• HATWALK/ Guerilla Millinery/ Part of the Cultural Olympiad

Mclean, Flora, 2012, Show, Exhibition or Event, HATWALK/ Guerilla Millinery/ Part of the Cultural Olympiad

Abstract or Description:

Stealth Visor for the Duke of Wellington

The 2012 Cultural Olympiad would not have been representative of London's creative industries without fashion design. Sponsored by the Mayor of London brought milliners to organise an alternative to the catwalk format , the designers brought together a Hatwalk, uniting landmark heritage statues, classical and modern, to be crowned with a new bespoke design piece each. Together forming a pedestrian navigation through the Jubilee city, the hats also invited twenty one milliners to consider the specificity of working for the great outdoors. Rigorously tested in wind tunnel laboratory to withstand hurricane wind speeds and squally shows the designs aim to bring the 'exclusive' culture of fashion accessories to the inclusive culture of international festival. Working with new technologies of engineering, such as laser measuring tools, and crane for assemblage and fitting, McLean brings new meaning to the familiar figures of national public authority. Since the storming of the Bastille in revolutionary France it has been traditional for the new order to symbolize change through attacking public statuary. In a similar vein, Hatwalk, invites spectators to reconsider the relationship between distant and lofty personages of power and the sartorial insignia through which their power is signified. Crowned with a revolutionary red ' large plexi punk neon number' the Duke of Wellington, at Wellington arch is the first in the Hatwalk exhibition. The originality of this research consists in the effects of surprise and Brechtian 'de familiarisation' resulting from the unexpected. The effects of this structural carnivalesque inversion of authorities can involve a range of reactions from the disdain of the offended to the laughter and pleasure of the surprised. This strategy of bringing the ludic element of play to the formalised authority of legitimised power is also signified through the conscious use of materials and colour in a monochrome and uniform culture of statuary. Here the difference in materials and visible surface of the design signifies the differences that need to be included within a socio political order before it may takes its place in history as being representative of the people it is entrusted to lead.
This research output continues the work that led to the Hat Anthology exhibition (output 1), the Fifty Hats that Changed the World (output 2), the Jamaican Olympic team headwear design ( output 4), and is continued in the design, merchandise, accessories and avant garde artefacts of the House of Flora ( see website). The iterative process of the research brings innovation within continuity to McLean's work. It is difficult to theorise the 'rigour' that is undeniably present in a creative design praxis except in that McLean;s research outputs are always surprising and unexpected.

HATWALKLondon30 Jul 2012Mixed show
Official URL: http://www.graziadaily.co.uk/hatwalk
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W230 Clothing/Fashion Design
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2016 22:57
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2023 12:40
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1168
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