Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s remembered at the V&A

By Culture24 Reporter | 08 July 2013

Exhibition preview: Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, July 10 2013 – February 16 2014

A photo of a group of people in colourful clothes
The Cloth, Summer Summit (1985)© Anita Corbin
From fetish and goth to rave, new romantic and high camp culture, the V&A’s show at the height of fashion and summer is a bit of a treat.

John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Katherine Hamnett are among those contributing to a total of more than 85 outfits, with 22 denim jackets – exhibited at the V&A and auctioned off for charity in 1986 – as well as knitwear, sections devoted to specific designers and a range of magazines such as i-D, which launched at the very start of the decade.

Clubs acted as the bustling playgrounds for these flamboyant trendsetters. Taboo was carnivalesque, day-glo and metallic reigned supreme among the hard house faithful, and Shoom, according to The Face in 1988, was a heartland for dungarees and t-shirts beaming with smiley motifs.

Recreating the dancefloor, a small, club-like area has been worked into the space, the better to allow everyone to watch footage of heady nights among the statement-shouting clothes of Leigh Bowery and Juliana Sissons. Their spirit lives on.

  • Admission £5-£6 (free for under-12s, family ticket £10-£15). Book online. Follow the museum on Twitter @V_and_A.

More pictures:

A black and white photo of a gothic man in a black 1980s clubbing outfit and chains
Jonathan Batcave (1983)© Derek Ridgers
A photo of a young woman wearing gothic make-up during the 1980s
© Derek Ridgers
A photo of a red t-shirt with the words stay alive in 85 written on it in black
Silk T-shirt, designed by Katherine Hamnett (1984)© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
A photo of a denim jacket with various white designs on a mannequin
Denim jacket, BLITZ, by Levi Strauss & Co., customised by Vivienne Westwood (1986)© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
A photo of two people wearing extremely bright blue and yellow outfits in the 1980s
Trojan and Mark at Taboo (1986)© Derek Ridgers
A photo of a woman from the 1980s in a red and black outfit standing against a wall
Bodymap, A/W 1984, Cat in the hat takes a rumble with a techno fish (1985). Model: Scarlett Cannon© 1985 Monica Curtin
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