Head to a new exhibition at Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio this month for a botanical treat in central London.
For summer, SHOWstudio has opened its doors to spring greens in a new exhibition, Fashion Flora. The exhibition explores the use of flowers as a motif in fashion throughout the last century, juxtaposing abundant floral arrangements with illustrations by some of SHOWstudio’s most exciting collaborators.
Founded in 2000 by photographer Nick Knight, SHOWstudio has played a central role in re-imagining how fashion can, and should, be depicted online. The aim of the website has been to constantly challenge how we experience fashion and it offers rare insight into the whole process around the industry – from insider talks, to behind-the-scenes videos, alongside immersive, off-site initiatives such as this new exhibition.
‘Flowers have always been a huge influence and inspiration in the art of fashion design as well as a recurring theme throughout my own work,’ says Knight, who has previously created iconic images such as Red Bustle with Yohji Yamamoto in 1986, as well as striking campaigns for Dior, Louis Vuitton, Jil Sander, and many more. In 2004, Knight released a volume of work entitled Flora, which offered a heady array of beautiful flowers, strikingly curated and juxtaposed.
This latest exhibition, 13 years later, continues to marry disparate interests while also offering new interpretations, thanks in part to the curation by Flora Starkey, a floral designer whose name adds an extra layer of botanic play to the presentation. Flora’s arrangements offer the most immediate immersion into the exhibition, but beyond the bright flowers are beautiful illustrations of iconic fashion designs. Highlights include drawings of looks by Alexander McQueen and Dries Van Noten; each is bright, organic and alive – the effect is a crisp, lively display.
‘Flowers have always complimented fashion: both changing throughout the year with the seasons, and anticipating the season to come. Both create a sense of occasion. As a florist, fashion and illustration are constant sources of inspiration to me and it’s been a pleasure to be asked to curate this exhibition for Nick and SHOWstudio,’ Flora Starkey noted.
This new fashion exhibition in London continues a penchant for florals also promoted by the likes of Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. The creative director of the Florentine house regularly refers to his ‘Gucci Garden’, and his hugely coveted designs feature verdant prints, that have since been much copied. Meanwhile Dior’s couture show took place in a mystical and luscious woodland, and Louis Vuitton jetted audiences out to the Miho Museum in Kyoto for a show in leafy surroundings. This, coupled with a seventies floral revival as seen at the likes of Chloé, means there has never been a better time to visit SHOWstudio, and immerse yourself in the vividly created world of fashion and flora.
Fashion Flora at SHOWstudio is open now at 22D Ebury Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 0LU.