Vulgarity is wanting something that you can’t be or can’t have. That is the answer The Barbican gives with the new exhibition The Vulgar. Fashion Redefined, opened until 5 February 2017.
With garments from 40 different designers (and yes, some of them are Italian brands, like Miu Miu or Elisa Schiaparelli) spanning 500 years of fashion, the exhibition wants to question whether good taste and bad taste are universally accepted and defined.
‘We want to celebrate, not to humiliate’, co-curator Judith Clark says. But its’ unquestionably that many of the ancient times or modern day outfits provoke more than please.
Very interesting the various sections: ‘too popular’, ‘exaggerated bodies’ or ‘common’, a word that has a pejorative meaning only in English (and I was very surprised when I understood that tomatoes are considered too ‘common’ for the Royal Family to enjoy them).
I always love to peruse at the museum shop at the end of an exhibition. Here I found something very in tune: if you are looking for you vulgar side but you don’t know where to start, get those sparkling and glittering fake lashes. Or, if you want to know more, grab your copy of Forever Chic, the must have for someone in the know.
Did I say that we Italians master the subject of fashion? I can prove myself right. Fashion and philosopy goes together with The dialogue between Fashion and Death by Giacomo Leopardi.
The Vulgar, Fashion Redefined, is at The Barbican from 13th October to 5th February 2017.