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REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion

REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion

REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion  @   The Design Museum London.

(October 2023)


The Textile Skills Centre team are on tour again and before we did our workshops @the Knitting & Stitching show, we took time out to visit the Design Museum for the REBEL exhibition.



WOW! this was so interesting, whether you are going for a history lesson, a trip down memory lane or just to be inspired, there’s lots to see, not just the iconic garments, but accessories and illustrations and films.

As you walk through the exhibition there is so much to learn, about the start of upcycling, innovation in design the origins of digital printing and lots of political statements and well as why British design has a global reputation.



“This landmark exhibition is one of the most wide-ranging surveys of contemporary fashion culture ever staged in the UK, offering an unprecedented look at how careers in fashion are forged, and the multitude of opportunities London’s fashion scene offers young creatives.”


The exhibition celebrates the 30th anniversary of the BFC’s NEWGEN programme. NEWGEN supports emerging fashion designers in the aim to build brands of the future. They support by providing emerging designers with mentoring, financial grants and recognition in an increasingly competitive industry.


“The show will feature nearly 100 innovative fashion looks from ground-breaking debut and early collections, many of which have entered pop-culture history — and launched global design careers.”








“Highlights include the swan dress controversially worn by Björk at the 2001 Oscars, Harry Styles’ Steven Stokey Daley outfit from his video for ‘Golden’, and Sam Smith’s inflatable latex suit by HARRI from this year’s BRIT Awards. Collections and work by JW Anderson, Wales Bonner, Erdem, Molly Goddard, Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha, Russell Sage, and many more will also be featured.”


The exhibition is open until the 11th February 2024



REBEL EXHIBITION - Designer Alexander McQueen
What We Are Watching….

What We Are Watching….

Rachel Addy has been checking out what we have been watching this month – here’s her reviews:

On Netflix, Amazon, BBC and Disney Plus this month, there have been a number of fantastic films, documentaries and series. Listed below are a few of our suggestions for you to set for student viewing:


NUMBER 1: The First Monday in May
Textiles Skills centre What We Are Watching photo
The most exciting annual event in the fashion world, the Met Gala, was themed on China in 2015, and this video explores what happened behind the scenes.
The Met Gala’s combination of high fashion and celebrities is captured on film by Andrew Rossi. The film explores the controversy over whether fashion could be considered art and stars a cast of famous designers including filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, and John Galliano, as well as an array of current pop idols like Rihanna.
Duration: 1 Hour 30 Mins
Our Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
#metgala #alexandermcqueen #hautecouture #bespoke #fashionisart


NUMBER 2: Tales from the Royal Wardrobe

Textiles Skills centre What we are watching Oct23 image
Few people in the modern world are as well-dressed as the royal family, but this is not a modern-day, magazine-inspired fixation. It has always been this way, as Dr. Lucy Worsley reveals.
Lucy demonstrates this isn’t only a public interest, but also our monarchs’, by examining the royal costumes of our kings and queens throughout the past 400 years.
Duration: 54 Mins
Our Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
#royalfashion #kingsandqueens #fashionthroughtheages #crafted


It was the 20th Anniversary of the Festival of Quilts at the NEC this year and our very own Nicky Simpson was asked to run her fabulous Heat Press workshops which proved to be a huge hit! She agreed to do the 3 hour worshops twice, as part of the Academy Classes, and both sold out!!

Participants at Nicky Simpson Heat Press workshop at Festival of Quilts


Nicky & Molly at Festival of QuiltsNicky was joined by her daughter Molly who assisted in the workshops. They had a wonderful time teaching 30 amazing participants, the joys of printing with a heat press using transfer paints.


SElecting leaves for the heat press workshop at festival of quilts






Have a look at the results from these incredibly talented crafters, several of whom created long printed banners that they took home to either embroider or quilt.  Many said they loved them so much that they just wanted to hang them up as art pieces.

