Thomas Heatherwick and Kerr Noble start work this week on My Favourite Dress, the inaugural exhibition at fashion designer Zandra Rhodes’ nascent Fashion and Textile Museum.
Heatherwick is lead designer on the exhibition and Kerr Noble is creating the show’s graphics and identity.
Both the show and museum, located in south London, open on 12 May. The exhibition, which runs until November, will feature dresses by 70 international fashion designers, each of which has nominated a favourite dress from their collection.
Heatherwick was approached a year ago on the strength of his work for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Brand New show in 2000. The project is ‘fascinating’ because it is the first exhibition in the new space, he says.
‘Most people are familiar with existing gallery spaces, but there’s no precedent at this museum, which is a great opportunity. We’ve had a totally open brief,’ Heatherwick says. He declines to give away details at this stage, but says the space features a mezzanine level and a ‘spectacular staircase’.
Kerr Noble pitched for the work against two unnamed rivals a year ago, but no decisions were made until last week following confirmation of funding. The group has its first exhibition identity meeting tomorrow, says partner Frith Kerr.
As well as the logo, Kerr Noble is designing posters, invitations and exhibition graphics. Both Heatherwick and Kerr Noble will be working with the museum’s creative director Gity Monsef and founder Rhodes, says exhibitions co-ordinator Louise Stocks.
The colourful museum, housed in a former cash-and-carry warehouse in Bermondsey, is designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. It will house permanent collections of fashion designers’ work, including Rhodes’ own.