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Drawing exclusively from the Westminster Menswear Archive this exhibition explores the invisibility of menswear due to its intrinsic design language that concentrates on the reiterations of archetypal garments intended for specific functional, technical or military use. It will illustrate how designers have disrupted this through minimal, yet significant modifications to produce outcomes that both replicate and subvert their source material.
Through this approach, the language of menswear has developed an almost fetishistic appreciation of the working man in all his heroic iterations, referencing the clothing of seafarers, soldiers, athletes, firefighters, road workers, explorers, and scientists.
This design strategy has, for the most part, allowed men and what they wear to avoid scrutiny; these garments have remained invisible within fashion exhibitions in favour of only presenting menswear as the story of the dandy or the peacock.
This exhibition aims to shine a light on these invisible men.
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Ambika P3, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LS