An exhibition about Malcolm McLaren opens next week in Copenhagen. Here’s a preview

Next week in Copenhagen, there’s an exhibition about Malcolm McLaren.

It’s titled Let It Rock, the first show to look at Malcolm’s impact on fashion.

On display will be clothing, documentation, notebooks, flyers, invitations, posters and other ephemera, alongside showings of rare films and videos.

The show is being curated by Malcolm’s partner, Young Kim, alongside Paul Gorman.

I’m off to Copenhagen next week for CIFF – Copenhagen International Fashion Fair – so will report on it exhaustively then.

Yesterday I spoke with Young about the show.

Her intention is to ensure that Malcolm’s creative contribution to the radical fashion of the 1970s and 80s is recognised.

“I wanted the show to be about the clothes and the shops,” says Young. “People think that because she [Vivienne Westwood] stayed in fashion and he didn’t, people think he didn’t have anything to do with the clothes and the shop, that he was just the shop manager.”

Here’s a photocopy of a page from his notebook, detailing the design for the bespoke Seditionaries Personal Collection label.


(I’m taking these images, with his permission, from Paul Gorman‘s site).

The label itself.


“People assume he didn’t have creative input because he often collaborated,” says Young. “He was also a collagist. The clothes are collages, his last art work was collages, the songs were collages.”

Here’s an example of the collaging at work, evidence of process taken from Gorman’s site.

In the background of this photo of Malcolm, taken by David Parkinson, is a poster for the movie Vive It Rock.


Here’s a Little Richard record sleeve.


Cut them up, flip the image of Little Richard, and you get, from 1972:


It also appeared with Situationist slogans as a Seditionaries T-shirt from 1979.


“You’ll be able to see the creative process,” says Young. “He came across an old record that had a Peruvian print on it.”


“He took the print and used it for Nostalgia Of Mud.”


Here’s the Nostalgia Of Mud showcard.


Another example of the creative process, again taken from Gorman’s site: Malcolm’s copy of a book titled Indian Rawhide, from 1975.


Inside is this print of a design for a painted hide.


A dress from the Savages collection.


Another design for a hide.


A top from the Savages collection in 1982.


“The bra from Buffalo Gals came from his travels in Africa,” says Young. “He saw women who’d received western clothing and didn’t understand what to do with the bras, so they wore them on top. I went to see Kim Jones [aside from being an amazing designer, Kim is also a great collector] and he has some of those bras. They’re incredible, so well made, with a piece of suede in the middle. Every last detail was thought about.”

Here’s a poster for Buffalo Gals.

photo 1

The poster for Soweto.

photo 2

I’m very much looking forward to seeing the exhibition.

You may notice that I’m being particular about the language that I use, and what I say.

It’s a raw subject. As soon as it’s brought up, nerves are touched.

It seems to me the key word here is collaboration – that Westwood and McLaren were working together in a very idiosyncratic way.

In an era before logging, noting, categorisation and archiving became the norm. Before fashion houses insisted that clothes be credited as “Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci”, as many brands do today.

Young has to spend much time making sure Malcolm is credited for work he is known to have done or collaborated on.

It sounds a laborious, stressful and often upsetting process.

I hope through the exhibition, and through future shows, she gets to celebrate Malcolm and his work.

The show is only open in Copenhagen for four days.

Personally, I think an exhibition of Malcolm’s work should be somewhere like the Design Museum.

Anyway, more to come next week.

If luxury falters, what’s next? Good clothes. Lower prices. It’s exciting

Yesterday morning, I walked through Haggerston Park on the way to Columbia Road for the flower market.

Near the gates with the Hackney Road was this bag.


It’s a tricky time for luxury right now.

Much seems to be shifting.

It was on my mind throughout the recent menswear shows, and something that I wrote about in the FT for my Paris round-up.

I’ve always thought that fashion and luxury were two different fields which often inhabit the same space.

This has been particularly the case since John Galliano went to Givenchy in 1995, followed by Alexander McQueen.

And the late 90s logo obsession, led in part by Jeremy Scott’s radical logo blitz in his collections at the turn of the millennium.

Fashion and luxury have been hovering around the same space for so long, it’s forgivable to mistake them for being the same thing.

They’re not.

I’ve always been curious to see if the two would ever separate out in my lifetime.

Or at least move slightly apart so there is more distinction between the two.

It seems to be happening now, if only temporarily.

Because while fashion continues onwards (as it always does – fashion is about forward movement), luxury is faltering.

Last week’s news about profits at LVMH seemed to point to wider societal changes affecting the luxury goods industry.

It’s more than just the quality and relevance (or not) of the brand’s work, it’s about how and why (or not) the luxury customer shops.

