The Fashion Gallery, one of the biggest exhibitions dedicated to fashion and retail to launch outside of London, opens this week at Snibston Discovery Park in Leicestershire.
Objectives, a specialist in interpretative design for museums, was appointed to lead the project and develop the £800 000 gallery following a three-way pitch held last year. It was tasked with creating the overall look and feel of the 93m2 space.
Leicestershire County Council’s in-house design department, overseen by exhibition designer Ian Jones, has drawn up the gallery’s identity, graphics and signage. The graphics work includes: interpretative panels, wall hangings, object labels, signs, marketing and print materials.
Objectives has created six themed areas and a resource centre for the gallery. The various exhibits include: The Fashion Theatre, which includes an interactive centre for the gallery, allowing visitors to explore the themes of fashion identity, and Fashion Works, which reveals how clothing manufacturing and retail methods have changed over the past 200 years.
The areas are designed to stand independently and also work together to tell the story of fashion, says an Objectives spokeswoman. To this end, the gallery features a ‘dramatic’ central spine flanked by the exhibits. It provides wayfinding, creates cohesion for the gallery and also doubles up as a catwalk.
The overall scheme integrates various large, conservation quality showcases into the design to accommodate mannequin display changes.
Objectives director Neill Richardson says, ‘The challenge was to give the gallery a strong personality that would draw visitors in and support the thematic approach, while allowing the costumes – the stars of the show – to stand out.’
The gallery includes nearly 150 outfits, ranging from period clothing to pieces by celebrated designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Christian Dior and Biba, as well as local items from Leicestershire’s textile heyday. The displays also contain contemporary clothes from major high-street retailers, including Next, which is sponsoring the gallery.
Followers of fashion
The gallery comprises six themed areas:
â€¢ Why We Wear Clothes – the complex roles clothing play in our day to day lives
â€¢ The Body Transformed – an evolution of the fashion industry
â€¢ The Fabric Lab: showcasing the diversity of natural and synthetic fibres
â€¢ The Fashion Theatre – an interactive centre
â€¢ The Changing Room – displays changing fashion displays from different eras
â€¢ Fashion Works – explores changing manufacturing and retail methods