Fashion Space Gallery, located at London College of Fashion is delighted to announce its latest exhibition opening on Friday 12 September. Simon Costin’s Impossible Catwalk Shows will see visitors immersed into his magical and mythical world of set design. The exhibition will feature a series of model sets, each exploring what catwalk shows could be, if the possibilities were limitless. The exhibition will give insight to the working processes of set design and will enable visitors to experience the relationship between fashion and its environment.
A myriad of real and imagined spaces have been chosen to stage these innovative presentations: from a disused nuclear power station to a cardboard forest. Each fictitious show challenges current formalised ways of viewing garments; from searching for them amongst the branches of a baroque forest, to seeing deconstructed parts of a garment through giant lenses.
Costin says: ‘What I want to present here are a series of suggestions as to how fashion presentations could be; an invitation to dream and speculate. A collection shown as graffiti strewn across a deserted street; a collection displayed in a forest where guests are handed binoculars and invited to spot the models, perched like exotic birds among the branches; or a deserted nuclear power station, the interior encrusted with crystals with a collection that slowly decays.’
Accompanying the model sets are Costin’s sketches and notebooks, which give an insight into his own working process. To acknowledge and reveal the collaborative nature of set design for fashion shows, the exhibition will also show a moodboard by Gareth Pugh (Costin has worked as set designer for the Gareth Pugh brand for the last 8 years) and some behind-the-scenes footage from Alexander McQueen’s infamous Spring Summer 1998 show Untitled (formerly called The Golden Shower), for which Costin designed the set.
The exhibition not only presents Costin’s unique creative vision but also displays the impact set design has on a catwalk. A fashion show is a transient moment presented to a small section of the industry and its function to sell clothes has seen it become creatively inhibited. This exhibition suggests different ways of putting the designer’s creative output back into focus, thereby exploring one of set design’s most important roles.
The exhibition, commissioned and curated by Ligaya Salazar, will be accompanied by an events programme that will be announced in early September. Visitors will be able to join tours of the exhibition and take part in hands-on workshops and masterclasses, as well as attend talks and discussions around the theme of set design.