Skin tight: the sensibility of the flesh

Broach, Z. and Kirby, B. 2004. Skin tight: the sensibility of the flesh.

CreatorsBroach, Z. and Kirby, B.

Boudicca was invited to design five outfits for the group exhibition Skin Tight, curated by Sylvia Chivaratanond and profiling the

radical innovations of designers who use clothing garments to probe the cultural construction of embodied identity. Co-exhibitors

included Hussain Chalayan, Martin Margiela, Victor and Rolf. Curator Chivaratanond was interested in work exploring “the architecture of the body, the sexualized body and the

deconstruction of the body -- all of which reflect contemporary anxieties and suppositions related to both the body itself and the

emotional resonances connected to it."

Five skirts were designed especially for the show, drawing on Broach/Kirby’s longstanding research and exploring the

movement of the silhouette over time in their collections, with particular attention to the concept of corseting/girdling below the

waist, an area to which scant attention has been paid before. Five skirt patterns were made up in a single fabric. Each skirt was

displayed with a shoe hanging from it, which often echoed the shape of the skirt (for example the bulbous part of the heel was

exaggerated to echo the skirt and the form of the buttocks), with the concept of corseting even extended to boots. Each of these

pairs was displayed in front of a montage of photographs of the influences they drew on. These ranged from Hans Bellmer and

Duchamp to Allen Jones and Helmut Newton, as well as other forms of wrapped bodies, from Edward Muybridge's films to

Dorothy Tanning's sculptures.

Research involved rigorous attention to detail in styling, in particular exploring through sculptural tailoring skirts that cut sharply

under the buttocks, “the provocative sensuality of the under-curve”. Special manikins had to be constructed to work on and

display the clothes (as traditional manikins are too flat for such skirts).

Zowie Broach and Brian Kirby work as a duo, collaborating on all aspects of the research and creative process. The show

toured to New York, included talks and symposia, and resulted in a catalogue featuring a visual essay of Broach’s designs

alongside other major international designers(

Web address (URL)
Publication dates
Output mediaCatalogue

Related outputs

Broach, Z. and Kirby, B. 2007. Couture. Romanian Embassy, 5 Rue de L’Exposition, Paris 75007 25 Jan 2007

Love and war: the weaponised woman
Broach, Z. and Kirby, B. 2006. Love and war: the weaponised woman. New York 09 Sep - 16 Dec 2006

Hunter gatherer
Broach, Z. and Kirby, B. 2006. Hunter gatherer. 17 Feb 2004

The Fashion of Architecture: Constructing the Architecture of Fashion
Broach, Z. 2006. The Fashion of Architecture: Constructing the Architecture of Fashion. Center for Architecture, New York 11 Jan - 11 Mar 2006

New constructs
Broach, Z. and Adjaye, D. 2004. New constructs. Vogue UK.

Boudicca, SS:02 collection
Broach, Z. and Kirby, B. 2002. Boudicca, SS:02 collection. V&A Museum, London 29 Nov 2002

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