Non-fiction

Paris is Burning

Paris is Burning

Revisiting the Seminal Film by Jennie Livingston

Desire. Intention. Ambition. If fashion has long been the crowning companion of the wealthy, it can also be a powerful accomplice to the disadvantaged through its sense of play and artifice. Assuming a persona can be empowering, and manipulating it adds to the irony. So what happens when the disaffected communities of New York take their dreams to the ballroom?

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The Only Way is Up!

The Only Way is Up!

Fashion and Architecture in the Eighties

Fashion and architecture are both telling symbols of the personal, social and cultural identity of an age, reflecting as they do, the concerns of the user as well as the ambitions of the era. The primary function of both fashion and architecture has always been to provide shelter and protection for the human body, but where architecture arguably appears to always strive for progress, fashion can be both unashamedly nostalgic and ephemeral.

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Everything has to be Bigger

Everything has to be Bigger

David Byrne's Big Suit

As a platform for performance, the stage lends itself ideally to the pushing of sartorial boundaries to entertain an audience, so its no surprise that most ‘fashion moments’ in have occurred in this medium. From Josephine Baker to David Bowie, fashion and the arts share these seminal and nostalgically symbolic images. Novelty and expression are the most important notions of the stage, to amaze and push boundaries for an audience is only the beginnings of successful entertainment.

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Lucifer Rising

Lucifer Rising

Revisiting Kenneth Anger's Iconic Film

Filmed between 1966 and 1980 by the self-proclaimed Magus of cinema, Kenneth Anger, Lucifer Rising is Anger’s portrait of the love generation, the dawning of a new age and morality. Continuing on from his previous works where fashion becomes a tool of power to conjure a magical sense of being, an invisible and volatile force, Lucifer Rising furthers this exploration crossing through millennia and civilisations.

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The Monochromatic Power of the White Shirt

The Monochromatic Power of the White Shirt

The white shirt: a neutral surface and the basis of a man’s wardrobe – according to many-a-style manual. And thus, the white shirt is invariably presented as a garment that serves as the canvas against which the wearer’s individuality will emerge. According to this line of thought, the white shirt focuses and frames the body, while itself receding quietly into the background.

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Fashion and the Moving Image

Fashion and the Moving Image

Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures

With the power to transgress social codes and conventions, clothes can reveal themselves as a weapon, a provocation, a liberation; in darker times, repression. From documentaries to features to recordings of performances, this series of films explores fashion’s intimate complicity to the film medium in order to summon power in both contemporary and past times.

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