Contemporary Fashion Exhibition opens at Bankfield Museum, Halifax

10 September 2021

Nicola Knight (Course Leader, BA (Hons) Fashion Design) and Janie Tweddle (Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Fashion Design) are thrilled to be working with Elinor Camille-Wood (Curator, Bankfield Museum) on a collaborative research project, culminating in a highly anticipated fashion exhibition. 

Belonging: Fashion & a Sense of Place is a multidisciplinary showcase, celebrating the influence of the West Riding of Yorkshire on contemporary fashion, due to open in Halifax on 18 September 2021 until 5 March 2022.

Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Red or Dead, Martin Parr and Edward Crutchley are just some of the major names associated with the fashion industry who have been inspired by the region and whose works will be on display.

Bankfield’s fashion gallery recently reopened after being hit by the pandemic, enabling the creative partnership between Leeds Arts University and Bankfield Museum to go ahead. Curatorial themes such as landscape, community spirit, wit and humour and the enduring influence of the textile industry have been used to inspire Janie and Nicola’s selections. 

Image: Xanthe Hutchinson (Senior Lecturer, BA Fashion Photography)

Nicola and Janie explain,

"We’re really excited to showcase this diverse range of designers and artists’ work, all of which share a strong connection to the West Riding of Yorkshire. We have been really touched by the overwhelmingly positive support received from all those involved.

As fashion educators, both from the area ourselves, we felt it was important to celebrate the region’s creativity and spread an aspirational message to the younger generation.

It has been particularly rewarding to be able to include Leeds Arts University Alumni such as Rav Matharu of clothsurgeon and Mary Benson."

You can expect to see historical pieces from Bankfield Museum’s extensive fashion collection positioned alongside modern garments and fashion media in a visually striking display. Embroidered menswear, a holographic vinyl-printed gown and crocheted structural dresses are some of the contemporary garments that will be on show, displayed next to historical pieces such as an 18th Century men’s court jacket. A particularly exciting feature is a pair of dresses, designed by Sarah Burton (Alexander McQueen) that reimagine the Bronte sisters as modern heroines.

Belonging is a free entry public exhibition and one of the only contemporary fashion displays currently open in the North of England. It is a must-see for aspiring fashion creatives, families, and anyone wishing to learn more about the region’s influence on fashion and the arts.

Image: Bankfield Museum, Halifax

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