As Frieze and Frieze Masters arrive in London, a look at some fashion-centric events happening in conjunction with the behemoth art fair this weekend
Frieze London is upon us once again, drawing art lovers and industry insiders alike to Regent’s Park for their fill of artworks new and old. But Frieze season is also ripe with art and fashion collaborations – indelibly linked as the two creative spheres are – offering the sartorially inclined art fanatic the chance to indulge their interest in both. Here, we round up five unmissable fashion-centric events happening across London this Frieze weekend.
Victoria Beckham has teamed up with Sotheby’s for a week-long exhibition of Andy Warhol works, now on display at the designer’s Dover Street flagship store. Comprised of 12 pieces, the exhibit traces Warhol’s bold advances in Pop Art across three decades, with a focus on the artist’s legendary studio, The Factory. This former epicentre for art, fashion and music serves as an apt theme for the multidisciplinary collaboration, Beckham’s third with the lauded London auction house to date. Head to Dover Street stat to see Warhol’s arresting, pea-green Self-Portrait in the Fright Wig (1986); a trippy collage of silk-screen prints depicting Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, enlivened with swathes of acrylic paint; a charming portrait of Yves Saint Laurent’s characterful French Bulldog, Moujik, and more.
Sculpture has long been an important part of Craig Green’s practice – both in terms of the designs that appear on his runway each season and his campaigns, which often feature sculptures in lieu of models and clothes. It makes perfect sense then that a special new exhibition, hosted by Matches Fashion at 5 Carlos Place, sees the menswear designer join forces with painter and sculptor Saelia Aparicio for a display of works inspired by Green’s S/S20 collection. A series of limited-edition Craig Green pieces sit alongside wall hangings adorned with his embroidered designs and Aparicio’s hand-painted illustrations, while a number of functional sculptures by the Spanish artist punctuate the space, each influenced by Green’s symbol-heavy S/S20 offering, centred around the idea of skin and the male body.
This Frieze week sees Prada launch the third iteration of Prada Mode, its “travelling social club” dedicated to creating singular art experiences for its members. This edition comes courtesy of American artist and curator Theaster Gates who will present a new chapter of The Black Image Corporation, his project exploring “the visual and cultural representation of contemporary black identity and material culture”. In a site-specific installation at 180 The Strand, a celebrated Brutalist landmark, Gates will seek to forge a connection between the South Side of Chicago and London’s spirited creative scene. Expect plenty of amazing archive photography from Ebony and Jet magazines, alongside an era-spanning curation of objects and imagery merging “art, music and everyday life”. A live programme of performances and talks, conceived in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory and The Showroom, London, will run concurrently, inspired by Gates’ “ethos of collaboration and togetherness”.
Don’t miss multimedia artist Shezad Dawood’s new performance work, The University of NonDualism, debuting as part of Frieze LIVE and created in collaboration with Indian-Nigerian fashion designer Priya Ahluwalia. Drawing on the legacy of visionary Bangladeshi architect Muzharul Islam, the piece fuses art, fashion, music and dance to examine the idea of architecture as a stage set awaiting human activation, and the ways in which the clothed body can enhance its structural surroundings. For the purpose, Dawood has created an adaptable stage design that functions somewhere “between architecture and tapestry”. In this geometric setting, ballet dancers will perform a piece by choreographer Adrienne Hart, set to an electronic score by Patten, wearing gender neutral costumes specially designed by Ahluwalia to correspond with Dawood’s interior as they move.
A new immersive installation by fêted Dutch fashion photographer and AnOther Magazine contributor Viviane Sassen can be viewed at the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management lounges at Frieze London and Frieze Masters. Titled Venus and Mercury, the captivating display draws on Sassen’s recent video project, which saw her given free run of Paris’ Versailles palace. Keen to plumb the depths of the site’s frequently scandal-ridden history, Sassan captured artefacts and architectural elements from within the palace grounds – a broken sculpture, a secretly penned letter – each alluding to a story from its hidden past. These are presented alongside photographs of Leïla, a French-Senegalese teenager whom Sassen met while shooting and invited to partake in the project along with her friends. These works, showing the young women frolicking in the splendid Versailles interiors, offer a complementary, contemporary reimagining of frivolous court life.