I spent the first week of the Vulgar installation reviving some old, and if I’m honest, painful, memories of sewing. However, this process was soothed considerably by the admirable and talented Gesa, our resident costume mounter. We were literally building mannequins and it was fascinating seeing how much hard work goes into each mannequin. The historical span of costumes and Gesa’s breadth of knowledge was incredible as was her patience with us fledgling costume mounters.
I did not anticipate that I would be sewing bosoms onto a mannequin but indeed I did. I felt proud that my modest contribution enabled one of my favourite costumes created by Schiaparelli to be displayed in all its vulgar glory.
As an early career curator, working on this exhibition felt like the best kind of summer school where team work, much humour and the occasional grinding of teeth were all offset by the privilege of working on such a major show.
It was fascinating learning how an exhibition comes together. Wadding, MDF, litres of paint and stamina are as important as great objects. If and when I come to mount my own exhibition I’ll be able to put these lessons to good use.
Belinda Naylor, MA Fashion Curation Alumna
The exhibition runs 13 October 2016 – 5 February 2017
Read more about The Vulgar
Review by Suzy Menkes “Vulgarity, the spice of fashion life?” Vogue, 17 October 2016