If you follow enough fashion movers and shakers on Twitter or Instagram, you have likely seen every piece from the V&A’s new fashion exhibition already. If not, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s opened last Wednesday and is well worth your attention. For those who lived through the 80s and early 90s, it’s a nostalgic meander down memory lane, but I think it will have more value for 21st century kids who want to experience the creativity and fabulosity of those hedonistic times.
Arranged on two levels, the ground floor displays some of the gems by celebrated British catwalk designers including John Galliano, Wendy Dagworthy, Antony Price and Michiko Koshino. The opening display case features the very same inflatable Mic
This mezzanine serves up a more contextualised display of 80s clubwear. There are outrageous swastika-print tops (by Rachel Auburn, loaned By Kim Jones), bodysuits with phallic protrusions (designed by James Montgomery and routinely worn to Tesco’s by its owner) and the sophisticated body-con dresses that managed to leave somethinhiko Koshino jacket currently hibernating in a trunk under my bed – a fine example of the theatrical pieces worn not just to clubs but for everyday peacocking. The ‘Club’ focus is up a flight of steps, which you ascend to be greeted with a mirror asking the legendary phrase ‘would you let you in?’ (This genius touch is in reference to the oft-quoted line doled out at the velvet rope to unfortunately attired clubbers by Philip Salon/Leigh Bowery/Trojan/Steve Strange – delete according to who’s telling the tale…)