REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion will open on September 16th at the Design Museum in London and will showcase numerous iconic outfits that have shaped the history of fashion until February 11, 2024. From the infamous swan dress worn by Björk at the 2001 Oscars to the inflatable latex suit designed by HARRI and worn by Sam Smith at last year’s BRIT Awards. It’s a groundbreaking collection sponsored by Alexander McQueen that celebrates over 300 designers who have become famous through the London fashion scene. The exhibition will also celebrate NEWGEN, established in 1993 by the British Fashion Council, an organization that supports many emerging English designers with the goal of building a network of responsible business and creativity.
During the setup phase, the Design Museum worked closely with the involved designers to select the most significant pieces from each archive. Many of the outfits and collections on display have made pop culture history or cemented the careers of designers who later became iconic. Among the outfits on display, you will also see a piece that marked one of the moments now etched in our memory, dating back to 2001: the arrival of Icelandic singer Björk at the Oscars wearing the infamous swan dress designed by Marjan Pejoski. An outfit that garnered much attention and, over the decades, has become a symbol of an era.
But that’s not all; in the exhibition, you will also encounter some elements from the collection designed by Steven Stokey Daley. Some of these were worn by Harry Styles in one of his most famous videos, Golden. The collection takes inspiration from the uniforms worn by Harrow School boys and, intertwined with the queer element, reinterprets the style of English public schools.
Wales Bonner, Spring/Summer 2017 collection| Photo Marcus Tando & Courtesy of Wales Bonner.
The exhibition is divided into three specific sections: Art School, Backstage Pass, and Runway. All of them reflect and bring to life the spaces that have acted as catalysts for young London designers over the last thirty years. The goal of this exhibition is to inspire the next generation of designers by showcasing all the possible paths of the more than three hundred designers who have emerged from the NEWGEN Program.