Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive

Groves Andrew and Sprecher, D. 2019. Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive.

TitleInvisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive
TypeExhibition catalogue
AuthorsGroves Andrew and Sprecher, D.
Abstract

Fashion today is doing something that has never been done before: it is going for information and inspiration to the street and to the sports field. Perhaps it is the workman in his boiler suit, the garage mechanic, the welder on the building site, or the footballer who can provide the ‘look’ for our present-day needs.
Cecil Beaton, Introduction to Fashion: An Anthology by Cecil Beaton, 1971

Invisible Men displays over 180 garments exclusively drawn from the Westminster Menswear Archive. It covers the last 120 years of mostly British menswear organised into twelve thematic sections. It explores the design language of menswear by presenting designer garments alongside military, functional and utilitarian outfits.

The replication of archetypal functional garments intended for specific industrial, technical or military use dominates menswear design. The exhibition illustrates how designers have disrupted these conventions through minimal, yet significant modifications to produce outcomes that both replicate and subvert their source material. The endless replication, appropriation and interpretation has meant that the original meaning and function has faded through each reiteration.

Through this approach, the language of menswear has developed an almost fetishistic appreciation of the working man in all his heroic iterations. Designs constantly reference the clothing of seafarers, soldiers, athletes, firefighters, road workers, and explorers.

This design strategy has largely allowed men and what they wear to avoid scrutiny. These garments have remained largely invisible within fashion exhibitions in favour of presenting menswear primarily as the story of the dandy or the peacock male.

This exhibition aims to shine a light on these invisible men.

Keywordsmenswear
costume
Year2019
Publication dates
PublishedOct 2019
EditionFirst
ISBN9781527249790

Related outputs

Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive
Sprecher, Danielle and Groves, Andrew 2019. Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive . Ambika P3, London

Invisible Men Conference
Groves Andrew and Sprecher, D. 2019. Invisible Men Conference . Invisible Men Conference. Ambika P3 29 - 29 Oct 2019

Fashionable Yorkshire – Five Centuries of Style
Sprecher, D. and Raw, Natalie 2017. Fashionable Yorkshire – Five Centuries of Style. Lotherton Hall, Leeds Museums and Galleries

The Overworked Body: An Anthology of 2000s Dress Curated by Matthew Linde
Linde, Matthew and Groves, Andrew 2017. The Overworked Body: An Anthology of 2000s Dress Curated by Matthew Linde. Goethe Institut, 38 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002

Well Dressed Men: From Montague Burton to Topman
Sprecher, D. 2016. Well Dressed Men: From Montague Burton to Topman. in: Selby, Elizabeth (ed.) Moses, Mods and Mr Fish: The Menswear Revolution London Jewish Museum London. pp. 79-88

Fashion for the High Street: The Design and Making of Menswear in Leeds 1945-1980
Sprecher, D. 2016. Fashion for the High Street: The Design and Making of Menswear in Leeds 1945-1980. PhD thesis University of Leeds School of History

Symposium: The Vanishing Art of Camouflage
Groves, Andrew 2016. Symposium: The Vanishing Art of Camouflage .

The Vanishing Art of Camouflage
Groves, Andrew and Leach, Robert 2016. The Vanishing Art of Camouflage.

Tailored: A Very British Fashion
Sprecher, D. and Raw, Natalie 2015. Tailored: A Very British Fashion.

ARCHETYPES
Leach, Robert and Groves, Andrew 2015. ARCHETYPES . London Gallery West, The Forum, University of Westminster Watford Road, Northwick Park, Middlesex HA1 3TP

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/qx556/invisible-men-an-anthology-from-the-westminster-menswear-archive


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