PM Gallery showcases Second Nature: The influence of environment on fashion

By Emily Beeson | 16 May 2013 | Updated: 20 May 2013

Exhibition preview: Second Nature, PM Gallery, London, until July 7 2013

a photo of a woman in an animal print dress, beehive hairdo and head scarf
Swash© David Dunan
The relationship between fashion design and nature and the environment is a time-honoured one with a contemporary resonance in the work of designers such as Donna Karan, Giles Deacon, Lara Jensen and Peter Pilotto.

Exploring the relationship between style and nature and the influence of biological patterns and motifs on design, materials and production, this show travels from the catwalk to the widlerness via textiles, illustration, video, and of course, an impressive range of garments.

Set in the extension to one of neo-classical architect Sir John Soane’s great creations, Ealing’s Pitzhanger Manor, the collection has been brought together under the influence of Soane’s own interest in nature’s beauty.

The manor, situated in Walpole Park, is Soane’s self-designed palace, a residence where the natural world could be experienced through inspired design. Here he entertained friends and housed a grand and extensive collection of art and antiquities.

The exhibition’s curator, Gemma Williams, describes the combination of exhibits and setting as "a feast for the eyes". It features the aesthetic and textural qualities of plumage, flora, fauna stone and coral.

The exhibition also attempts to chart the influence of natural fabrics and palettes in luxury fashion items by the likes Zandra Rhodes, Laura Ashley and Jaeger.

A collection of sculptors and designers including Nora Folk, Simon Costin and Yasemen Hussein have created a treasure trove of intricate objects based on the delicacy of organic forms.

The combination of environmentally influenced pieces by top designers, artists and Soane’s trompe l’oeil and bright, detailed wallpapers offers an illuminating take on our aesthetic view of the natural world.

  • Open 1pm - 5pm (11am-5pm Saturday, 1pm-5pm Sundays May-September, closed Monday). Admission free.

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