Britain Creates 2012: When Fashion Meets Art

The ground-breaking results of Britain Creates - collaborations between leading artists and fashion designers - were exhibited last night at a gala celebrating Britain’s creative talent in the run up to the Olympics.

Princess Beatrice, Florence Welch, Holly Valance and The Voice’s Bo Bruce, all posed in suitably glamorous (British-designed) dresses at The Old Selfridges Hotel which had been transformed into a magnificent exhibition-meets-dining venue.

There were nine collaborative pieces on show – each standout in its own way, designed to conjure the spirit of the Olympics, in the broadest sense.

Take Gavin Turk and fashion’s arch conceptualist Hussein Chalayan’s ‘The Four Minute Mile’ in which Turk talks about art while Chalayan hums in accompaniment to a soundtrack of running feet.


Meanwhile, fashion’s print master Jonathan Saunders together with Jess Flood Paddock produced ‘Life’ – an installation of 200 screen printed plastic sheets that hung from a rail – a kind of haute art swinging from hangers.

Tellingly, there was only one actual piece of clothing on display. A dramatic billowing cloak designed by Giles Deacon and his art partner Jeremy Deller, featured a coat of arms print taken from a stained glass window that Deacon described as an ‘Arts and Crafts suit of armour for an athlete’.

And the piece that most powerfully captured the triumphant Olympic spirit? Milliner Stephen Jones and Cerith Wyn Evans’ ‘Celestial Bonnet’ – a swirling five ring light installation, a glowing halo that was the crowning glory of the show.

Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion will be exhibited at the V&A Museum from 6-29 July

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