This week, Kering Group will announce its latest figures.

They may be positive.

No-one is expecting them to be so.

[UPDATE!: Kering's results actually beat expectations, with sales climbing 4% but first half recurring operating income falling 3.9%. Gucci's sales were down 2.4%, but Saint Laurent was up 29%.]

It’s interesting to me that while this is happening to look at clothing away from what’s understood as luxury, with purposefully lower price points.

Craig Green is at the forefront of this.

I have gained so much pleasure from wearing pieces from his autumn/winter collection.

Like this denim jacket.


It feels a luxury in its own right to wear a garment as highly realised as this.

For the work that goes into his pieces, the prices are unbelievably low.

Each piece has been handpainted and baked three times to create the layers of pattern and colour.

A T-shirt from the same collection costs £270 at Other Shop.

I’m not meant to be shopping at the moment, so obviously last week I bought a fake fur little jacket by Gosha Rubchinskiy.


I can’t wait to wear it.

It was £350 at Dover Street Market.

A price that, in the wider industry context, is low.

There are other designers keeping prices purposefully low.

Nasir Mazhar.

Aaron Tubb of Bazar 14.

It’s obviously the sort of thing that I like, but maybe not for all.

Looking around online this morning, I came across Story MFG.

They’re new to me, and make clothing to order.

Like this Sundae Jacket (Two Scoop).


Isn’t it gorgeous?

The jacket is £249.

Here is their Time Jacket – Hank 2.


It’s £210, and will be produced in limited numbers.

Nowadays, I have a particular relationship with the luxury industry.

I engage with it for two intense periods a year, at the menswear shows in January and June, for my critics role at the Financial Times.

Then, I step away.

I try not to take part in any of the appointments, press days or events that occupy fashion editors day to day.

And I never post here what counts for fashion news – i.e. a brand’s new bag in a new colour or something.

I find this helps clarify my thinking enormously.

And anyway, there’s so much more interesting other stuff that goes on.

Often with an individual’s hand.

Maybe I’ll spend the next few months trying to find as much nice stuff that’s happening with clothing away from what is considered luxury.

SILENCE = DEATH. Barbie Liberation. Guerilla Girls. The V&A’s Disobedient Objects is super good

The V&A is previewing its new show Disobedient Objects this morning.

About the items used in protest.

It’s a super subversive show, important for the V&A at a time when it’s also displaying the passivity of wedding dresses or the glamour of Italian fashion.

A badge from the Act Up AIDS protests of New York from 1986-87.


Sketches from Avram Finkelstein’s notebook for the logo design.

The pink triangle refers to the badges given to gay men in Nazi concentration camps.


Fascinating to see in this era of Truvada.

A T-shirt worn at the protests.


Anti-Apartheid badges.


Another – there’s a whole cabinet of them at the show.


Hi, Teen Talk Barbie.


She’s the spokes doll of the B.L.O.


What’s that?






Because what?









Basically Teen Talk Barbie means they B.L.O. swapped Barbie voice boxes with G.I. Joes, then put them back in boxes and on the shop floor.






Too much.


Donate your voice to me, Barbie.


Too true.




The dream.




Bye now!

Apparently in 1993 they did corrective surgery on around 300-500 dolls that were sent out to stores.

The video comes from an NBC news report.

It’s amazing.

What else?

A protest flag from New York in 2011.


Yay the Guerrilla Girls!


A slingshot made from the tongue of a child’s shoe, from Palestine in 2001.


A dwarf hat from Poland in 1988.

Protest was banned, so The Orange Alternative staged surreal happenings, with 10,000 protesters dressed as dwarfs, chanting “we are the dwarves”.

Elsewhere in the show is a badge for Solidarność.


A protest newspaper from when Wapping first opened.


An anti-Putin protest sign from an LGBT rally in 2012, protesting against his proposed standing for a third term as president.

It translates as “We Won’t Give It To Putin A Third Time”.


A rice bag T-shirt worn by a Korean farmer protesting at the 2005 World Trade Organisation, opposing the corporate globalisation of food markets promoted by the WTO.


A Bust Card from the Scottish Homosexual Rights Group in 1979, giving advice of what to do and say, or not to do and say, if arrested.


Super good stuff.

The show’s free, by the main entrance. It opens on Saturday, on until 1 February 2015, click here etcetcetc.

The new Malevich show at Tate Modern is heartbreaking, about art within and affected by history

Tate Modern is previewing it’s new retrospective of Kazamir Malevich today.

The show is exceptional and heartbreaking.

It shows how art exists within and is affected by history.

The instinct is to go straight for the pre-revolution stuff.

