Plenty of fish in the sea? Maybe not, says Selfridges, which today embarks on a multi-pronged initiative to highlight the hazards of over-fishing and pollution to the world’s oceans.
The store has teamed up with more than 20 groups to devise a month-long programme, inviting top chefs, turtle conservationists and documentary filmmakers to share their expertise. Naturally, there’s a fashion element as well—activist designer Katharine Hamnett contributed two limited edition slogan t-shirts.
In the Wonder Room, the ocean-themed ‘Washed Up’ exhibition features vintage and couture fashion pieces, from Lady Gaga’s crystal-covered Philip Treacy lobster headpiece to selections from Alexander McQueen’s Plato’s Atlantis collection. Iris van Herpen’s avante garde octopus dress, 18th century seaside walking dresses and Hussein Chalayan creations stand in a landscape of coral and driftwood seized by customs agents.
‘Fashion exhibitions are usually about dress history—they’re self-celebrating,’ curator Judith Clark told us yesterday, just before embarking on one last all-nighter to finish installing the exhibition. ‘This is a rare opportunity to serve a more political brief, drawing attention to what is happening to the ocean in a rather light-hearted but poignant way.’