A new art exhibition will explore the ways that fashion and design can be used as a force for social change. The BBC reports that the ‘Designed for Life’ exhibition will be held by the London College of Fashion (LCF) who are based in East Bank, London’s new cultural quarter in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The exhibition will feature a range of media, including textiles, film, print, photography, and artefacts that have never been publicly and collectively displayed before.
A centrepiece of the exhibition will be ‘Dress for our Time’, which is an artwork created from a decommissioned refugee tent, donated by the UN Refugee Agency. The tent displays data and migrant statistics and also gives a platform to the voices, hopes and fears of displaced women from war torn parts of the world.
‘Dress for Our Time’ was created by sustainable fashion researcher and artist professor Helen Storey. She also created the ‘Message of Hope’ project in collaboration with the TIGER girls, an acronym that stands for ‘These Inspiring Girls Enjoy Reading.’
Lindsay Pentelow, Head of Cultural Programming, London College of Fashion, UAL, said in a statement on the college website: “This exhibition serves as a momentous occasion, heralding the inauguration of our East Bank campus situated within the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”
“Designed for Life stands as a testament to our mission to change lives through fashion and to lead the charge in cultivating a future where the impact of fashion is embraced and celebrated for its boundless reach and is the perfect way to launch our new Cultural Programme and welcome the public into our new home.”
Further key themes will focus on the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, which will explore how the fashion trade can be decolonised. There will also be the opportunity to view the first ceremonial coat created for the high sheriff of Greater London, which was designed as part of a collaboration between fashion students and current and ex-prisoners.
“We cannot wait to welcome our new neighbours and visitors to explore the countless stories of decades of collaborations with our partners and community collaborators through an array of textiles, film, photography, and personal narratives.”
“With themes reaffirming our local, regional and global community’s unwavering dedication to harnessing the dynamic force of fashion and creative expression to instigate positive change we hope visitors leave Designed for Life considering all the ways fashion and creativity can forge unity and ignite empowerment through meaningful employment.”
The LFC are collaborating with University of the Arts, London, at their new shared site. The Designed for Life exhibition will run from 2 October until 19 January 2024 and is free of charge.