It’s in room four that the fractured idealism first comes through.

A study for the decor of the opera Victory Over The Sun, from 1913.


An undated Black Quadrilateral, which has been carbon dated to 1914.


Black Square, the original of which was painted in 1915.

The original is now too fragile to travel – this version by Malevich is from 1920.


Black And White, Suprematist Composition, from 1915.


Four Squares, also from 1915.


This work is utterly captivating.

The next room brings together works he showed at a 1915 group exhibition in Petrograd (then the name of St Petersburg), the first time he revealed Suprematism.

Obsessed with how this red square is slightly off.

It’s official title is Red Square (Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions).


Likewise, the offness of this cross.

Black Cross or Two Suprematist Planes in Orthogonal Relation.


Fairly sure this one’s Painterly Realism of a Boy with a Knapsack – Colour Masses In The Forth Dimension, but I could be wrong.


It’s one of those rare exhibitions where wall texts genuinely contribute to the show.

Looking at these works is a euphoria of idealism.

Then a wall text points out these Suprematist works were created at “the height of a disastrous war, amid food shortages, collapsing morale and widespread despair at the squandering of human life”.

Don’t wish this work now.

Suprematist Composition, from 1915.


Suprematist Painting: Rectangle and Circle, from 1915.


Suprematist Composition with Plane in Projection, from 1915.


Supremus No.50, from 1915.


In 1916, Malevich himself was called up as a reservist.

Suprematist Painting, from 1916.


The heartbreak begins in the next room.

This is its title.


After the revolution of 1917, Malevich gradually gave up painting.

“Painting died, like the old regime, because it was an organic part of it,” he wrote in 1919.

Dissolution of a Plane, from 1917.


Yellow Plane in Dissolution, from 1917-18.


White Plane in Dissolution, 1917-18.


Mystic Suprematism (Red Cross On Black Circle), 1920-22.


Malevich tried to apply Suprematism to everyday life.

He started creating architectons – model buildings without specific purpose.


And then reality strikes.

Earlier this year I was in St Petersburg, and visited the Russian Museum.

There, it was unbearable to go from the 1910 rooms featuring Tatlin and Rodchenko into endless rooms of terrible post-revolutionary art, any form of individual thought banished.

Going round Malevich was a similar experience.

Invigorating, thrilling work up until around 1920, and then obliteration of the freedom to have ideas.

The next room is dedicated to Malevich’s work as a teacher, as he tried to make a living.

It’s quite a hard room to show in easy image, crowded with works and papers.

Ageing paper as opposed to white.

A living scrabbled together, and futile hope, as opposed to the certainty of the years before.

Here’s a booklet he wrote in 1920, titled From Cezanne To Supremacy: A Critical Essay.


A cover for Cine-Week from 1924.


Teaching charts by Matyushin for Malevich’s trip to Germany in 1927 – his only trip abroad.


In 1929, he began to paint again.

His optimism and idealism all but gone.

The extraordinary Female Torso from 1928-29.


A room of drawings shows the stark change in his work.

From 1924, a drawing titled Future Planits (Houses) For Earthlings.


From 1930-31, a work titled House, Man, Ladder.


Towards the end of his life, Suprematism is all but abandoned.

A portrait of his mother from the 1930s.


So similar to a portrait of his father he painted in 1902-03, on show at the beginning of the exhibition.


Once you get to the end, you have to go back to the start, to see the work again with knowledge of what is to come.

It makes me feel queasy.

In one of the rooms is a film of a re-staging from the 1980s of the 1913 opera he designed – Victory Over The Sun.

It looks like my kind of opera.


I looked again at the works from 1915.

This one is titled Suprematism.


So strange to see that label – 1915 reality as opposed to the year-free idealism inside the frame.


At the end is a portrait of his wife, painted in 1935, the year of his death.


Look at that detail on the dress.

Like a Suprematist work in miniature.


The show is captivating.

It is equal to Tate Britain’s current Kenneth Clark exhibit, both combining art with history to tell full, complex and, with Malevich, overwhelming stories.

I can already think of many of today’s young designers who will be drawn to this exhibition, and the idealism of his work from 1913 to the early 1920s.

They would do well to consider the rest, and not see the idealism of Suprematism in isolation.

The show runs from 16 July – 26 October, click here etcetc for more info.

“Wait one year, then we see what we have done wrong”: the amazing Piet Oudolf on his planting at Hauser & Wirth Somerset

At the opening of Hauser & Wirth Somerset last week, I spent some time with Piet Oudolf.

He has created a perennial meadow for the gallery, which is still in its preparatory stages.

It will open officially to the public this September.