The images speak for themselves, we all had a fun time! and we can’t wait to see the results.


Festival Of Quilts banner image


What fashion student doesn’t love a corset, a favourite product with GCSE and A level students and their teachers. Where better to start your research than with the late Vivian Westwood. TSC were lucky enough to visit the Vivian Westwood Conduit Street store to see her ‘revolutionary’ corsets on show.

Vivienne Westwood Corset - article image

Vivienne Westwood’s contribution to modern fashion runs from punk to pearls. But the item that perhaps defines her legacy, the corset, is once again enjoying a moment in the fashion spotlight with shows like the Netflix series Bridgerton and its spin-off Queen Charlotte, at brands including Schiaparelli, Fendi and KNWLS, and worn by celebrities such as Adele, Billie Eilish and the model Bella Hadid.

 ‘Exploring the house’s subversion of corsetry from 1987 to the present day, ‘Vivienne Westwood Corsets’ examines Westwood’s approach to underwear as outerwear. The exhibition illustrates the intrinsic links of the corset to historical dress, culture and fine art — which continue to serve as a constant source of inspiration for Vivienne Westwood collections today.’

Vivienne Westwood Corset-exhibition at Conduit street

The designer reinvented the corset by updating a structure that dates to the 18th century.

Dolce Cioffi, a heritage manager who worked on the exhibition, said: “Vivienne literally revolutionised corsets; she did it with the eyes of the modern era.

“She was the first one who did underwear as outerwear. She revolutionised the way we perceive something that was repressive and that was made into a tool of female empowerment.”

Historical research was central to Westwood’s craft, Cioffi added: “By referencing the old, you create the new – this is what she used to say.”

Corsets for men have been gaining popularity – Bad Bunny, a Puerto Rican rapper, wore a corset hoodie while performing at the Coachella music festival – but they have been part of the Westwood repertoire since the 90s.

Vivienne Westwood beaded corsets - exhibition Conduit street store The exhibition’s highlight is two corset jackets embroidered with glass beads to represent the male torso.

Cioffi said: “Vivienne was a pioneer of unisex. Andreas came up with the idea of developing a corset that was made to fit the [male] body rather than readapting a female structure.

Dawn & Nicky 🙂

What We Are Watching…

What We Are Watching…

Rachel Addy has been checking out what we have been watching this month – here’s her reviews:

On Netflix, Amazon, BBC and Disney Plus this month, there have been a number of fantastic documentaries and series. Listed below are a few of our suggestions for you to set for student viewing:


NUMBER 1: Coronation Tailors:  Fit for a King

Celebrating the Kings coronation with a fantastic documentary regarding the construction, workmanship and expense of custom made outfits for our Royal family.

Patrick Grant of The Great British Sewing Bee visits the family business where hundreds of custom ceremonial costumes were made for the coronation. The Kashket family, tasked with crafting thousands of custom outfits for the big day, has four generations of experience producing magnificent ceremonial clothing.

Duration: 59 Mins

Our Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

#britishculture #Royalfamily #tailormade #bespoke #generations


BBC documentary - Fit For A King


This Netflix documentary examines the upcoming major change in fashion manufacturing and design processes and illustrates what our life might look like when it comes to clothing buying in the future. Designers and academics focus on disposable clothing and explore compostable clothing that combines sustainability and personalisation.

Duration: 23 Min

Our Rating : 5 out of 5 stars

#futuristic #3Dprinting #AIfashion #sustainability


Future of Fashion documentary image

NUMBER 3:  Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist 

Given that Vivienne Westwood passed away this year, we thought it would be appropriate to share this Disney documentary on her life, from her work with the Sex Pistols at her store to the iconic clothing items she created. A refined fashion designer for over 40 years reflects on what she has achieved, from her childhood journey, to the runways of Paris & Milan.

Duration: 1hr 19min

Rating 4 out of 5 star

#runway #ragstoriches #activist #punkmovement #icon



Vivienne Westwood documentary


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