Moments of sheer delight are not limited by number or time, but by the delicate combination of their artistic quality, their resonance and their impact on the imagination. As an ‘80s teenager, Nick Knight’s images, my stapled landscape copies of iD magazine and chronologically stacked copies of the Face punctuated my own escapades and experimentations. I can still close my eyes and see the Nick Knight Yohji shots with spectacular clarity and great sense of awe. And whilst not defined by their authorship, there are few, if any, fashion creators and communicators who have continued to astound and voice our lives, times and matters with such originality as he now does through the platform of Showstudio.
So it was apt and timely to walk into ICA’s Off-Site exhibition in the Old Selfridges Hotel, just as Lou Stoppard of Showstudio’s team was engaging in a live panel discussion of JW Anderson’s show. The exhibition and the content of the show, mark fashion has a vital art form. Its compelling, accessible, personal, universal interactions connect us with our societal challenges and hopes, celebrate our core humanity and act as a living, moving channel for artistic wizardry. Fashion is a visualization of all that we need to contemplate – political injustice, philosophical reflection on the world, alongside spontaneity and our identities in relation to our surroundings. It is our dreams and our daily lives intertwined.
Having the pleasure to contribute to Showstudio’s live panel debates over the past three seasons, I have been able to partake in delicious cake, crockery and conversation with fashion friends old and new. For previous season discussions click here. This season, I will be transported from my seat in London, alongside fellow guests, to Paris as a means to talk about life through fashion’s lens. Watch this space!
Fashion is well placed to challenge convention, demonstrating qualities and characteristics needed for a thriving world. But a new aesthetic comes from the deep. The collaborative nature of Nick Knight’s work, his boldness in confronting the inadequacies of the status quo and his humility and listening qualities surely make him the epitome of sustainability and fashion, giving it new form.