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The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined opens in London

@ Barbican Art Gallery

The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined opens in London @ Barbican Art Gallery

Extravagant, garish, kitsch. However you want to call it, it often rhymes with fashion.

The boundaries between high fashion in its most artistic meaning and good taste are ephemeral and that usually results in artificial and opulent creations, authentic works of art.

A new exhibition opened today at the Barbican, London, explores the intersection between the pompous, the 'vulgar' – The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined is the title of the show - and fashion.

A real journey through provocative images and items that have literally made history, it aims to sound out the concept of kitsch and to show how it has changed and evolved through different periods in history, from the Renaissance with its extreme corsets up to our times, on several occasions described as a New Renaissance for the fashion system.

It couldn't, in fact, be a better time to start a debate on good taste and what it meant for fashion in different historical moments, now that tacky and sophisticated, ugly and beautiful seamlessly collide. Now that Vetements collaborates with Juicy Couture, that the Air Max Silver are back on top, that Gucci is promoting the 'more is more' way of life, and that Christopher Kane has brought into London Fashion Week's spotlight the emblem of footwear's dark days, the Crocs.

Including 120 objects drawn from public and private collections scattered throughout the globe, The Vulgar includes a whole range of historical costumes along with couture and ready-to-wear looks by brands such as Christian Dior, Chloé, Christian Lacroix, Elsa Schiaparelli, Vivienne Westwood, Moschino, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin and many other architects of unbridled fashion, prophets of the provoking and the excess.

 

The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined will run until February 5, 2017, at Barbican Art Gallery, London.