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Design Museum to celebrate more than 300 young designers

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Credits: Design Museum ‘Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion’; Sam Smith at the 43rd BRIT Awards 2023. The 02 Arena, 11th February 2023. LANDMARK MEDIA/Alamy Stock Photo

The Design Museum in London has revealed it will showcase “trailblazing fashion designs” celebrating more than 300 young designers from the British Fashion Council’s NewGen programme in its new fashion exhibition opening in September.

‘Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion,’ will run from September 16 to February 11, 2024, and will showcase London’s unique fashion culture on the world stage, including nearly 100 looks from the likes of JW Anderson, Christopher Kane, Molly Goddard, Steven Stokey Daley, Harri, Craig Green, Meadham Kirchhoff, Wales Bonner and Sinéad O’Dwyer.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Design Museum and the British Fashion Council (BFC) and will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the BFC’s NewGen programme, which has helped nurture and launch the careers of hundreds of designers and businesses, including Alexander McQueen, Kim Jones, Erdem, Roksanda, Ahluwalia, Bianca Saunders, Christopher Raeburn, and Saul Nash.

At the heart of the exhibition is the story of hundreds of “fearless young designers,” explains the Design Museum in the press release, with their innovative fashion looks being shown alongside films, drawings, memorabilia and never-before-seen archive material from some of the most well-known contemporary UK-based designers.

Credits: Design Museum ‘Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion’; Björk at the 73rd Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 25, 2001, wearing swan dress by KTZ NEWGEN designer. Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Highlights include Marjan Pejoski’s swan dress controversially worn by Icelandic singer Björk at the 2001 Oscars, Harry Styles’ Steven Stokey Daley outfit from his video for ‘Golden’ and a unique replica of Sam Smith's inflatable latex suit by Harri from this year’s BRIT Awards.

Visitors will also see the revolutionary neon collection from Christopher Kane’s debut catwalk collection, the upcycled Union Jack jacket by Russell Sage worn by Kate Moss for Vogue, and a vast Molly Goddard blue ruffle dress that went viral on Instagram when worn by pop-superstar Rihanna.

‘Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion’ opens on September 16 to coincide with London Fashion Week

Credits: Design Museum ‘Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion’; Erdem, Autumn/Winter 2008. Photo Sølve Sundsbø/Art + Commerce

The exhibition will be organised into sections that reflect many of the spaces which have been the creative catalyst for London’s young designers over the past three decades. These include ‘Art School,’ which will show objects highlighting how London’s art education establishments have uniquely incubated individuality, and ‘Backstage Pass,’ where visitors will get “VIP access” to the spaces and moments that take place just before a catwalk show. They will see clothing, shoes, jewellery, headwear, and make-up, which "together evoke the pre-catwalk buzz of a show".

The final section is ‘Runway,’ in which visitors will be able to join the front row of an exclusive show to see six ground-breaking presentations that had a major impact on the fashion world. Collections by Christopher Kane, Craig Green, JW Anderson, Meadham Kirchhoff, Wales Bonner and Sinéad O’Dwyer fill the catwalk.

Credits: Design Museum ‘Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion’; Christopher Kane, Spring/Summer 2007 collection, Look 14. Chris Moore @ CATWALKING

Tim Marlow, director and chief executive of the Design Museum, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with the British Fashion Council to showcase and explore the youthful energy, creative vision and rebellious spirit that is so central to their NewGen programme.

“Visitors are going to be stunned by many of instantly recognisable fashion items on show, but we hope they’ll also be captivated by the breadth, depth, diversity and world class talent that has emerged from the London fashion scene in the past three decades.”

Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, added: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the Design Museum to celebrate our wonderful NewGen initiative and its influence and legacy over the past 30 years. NewGen is our most established designer showcasing initiative and core to our mission at the British Fashion Council, as it aims to build creative and responsible businesses for the future and spotlight London’s unique position as a global leader in nurturing creative talent.

“Since its launch in 1993, NewGen has supported over 300 designers and we look forward to acknowledging their incredible work at the Design Museum this September. We are beyond proud to host this exhibition in London, the home of fashion creativity, to amplify homegrown British brands and solidify our position as a global fashion capital."

Credits: Design Museum ‘Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion’; Sinéad O’Dwyer presents her Spring/Summer 2023 collection at London Fashion Week, Old Selfridges Hotel, London, 20th September 2022. © Chris Yates/Chris Yates Media
British Fashion Council
Design Museum