London – A new exhibition at London Fashion Space Gallery explores fashion designers’ fixation with male youth.
Seminal photographs of skinheads from the 1980s by celebrated fashion photographer Nick Knight sit alongside a spring/summer 2015 collaboration between grime artist Skepta and chillwear designer Nasir Mazhar, demonstrating the increasing pertinence of youth culture on today’s fashion industry.
‘Things such as joggers, jeans and sweaters are now as relevant to the lives of 50-year-old men, whereas before they were ghettoised to youth culture,’ Lou Stoppard, editor of SHOWstudio and curator of the exhibition, tells LS:N Global. ‘Fashion critic Charlie Porter talks brilliantly about how the suit is a seminal piece of design, but it’s simply not relevant to his life.’
Stoppard also highlights the rise of gender fluidity, citing JW Anderson’s androgynous collections and fashion photographer Brett Lloyd’s editorials. But she is still keen to highlight the differences between the genders. ‘With masculinity there is more of a focus on rights of passage, gangs and freedom,’ says Stoppard. ‘With women the focus is much more on aesthetics and youthful beauty.’