With Fruzsina Bekefi and Rebecca Arnold, Alexis curated ‘Winter Mode’, which featured in the group exhibition Fashioning Winter held at Somerset House (May 2014-January 2015).
Fashion illustrations from the 1910s and 1920s show how graphic artists conveyed the latest winter styles. Luxury magazines Gazette du Bon Ton, Journal des Dames et des Modes, and Femina created a fantasy world to escape into, with imagery that showed the work of leading couturiers, including Madeleine Vionnet.
Women needed to balance their outfits between function — to keep warm and dry — and fashion — to be stylish and modern. The illustrations, by artists such as Iribe and Thayaht used spare, graphic lines and bold colour, to relate fashion to modern art.
This display showed how the illustrators’ style and use of setting suggested how winter clothes felt, moved, and connected the wearer and her environment.
Split into three themes — The Elements, Fashion and Sport — it showed how time of day and activity dictated which clothes were worn. Fashion suggested ways women could be in winter mode literally and metaphorically.
This filtered through to exhibition visitors through a visual and tactile experience, which included the curators' mock journal to handle (click "show more" at the left for your own copy)!