Writing Clothes: An Exhibition of Fashion Text

Thursday, June 13, 2024 – 10:00Tuesday, October 1, 2024 – 18:00

'Writing Clothes: An Exhibition of Fashion Text', curated by Jeppe Ugelvig & Laura Gardner, is an exhibition that explores fashion as constructed through text, language, and writing.

Writing plays an important but often subliminal role in fashion's artful game of marketing. While the industry invests substantially in seasonally refreshing its visual messaging, in an industrial context (from press releases to magazine-making), text is similarly bound to the promotion of fashion. Fashion writing is a process of mystification, capable of revealing and concealing things that the image cannot. While fashion industry writing has a poetic dimension in its ephemeral seasonality, there also exists a long tradition of poetic and experimental writing in the work of designers, academics, and art critics. Practitioners have explored fashion-as-text, using fictional and poetic strategies to interrogate these dynamics.

Coinciding with the launch of the sixth issue of Viscose which also takes 'Writing Clothes' as its premise, the exhibition surveys historical and contemporary texts—from Stéphane Mallarmé to Shanzhai Lyric, Eduardo de Costa to Balenciaga—that take fashion as their subject. The exhibition puts these approaches together to explore the complex, poetic, and critical capacity of 'writing clothes.'

'Writing Clothes: An Exhibition of Fashion Text' is a collaboration between the National Museum of Norway & International Library of Fashion Research.