Archives are usually repositories of objects, not intended for further use, rarely displayed in static exhibitions or museum cases. The Arc is a working archive, consisting of garments, accessories and other paraphernalia amassed by designer Jennefer Osterhoudt. Many items are by John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, with whom she worked very closely from the beginning of their careers and throughout their time at Givenchy, as an accessories designer in Paris during the 1990s. Created by stylist Nick Royal, this constantly expanding collection is regularly frequented by established designers and stylists who use it for editorial photoshoots and campaigns.
This exhibition highlighted the eccentricities and rarities from this archive, pieces that as much embody the processes behind creating elaborate toiles in expensive fabrics as reveal complex and labour-intensive techniques used by high fashion. Various personal items sat aside rare handmade invitations, crafted prototypes and toiles that made it into production and select examples were shown alongside a wall of photographs of her own vast shoe collection. Showcasing these pieces revealed that an archive can be as much about preserving objects for posterity but as a resource to inform future image-makers as they reinterpret ideas from the not-so-distant past.
Inside Arc was curated by Polona Dolžan and commissioned by Ligaya Salazar
The Arc was jointly created by designer Jennefer Osterhoudt and stylist Nick Royal
Graphic Design by Dennis McInnes
Build by Robin Shepherd
Image: Inside Arc, Fashion Space Gallery, London, 2018 by Mateo Lopez