REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion at the Design Museum

01.02.2024
Aisha Diomandé

REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion at the Design Museum

01.02.2024
Aisha Diomandé

Currently on show at the Design Museum, REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion pays homage to the iconoclastic works of over 300 NEWGEN designers across the last three decades, who have made an indelible mark on the capital’s fashion scene, reverberating across the globe. Sponsored by Alexander McQueen, the show encapsulates the radical spirit of nearly 100 looks from the debut and early collections, many of which have become embedded within pop culture history and launched many talented designers’ careers.

Showcased alongside sketches, films, memorabilia and archive materials, the space is a true testament to the talent that emerges from London, thanks to the NEWGEN scheme founded by the British Fashion Council in 1993.

As visitors walk within an enclosed space containing Alexander McQueen’s ‘Taxi Driver’ collection (1993), here, the sense of his experimental nature comes to the fore —created when living in Tooting Bec against the backdrop of a deep recession, McQueen and his collaborator Simon Ungless took inspiration from the clubs and pubs of the city, creating wonderfully crafted pieces in varying tones of grey.

Further along, contemporary designers such as Molly Goddard’s multi-layered blue tulle dress hang from the ceiling, bringing a touch of whimsy. At the same time, Grace Wales Bonner’s sophisticated tailored suits with pearl embellishments give menswear a new lease of life— standout pieces also include a unique replica of Sam Smith’s Bauhaus-like inflatable latex suit by HARRI, alongside Marjan Pejoski’s iconic ‘swan’ dress, worn by Björk to the Oscars in 2001.

In celebrating the essence of innovation, REBEL presents a DIY-like space, where the pieces aren’t necessarily exhibited in a polished way but rather as a collage of diverse thought so viewers can experience the spontaneous, unfiltered elements of creativity.

Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion at the Design Museum. Until the 11th of February, 2024.