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a word on art

V&A Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear

‘At a moment of unprecedented creativity in men's fashion, this exhibition explores how designers, tailors and artists – and their clients and sitters – have constructed and performed masculinity and unpicked it at the seams.’

I am always so excited to go to anything at the V&A, it is my favourite museum in London because of its beautiful architecture and the history that it holds. This fantastic exhibition is on until the 6th of November and celebrates the history of men’s fashion and what it means in today’s society. The exhibition takes you on a journey through men’s fashion, from the 1500s right up until the present day.

One of my favourite pieces from this exhibition was designed by Randi Rahm, styled by Sam Ratelle and worn by Billy Porter. This fantastic suit is made of wool, silk, synthetic, glass, metal, and sequins. Billy Porter is a voguish star of Pose and Kinky Boots and is also a prominent LGBTQA+ and Black Lives Matter activist. Porter wore this suit at the 2019 Golden Globes. I was in awe of the sequin detail, the more I studied the suit the more tiny details I discovered. I loved the bright pink on the inside of the cloak, it was a fantastic contrast to the grey suit, and it draws your attention to the beautiful sequin details on the suit and the shoulders of the cloak.

This fantastic velvet suit with cotton shirt and leather boots was designed by Alessandro Michele for Gucci Tailoring, worn by Harry Styles. I loved this simple yet striking design, the gold buttons on the jacket perfectly complemented the rich blue velvet. The cotton shirt underneath was peach and orange stripe, which perfectly complemented the blue velvet.

This robe de chambre and waistcoat made of silk, linen, gold, and peacock feather had me mesmerised. I could not believe how intricate the detailing was, the eyebrows and hair of the dragons had been woven from silk and entwined with peacock feathers. I am always in awe of how creative and delicate designs like this are, these two items of clothing are a magnificent work of art. Just like the velvet suit, this fantastic contrast of royal blue and gold created a sense of luxury and magnificence. Chinese design was immensely admired in 18th-century Europe. An Italian tailor created this wonderful robe and matching waistcoat by restyling a Chinese official’s dragon court robe.

This fantastic dress was worn by Drag Queen Bimini for the finale of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, season 2. This dress was worn to honour the tradition of wearing wedding dresses to end a fashion show. This beautiful dress represents today’s fashion fluidity between genders, and embraces both tradition and the modern age.

This wonderful exhibition is a must-see, I learnt so much about men’s fashion and how it has evolved over the years. Informative and enlightening, it appeals to both men and women of all ages.


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