Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Archive Chalayan: Kristen McMenamy x The Archivist

Founded in 2012 by Jane Howard and Michael Harrison, Archivist is a multi-media project which seeks to explore the cyclical nature of fashion and the perceptions of the industry, reinterpreting its findings for a new generation. 
Released non-seasonally, it steers itself away from mainstream fashion magazines, opting to carry no advertising for the purpose of selling clothes - instead showcasing the archives of iconic designers and new emerging talent. 
Inspirational rather than aspirational, the second issue features model Kristen McMenamy lensed by Axel Hoedt, in a shoot entitled "Three Faces".

Judith Clark, Professor of Fashion and Museology at the London College of Fashion, explains the story behind the imagery:

"At a time when excessive consumption is blinding us to the aesthetic and cultural significance of clothing, the second issue of Archivist showcases the three female archetypes that define an industry trying to keep up with its own success."

"Turning the pages, we see a modern enactment of the Judgment of Paris: the fresh, young face of a model; the familiar face of a supermodel; and the expressive, ‘real’ face of an actress all compete for greatest desirability, forming an extended triptych ripe for our consideration. Trained ballet dancer Lida Fox, supermodel Kristen McMenamy and German actress Bibiana Beglau are photographed by Axel Hoedt, wearing clothes that are all dated between 1997 and 2010, selected from the archive of designer Hussein Chalayan. Since 1995, the interrogation of beauty, race, culture, religion, identity and sex has been explicit in Chalayan’s clothes, but rejecting the designer’s well-documented status as a conceptual provocateur, Fox, McMenamy and Beglau wear pieces that slip tentatively between the boundaries of reality and wearability."

"In Three Faces, each woman channels Chalayan’s archive into a modern space, releasing his concepts from the imaginative prison of nostalgia and academe."



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