In two weeks we’ll all be Olympic mad bats, so in the quiet moments before, we take a look at fashion and art’s more static participation in the big games.
Click images to enlarge.
You wouldn’t be alone in noticing a certain patriotic mood in the air at the moment. We are on the cusp of a very momentous occasion for Britain indeed; the 2012 Olympic Games. So powerful is the legacy of the games that it is no longer constrained to the sporting world but is infiltrating fashion and art too. This summer sees the launch of ‘Britain Creates 2012: Fashion and Art Collusion’. The project, led by the British Fashion Council/ Bazaar Fashion Arts Council, will celebrate the wealth of talent in Britain and demonstrate our domination as creative leaders when the world’s attention turns to us in a few weeks.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, is properly enthused by the prospect of partnering the crème de la crème of British fashion and art in this scheme: “This summer we are putting on the most ambitious cultural festival ever in the capital. And fashion is taking its rightful place with these stunning collaborations. In brilliant style, Britain Creates brings together some of the most influential artists around and wildly talented fashion designers that contribute to a hugely important industry, which generates £21 billion for the economy.”
The venture pairs together iconic British designers and top contemporary artists, who will together collaborate on pieces of work designed to echo the sense of excellence and performance in the atmosphere this year. Huge names have signed up for the project including: Giles Deacon and Jeremy Deller; Jonathan Saunders and Jess Flood-Paddock; Mary Katrantzou and Mark Titchner; Matthew Williamson and Mat Collishaw; Nicholas Kirkwood and Simon Periton; Paul Smith and Charming Baker; and Peter Pilotto and Francis Upritchard. It is an impressive roll-call by anyone’s standards.
The collaborations emphatically echo the glory and grandeur of the games. Revealing the concept behind his sculptural piece with artist Charming Baker, Paul Smith said, “The piece we have created is called Triumph in the Face of Absurdity. That was Charming’s idea.” He explained, “It’s about ambition beyond the realms of possibility. If you look at it, the sculpture shouldn’t even stand up but somehow it does. It laughs at impossibility. It was a real feat of engineering in itself.”
The final works are currently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, until 29th July. They will then be the focus of an installation in Selfridges’ ‘Wonder Windows’ throughout August. An accompanying book, issued by the BFC includes photographs of work in progress and specially commissioned portraits of all the participants, along with a set of posters showing the finished works.
The Britain Creates Fashion and Art Collusion book, £35, is available at all major book shops, galleries and fashion retailers.
Text: Maria Dickinson
Images from left: Paul Smith and Charming Baker; Peter Pilotto and Francis Upritchard; Mary Katrantzou and Mark Titchner; Jonathan Saunders and Jess Flood-Paddock; Nicholas Kirkwood and Simon Periton; Giles Deacon and Jeremy Deller.