display often extend the body beyond its natural limits. Looks selected from designers showing in New York, London and Paris Fashion Weeks illustrate how headwear completes a designer’s vision on the catwalk. These feature collaborations between milliners and fashion houses as well as designers who produce millinery in house or incorporate headwear into their design aesthetic.
Hats are also conceived as isolated design objects, illustrated here by the concept driven headwear displayed on busts. These pieces treat the head as a site of experimentation, which becomes almost sculptural or abstracted, as increasingly witnessed in editorial. The role of hair in millinery is further developed as a theme in the exhibition. Bespoke hairpieces accompany headwear while hats that replicate hairstyles allow for a conceptual exploration of the influence and importance of hair in the contemporary silhouette. Fashion Space Gallery