Saturday, 10 September 2011

Wool Modern at La Galleria, Pall Mall

Long time blog readers will remember that last year, in commemoration of British Wool Week, Saville Row was transformed into a mini-petting zoo and I was treated to a wonderful behind the scenes tour of Huntsman, one of the "old guard" of Saville Row tailors. It was truly awesome, if you didn't read it then, you can check it out here.

This year, a special exhibit of wool usage throughout fashion has been set up in Pall Mall. Entitled Wool Modern, this free exhibit features some fantastic examples of wool use in fashion, art and home furnishings. The website is , in fact, the whole Campaign for Wool website is worth checking out.

The exhibit is slightly smaller than I had imagined, however this may be due to it being split across two shop spaces and a small upstairs room. There are a large number of pieces on display, probably about the same number as were at the V&A Yohji Yamamoto exhibit I went to earlier in the year. To be honest, the exhibit is worth the trip for the fantastic free guidebook alone (I do always appreciate free stuff, must be that student attitude still clinging on!). This features photos and descriptions of each of the items on display, and will be a useful reminder for the future.

Think of a well known British designer and chances are they had something at this exhibit, from McQueen, to Westwood to Pringle. Smaller labels such as David Koma were featured too, as well as well known individual items such as Sibling's Knit Monster. Many European labels were represented too, such as this gorgeous wool dress from Lanvin AW10/11.

I love this so much I've already convinced Andrew he needs to make me one!

Other highlights included this gorgeous dress from Galliano AW10/11, sadly obscured in the exhibition by a jacket, but you have to love that skirt shape! To the right is a Sonia Rykiel AW05/06 look in the most fantastic tweedy yarn.

 I also love this fitted knit top from Sandra Backlund 2009. I'm always a fan of big shoulders, and these really take that look to an extreme. The stitch pattern is lovely and simple. I wonder if I could try and make my own.....

 Another close up now of some graphic colourwork on this Mughler AW 93/94 catsuit that I think is just great. I don't think even the most patient of knitters would want to knit at this gauge, but I can't help but be inspired.

As a special treat, the exhibition houses this 1965 YSL couture gown (if you can call it that). The blurb states that it uses 150 balls of wool, whatever that may mean. Highly impractical to wear, I may just like to have it as my coffin.

 Last but not least, this dress by Mark Fast AW11/12 (so not yet in stores!) I've been playing with pleats a lot lately, and it's nice to see them taken to the extreme in this way. In the past I've been rather vocal in my opinions on Mark Fast's brand of knitwear, but I have to concede that he does seem to be growing as a designer. This dress features only a small section (ableit on the crotch) of his trademark openwork nonsense.

I was fortunate to be able to visit with both Andrew and my friend Ali, who has a very well written craft blog over at In The Making that I highly recommend. It's always nice to get other's opinions on these things, and generally we didn't agree on our highlights! Ali loved the McQueen and the Alice Palmer, while Andrew was more taken with the Rick Owens (no surprise there) and the men's Lanvin.

In short, if your in London between now and the 28th of September, go and see this exhibit!

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, I saw an advertisement for this exhibition not long ago and thought of you - I'm glad it gets your seal of approval! I'm planning to go at some point this week.