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Sewing, Style & Creative Writing
  • A Journey through London Subculture: 1980s to Now

    Posted on 22/10/2013 by David in Fashion & Design Exhibitions.


    Some people will go to great lengths to follow fashion trends, others will use glue guns, bottle tops, scrap metals and glitter to create their own sense of style and affirm their identity. A step too far for some but a way of life for others and this is what the exhibition A Journey through London Subculture is partly about.

    The “phenomenon” we called subculture has been allegedly part of the London scene since the onset of the punk era (late 1970’s) and is still present to this day. This project charts a series of cultural events that have occurred in London over the past 30 years across the worlds of art, fashion, graphics and craft and, in my humble opinion, it was not done very concisely which may explain why they call it a project as opposed to an exhibition.

    Saying that, I loved the concept which triggered some key questions in my mind: does counterculture still exist? Do artists subscribe to a similar desire to make something out of nothing?

    I think all of us – seamsters and seamstresses from different backgrounds and with varying degrees of experience – can relate to these questions. In a way, we too are part of a subcultural movement – whether we call it handmade clothing or slow fashion – that is not regimented by seasons and trends but by a love for what we do. We are outnumbered and may remain so for a long time but still, we are a growing force to reckon with. We may not have the weapons to fight against the dark side of fashion but that doesn’t mean we have to join it (I get carried away a little here but I’m sure you get my drift). That’s the message I got out of it and obviously, it’s a very personal one!

    Subjective opinions aside, here are a few pictures from this project which I took yesterday…



4 Responses so far.

  1. Bill says:

    I enjoyed your blog topic as usual, David. Annie and I went to the exhibition a couple of weeks ago. (You didn’t mention that the venue was the Old Selfridges Hotel.)
    We felt that the vitrines were too numerous and rather variable in content but we did enjoy the manekins and some of the installations, e.g.the rack of checquered blouses. The interesting thing about subcultures is, by definition, you are excluded from most of them.

    • David says:

      I felt the same way as you did about the exhibition Bill. The concept was great, I just wish it was explored further and that some chronological efforts were made about the vitrines. I forgot to mention the venue name indeed so glad you did if anyone else is interested to view it!

  2. maddie says:

    I think that in the past, a counterculture group existed because the word, by definition, suggests that there’s an “in” group and an “out” group. Because of the proliferation of the internet, I think we live in a global society where almost everything goes. So, maybe a counterculture exists, much it’s much less than it was in the past.

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