London is well known for multi-culturalism, which usually refers to its diverse ethnic population. But what it’s also good at is putting on exhibitions that cross boundaries. Aware: Art Fashion Identity which opened at the Royal Academy last Tuesday night is prime example. It seeks to explore individual and collective identities through what we wear, from a painfully chilling dress sculpture made entirely from dressmaker’s pins (The Widow – Susie MacMurray) to Gillian Wearing’s film 60 Minute Silence in which 26 people line up in police uniforms. And there is so much else. I’m no art critic, but if I were, I would find it hard to be critical about this show, which is inspiring and fun on so many levels.
The opening of the exhibition on Tuesday was impressive, not only for the art content, but also for the dressed-up guests. (Sadly, no photos were allowed, or I would have taken a few). And the classy disco, showing that the Royal Academy has its finger completely on the pulse. As last year, Sketch operates a pop up cafe, jewel-like as ever with its confections.
Sketch is the perfect partner for this show. The cafe is fitted out with witty fashion comments: Burberry mac cushions on benches form seating to triangular table pieces arranged in merry colour blocks and designs. There is even a special cake on offer, in the shape of a bow tie, and which tastes delectable. Catch it while it lasts.
Aware: Art Fashion Identity
6 Burlington Gardens
London W1S 3EX
On till 30 January 2011
Sponsored by Glaxo SmithKline