A sense of anticipation and excitement currently pervades The Bowes Museum as the countdown begins to the opening of its exclusive summer exhibition, CATWALKING: Fashion through the Lens of Chris Moore, which opens on 7 July.
Moore was one of the first photographers to capture live fashion when Parisian salons opened their doors in the late 1960s and has remained at the forefront for over 60 years, still producing stunning images from every major catwalk show.
Spread across three large galleries, this comprehensive study of the fashion industry will bring together some 230 of this revolutionary photographer’s original images, charting the evolution of fashion as captured through his lens. These amazing pictures will be presented alongside 40 original catwalk outfits in a unique collaboration with the world’s leading fashion houses. They include exclusive unseen 1970s photographs from Yves Saint Laurent catwalk shows, which will complement loans from Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Paris.
Spanning more than half a century, the 40 garments represent era-defining catwalk moments. From Paco Rabanne’s 1960s chain-link modernism to a Dior gown from Galliano’s unforgettably extravagant Spring/Summer 1998 show, each piece captures the spirit of the time in which it was created.
Straight off the catwalk, direct from Versace’s 2018 Tribute Collection – which brought the original supermodels together in homage to the late designer - is a reinterpretation of the Marilyn Monroe Pop Art dress worn by Naomi Campbell in 1991.
Also featuring are seven Alexander McQueen outfits, one hourglass coat constructed out of hand-painted gold feathers with an exploded collar framing the face was inspired by Byzantine empresses and Old Master painting and more recent, rarely seen works by Creative Director Sarah Burton. Only Moore, as in-house photographer, was invited to photograph McQueen’s last intimate show after his death, recalling how “. . . the music alone was enough to make me cry.”
Moore, now eighty four, remains the familiar friendly face crouching by the catwalks twice a year in London, Paris, Milan and New York. That he is revered and respected by the industry is borne out by the number agreeing to lend their designs to ‘his’ exhibition: Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Chloé, Christopher Kane, Comme des Garçons, Dior, Gareth Pugh, Giles Deacon, Hussein Chalayan, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton, Paco Rabanne, Prada, Shaun Leane, Swarovski, Valentino, Vetements, Versace, Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent.
An unusual feature of the exhibition will be a paper catwalk created by installation artist Steve Messam, acclaimed for his weight bearing bridge across a Lake District stream constructed from 20,000 sheets of bright red paper, the images of which went viral on social media
The ‘catwalk’ is made from over 5,500 pure white paper tubes. It’s another structural piece designed to be load bearing as a functional catwalk. The mass of tubes - up to 4m in height - wraps around the pillars down the entire length of the exhibition gallery.
Joanna Hashagen, the Museum’s Curator of Fashion and Textiles, said: “This is the first retrospective of Chris Moore’s work; a tribute to a man whose important contribution to the fashion industry is widely recognised. He has photographed all the key fashion moments of the last 50 years. He has documented the rise of the supermodel and the changes in the way shows are presented. But his shots are not just limited to the catwalk, his candid eye has captured behind the scenes moments too.
“I am delighted that the fashion houses have been so generous with loans to this exhibition, a testament of their regard for his work. We are delighted to be able to present this unique fusion of photography and fashion in one significant exhibition.”
CATWALKING: Fashion through the Lens of Chris Moore will pay a fitting tribute to Moore’s long and illustrious career. The exhibition opens on 7 July 2018 and runs until 6 January 2019.
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Notes to editors:
· The Bowes Museum is grateful to Darlington Building Society, its exhibition partner, for its generosity. The exhibition has been made possible with the additional generous support of the following organisations: James Cropper Ltd, Nikon UK Ltd, Friends of The Bowes Museum, Stell Cardboard Tubes and Bennett Silks Ltd.
· Yves Saint Laurent’s UK exclusive Style is Eternal exhibition drew record crowds to The Bowes Museum in 2015.
· The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes. Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in. The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods.
- The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a Major Portfolio Museum receives support from Arts Council England. Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
· The Bowes Museum has undergone major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation.
· The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 0191 301 8531, www.discoverdurham.co.uk