exhibitions Archives - DisneyRollerGirl

exhibitions

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: CHANEL, GUCCI, GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY, FIORUCCI

Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…

1. CHANEL TO STAGE MADEMOISELLE PRIVE EXHIBITION
Chanel MADEMOISELLE PRIVE exhibition coming to the Saatchi Gallery in London

It seems like Chanel is never out of the news and this week it’s to announce a forthcoming exhibition that celebrates the heritage of the house. (more…)

Don’t Miss: Tiffany’s New York minute in London

Tiffany & Co. Fifth & 57th at Selfridges - New York

The Selfridges x Tiffany & Co. ‘Fifth & 57th’ exhibition is yet another example of luxury brands seducing existing and prospective customers with immersive bricks and mortar experiences. This delightful experience takes place in the Old Selfridges Hotel, an annexe behind Selfridges where you’ll ascend a couple of flights of stairs and find yourself seeemingly slap bang in the cross fire of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, New York. (more…)

Last chance to see The Chinese Photobook exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery

The Chinese Photobook exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery, London.

The Photographers’ Gallery in London is one of my secret escapes. It always has excellent, thought provoking exhibitions, there’s a wonderful bookshop and a not-half-bad café.

During Photo London it had a special curators’ tour of the Chinese Photobook exhibition. The tour was jam-packed with overseas press and other visitors but when they went off to the next thing on their agenda I stayed for over an hour to gen up on my knowledge of China and photography via the incredible exhibits on display.

The exhibition came out of the book of the same name – a joint project between the legendary documentary photographer Martin Parr and Dutch photographer duo WassinkLundgren (Thijs groot Wassink and Ruben Lundgren). Martin Parr is well known for his collection of photobooks but when he decided to develop his knowledge of Chinese photobooks, he called on the help of Lundgren, then based in Beijing, to get him access to books that weren’t easily available to the non-Chinese resident. Rare books in China can be bought from flea markets and online auctions, but to buy from an online auction you need a Chinese bank account. Thus the process of compiling The Chinese Photobook book properly began.

The subsequent exhibition starts with books from the early 20th century documenting the colonisation of China and progresses to include the Sino-Japanese war, the Cultural Revolution and the emergence of modern China. The juxtapositions of similar books with very different political agendas is revealing and serves as a great storytelling device. But within that, some of the photography is just really compelling and the book designs elegant and timeless. There’s an image from a book called Front – Manchoukou, An Epic, which is the book version of a propaganda magazine published on behalf of the Japanese military on the founding of the puppet state Manchukuo. The book used the best photojournalists and graphic designers of the time to produce these high quality visuals which look just as fresh and dynamic today.

Towards the end of the exhibition, we get an insight into millennial China, from independent artists producing their own limited photobooks and from those documenting the shifting cultural landscape of the last decade of old-into-new China. Of these, I was intrigued by the story of French photographer Thomas Sauvin who discovered hundreds of old negatives in a recycling plant. He then made it his business to edit this unintentional documentary stash into a series of books that demonstrate twenty years of recent Chinese development. The loose themes (TVs and Fridges, Marilyn and Ronald, Leisure and Work…) serve to highlight the westernisation of contemporary China.

BELOW: The photography and design of this 1928 book, PEKING by German photographer Heinz Von Perckhammer is just stunning…
The Chinese Photo book Photographers Gallery

I love the cartoony, illustrative borders of this book layout
The Chinese Photo book exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery, London

This was a real eye-opener, from the section called Manchuria and the Sino-Japanese War 1931-1947. Japanese and Chinese books are shown side by side, both presenting their own nation in the best light. The designs of the book are remarkably similar, but the contents couldn’t be more different…
The Chinese Photo book exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery, London

BELOW: Here’s the image I mentioned from Front – Manchoukou, An Epic – the typography and layout remind me of something you might see on a Bruce Weber fashion shoot today
The Chinese Photo book exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery, London

As you get into the Cultural Revolution years, you see the full scale of propagandist books. In this one, Mao’s vice chairman Lin Biao’s face is crudely obliterated from copies of books following an alleged attempted coup against Mao
The Chinese Photo book exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery, London
The Chinese Photo book exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery, London

Beautifully presented handmade books from modern day photographers and artists. This is a fairly recent development; independent artists just would not have had the authority to publish their own photobooks in China before
The Chinese Photo book exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery, London
The Chinese Photo book exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery, London
The Chinese Photo book exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery, London

At the end of the exhibition, we get an insight into today’s China from the book Modern Times by the Taiwanese Patrick Tsai (below) and the publications of Thomas Sauvin’s Silvermine (bottom), presented in individual slipcases.
The Chinese Photo book exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery, London
11 The Chinese Photo book exhibition Photographers Gallery

THE CHINESE PHOTOBOOK exhibition finishes on 5th July so do try to catch it if you’re interested in photography and history. And if you can’t make it, the book is definitely a worthwhile (if pricy) buy. All the info can be found on The Photographers’ Gallery website.

WORDS AND IMAGES: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl

THE DRG STYLE INDEX: MARGARET HOWELL, JOHN SMEDLEY, HILL& FRIENDS, DIOR

Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…

1. MARGARET HOWELL PAYS TRIBUTE TO BARBARA HEPWORTH
Margaret Howell for Tate by John Hooper

Every year Mr DRG and I talk about going to St Ives and I’ve still never been. Oh well, this summer St Ives (kind of) comes to us with Tate Britain’s new exhibition, Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World. To accompany it, there’s a lovely Hepworth-inspired capsule collection from Margaret Howell, including a smock, work shirt, dungarees and silk scarves. Buy them here.


2. JOHN SMEDLEY’S UNISEX KNITS

John Smedley unisex knitwear

John Smedley is one of my go-tos for all-season knitwear. Just landed is Singular, a unisex offering of waffle textured extra-fine merino wool jumpers. The utilitarian styling and neutral colourways remind me of school uniforms and 1950s gym kit – in a good way obvs. The sweater is £145 and the T-shirt is £115. Buy them here.


3. THE RETURN OF EMMA HILL

Emma Hill launches Hill And Friends

While we wait to see what Hillier Bartley (from Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley) brings this autumn; the news arrived this week of an accessories brand from Emma Hill. Do we need another accessories brand? Well, as Hill was the brains behind the Mulberry revamp and Gap’s early noughties successes it would be prudent to pay attention to what Hill & Friends delivers when it launches in September. A collaboration with former Mulberry brand director, Giorgia Fendley, the SS16 collection will be sold at Net-a-Porter.com and Hillandfriends.com the day after the LFW presentation. Join here for updates.

4. DIOR’S VIRTUAL REALITY BACKSTAGE BEAUTY
Dior uses 3-D virtual reality to let customers virtually go backstage at its fashion show

This is a clever and unexpected concept from Dior. Clearly, live streaming and Instagramming the show is just not enough; these days punters want to feel even more immersed in the backstage experience. Well that seems to be the view from Dior, who is promoting its Dior Show beauty line (which I love) with some rather fancy virtual reality action in selected stores. Fash & Mash has the story.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla