Friday, 4 January 2019

Catwalking. Through the Lens of Chris Moore - exhibition at Bowes Museum


Between Christmas and New Year,  David and I visited the exhibition ‘Catwalking. Fashion Through the Lens of Chris Moore’ at Bowes Museum. I missed a visit with my sewing bee buddies because of my foot but wanted to see it before it ended on 6 January.
Museum poster

I thought David would be interested in the photographs while I was more interested in the actual garments on display. He also has photography class homework for the new term and thought he might complete that between the grounds and photographing the famous silver swan. His key task was to provide an element of location to his photos. He thinks he has achieved that.
The famous silver swan - not in operation here.

I bought the book ‘Catwalking’ that is associated with the exhibition - it's a huge book well worth the price tag.. It's fascinating that this 84 year old man is still active photographing twice a year in 4 cities. The exhibition, and his book, catalogue the changes to the catwalk, the fashion show, fashion itself and particularly attitudes towards photographers etc over 50 years. Not to mention the change from film to digital. Photographers were banned originally.
The Book

The exhibition was a combination of Chris Moore's photographs, displayed n the walls (over 400 of them), loaned designer garments on mannequins, video presentations, posters and there was description of each piece and photo. These were alongside the museums display of textiles. 

We were allowed to take photographs of everything except the Alexander McQueen garments as long as we didn't use flash. They said they didn't have copyright for the McQueen garments.  It was really quite dark inside the exhibition and I'm not sure how well my photos will come out. These are for record however and I hope that the book will contain some of the iconic images. I focused more on the garments and details of the garments while the photographs are more about the model showing the garment and the experience of the catwalk. The book of course can't recreate the actual seeing (not feeling) of the garments loaned by the designers for the exhibition. It’s interesting, actually, that the reproduction of the photos in the book just doesn’t come up to the quality of the real photographs displayed on the walls

I said we couldn't touch. The museum has put up two pieces of embroidered fabric specifically for touching as they want to see the effect on the fabric. I thought I had taken photos but I can't find them

Supermodel

Super boobs - but they're at the side

Can you see from this image? weird!

I found a couple of designers that I really liked - confirmed my previous thoughts - and a couple that I’d never heard of (Bill Blass, ‘87, New York - well I had heard of him but that’s about all). I love Chloe by Karl Lagerfield (1973), Giorgio Armani, Chanel by Karl Lagerfield, 80s and 90s, Azzedine Alaia, Alexander McQueen of course, Margaret Howell,  I didn’t enter the Designin’ December run by Linda of ‘Nice Dress Thanks I Made It’ - however, I will look through the book and start planning to enter one for next December. That might give me enough time. I have some beautiful dupion silk that I really want to use before it reaches school age! I have images of most of the names I have mentioned - and a lot more - but they're not great.

Comme Des Garçons


Close up of front

Close up of detail

As is always the case, some of the fashion was horrendous, while some I would have worn. I had the opportunity to examine the finish up close - and decided it’s not better than mine in some cases. I have huge issues with fit - but when I saw a pair of trousers on one of the models on the catwalk (on big screen) I couldn't believe just how bad the fit was. It was one model only, really - but she should never have been in those pants if they were such a bad fit. Mine are wonderful in comparison! I know that garments are made to a particular size and not custom made for the models - but really! I don’t know if I will be able to reproduce the image I took.
That back view of the trousers!!

Apparently this was Prada's 'Ugly Period' evoking 70s uphostery
The photo looks better than the reality!
Maybe I should practice my embroidery

Front view
I have lots of images but my favourites wouldn't be yours - and you'll get a better reproduction from the web!!

It’s clear that Chris Moore was one of the first catwalk photographers - in fact he started before the catwalk existed. I hadn’t heard of him. Photographers from the 60s are better known (eg David Bailey) and the fashion models from that era (Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy) and from the era of the ‘supermodel’ are more recognisable. But he started it.


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