The V&A’s 'Club To Catwalk' Exhibition To Explore London fashion In The 1980s

20 December 2012 by

The V&A has just revealed details of its Summer 2013 exhibition, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s which will explore the creative explosion of style in the UK capital during the decade that brought us Boy George, shoulder pads, the Kids from Fame, crimping and leg warmers. As well as detailing the impact of underground club culture on the fashion industry it will showcase more than 85 outfits by designers such as John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Katherine Hamnett as well as accessories by the likes of Stephen Jones and Patrick Cox.

To coincide with the exhibition the V&A’s Head of Fashion Claire Wilcox is on a mission to reunite a collection of customised denim jackets that were produced in 1980s. Commissioned by Blitz magazine in collaboration with Levi Strauss & Co, the jackets were originally exhibited at the V&A and auctioned in aid of the Prince’s Trust on 10 July 1986.

Wilcox is trying to track down the jackets designed by British designers including Zandra Rhodes, Paul Smith, Jasper Conran, Betty Jackson and Jean Muir, but there are also pieces by Eric Bergere for Hermes and Mark and Syrie that have yet to be located. Already in the collection are denim jackets customised Body Map, DSM, Jacques Azagury, Richmond Cornejo and Bernstock Speirs.

The curator has made a plea to anyone that might know of their whereabouts saying: “It would be wonderful to reunite this collection of jackets at the V&A exactly 27 years after they were first auctioned here. This collection encapsulates the best of London fashion at that time. We have a set of sketches from the designers, but it would be very interesting to get all the jackets back together for the exhibition in the summer.”

The exhibition opens on 10 July 2013 and runs until 16 February 2014. Admission will be £5.


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George Skelcher (Wed Jul 10 04:43:09 BST 2013): I painted the back of the jacket for Mark & Syrie, but I have no idea what happened to either it or them...
Lionardo Cakehol Picasshol (Wed Jul 10 08:36:50 BST 2013): nor me
Stephanie Cooper (Wed Jul 10 10:13:22 BST 2013): WOW I'd love to have something I'd made in the V&A, RSC archive is as far as I've got! xx
Obie Pearl Campbell (Wed Jul 10 10:24:48 BST 2013): Are they at the V&A then Unc?
Charlotte Lindsay (Wed Jul 10 16:56:29 BST 2013): I remember you doing this- it was and still is great x
Millree Hughes (Sat Nov 16 17:37:28 GMT 2013): I remember George, i painted a mural in their studio of a boat (the ark?)and dolphins was it the same image as your painting?
Millree Hughes (Sat Nov 16 22:03:38 GMT 2013): For George Skelcher
George Skelcher (Sun Nov 17 18:37:41 GMT 2013): Hi Millree, Yes, it was the same image, which to the best of my recollections was a boat with two people in it (Mark and Syrie?) being pulled by dolphins towards and island. Someone notified me when this show was going up as they mention that they were looking for the jacket but I have no idea where either it or they are. When I was in London I walked past where the La Salle tearooms used to be (which was where you could find them) but that's gone, too. Strange how they seem to have completely can't even find much about them on the internet.
Lisa Blatch (Wed Jan 22 12:49:26 GMT 2014): I know where they are, I have two of their jackets. SYRIE is now CEO of Southend YMCA where she develops & overseas services to support vulnerable & disadvantaged
Lisa Blatch (Wed Jan 22 17:19:46 GMT 2014): Syrie is now the CEO of Southend YMCA where she develops and oversees services for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people to help them reach their full potential. I have one of their jackets from this collection.