Piet is an absolute hero of mine.

He is the landscape designer responsible for the planting on the High Line in New York.

I interviewed him a couple of years ago for Fantastic Man issue 15, travelling to his home in Hummelo, The Netherlands.

It was lovely to see him again.

Piet believes in the beauty and worth of the whole cycle of a plants life.

Some gardeners chop a plant down as soon as it’s finished flowering.

Piet engages in decay as much as growth, leaving seedheads standing through the winter until they are just sticks.

It means that for the garden to be in anyway ready, it needs to have some sense of decay within it.

Hence the garden opening in September, when some of the plants now in vivid colour will have turned.

Seeing a garden in it preparatory state is something of great excitement to me, because I’m always trying to work out the nitty gritty of his work – how far apart does he put his plants to get such grand sweeping effects?

In this state, before the plants have taken over the spaces, it is a chance to understand his work fully.

Among Piet’s words, I’ll post some images of plants close-up. But I won’t post images of it as a whole until it’s ready in September.

But anyway, Piet’s hand-drawn plans are things of great beauty in themselves, and at Hauser & Wirth Somerset they have an exhibition of his drawings.

Here’s the plan for the garden in Somerset.

OUDOL61346_4 - A4

(all photos of plans are @Piet Oudolf, courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth, photo by Alex Delfanne)

A detailed sketch of the lower section.

Each area of different colour or code stands for a different plant.

OUDOL61346_13 - A4

In his designs there are also matrix layers, so that different plants which grow at different times of the year can overlap, meaning the garden is in constant flux.

A detailed shot of the upper area.

OUDOL61347_15 - A4

I sit down with Piet in the courtyard, and before I turn on my recorder, he says the project came about after he created a garden inside the 2011 Serpentine Pavilion designed by Peter Zumthor.

Hans Ulrich Obrist of the Serpentine introduced him to Iwan and Manuela Wirth, and so it all began.

All involved in the project seem to have got from it immense pleasure.

I turn on my machine just as we stand to go see the garden, which is out the back of the gallery.

PIET OUDOLF: Yeah so ah, shall we go?

ME: Yeah let’s go.

You’ve seen it?

I’ve not yet, I wanted to see it with you.

[We walk out onto a colonnade that overlooks the garden, which stretches out in front of us up a slight incline] In a way the whole garden, the idea was that we wanted to create surprise for people visiting the gallery, they come to this window, should see something spectacular. And that spectacular thing was the garden, the garden with flowers and whatever. That was the brief. The rest of the landscape was simple. It should just remind you of the farmhouse and what was there before. And that is how this whole happened. [We step over a rope fence and walk towards the garden] This area will be lawn, although as you see there’s a lot of irregularity. The trees will provide shade. From the windows out you look underneath the trees into this landscape which is a little bit tilted. Being tilted makes that you look, instead of looking through it you look half upon it. Makes interesting going up and looking from the top.

And it was tilted already or you’ve put land in to make it

Oh the landscape is how it was, we work always with the existing landscape and try to make the best out of it. You see also that because it’s an art gallery you want to do more than just planting. So we designed it in a way so that if after the winter we cut back the plants it looks really designed. There’s a sort of sculpture, a framework on the landscape, patterhing the landscape. That’s why we’ve really designed the area that it, after the planting in spring it looks interesting too. [At the bottom of the garden, by a small pond, is a sculpture of a clock by Anri Sala, titled Clocked Perspective]. This clock is perfect here.


Did you know the clock would be here?

No that came afterwards but it’s the right place so I was happy to have it here. [We start to walk up into the space] So in a way the garden is very sculptured, two dimensional, and then three dimensional or four dimensional you get the garden with the plants in it. [He points to a man at the side of the garden]. There’s Tom Piper, who’s making a documentary about my work, he’s followed me for a year or more.

How are you finding it?

Very acceptable. Very easy going. [We continue walking through the garden] But you see, the garden is still young, fresh and sometimes fresh is not always the way I like it.

It’s fascinating for me to see though. I think I asked you before though about how many plants you plant per square feet, because whenever I go to one of your gardens I’m always looking to see how many plants there are.

I mean there are 27000 all together.

But in terms of the distance you put between then before they take over themselves.

Yah I think you need to, lets say if you take in mind that it takes a year to grow together, more or less, you need if you want planted it tight you could plant three times more, but you need to be reasonable and say OK how many do we need per square metre to make it work in one year’s time. Feeling mature and feeling grown together. These are the sort of rules for yourself to calculate and make things work for yourself. So if I don’t have a number per species or per plant per square metre, I couldn’t calculate, and at the same time it works in a [We stop in the centre of the garden, where the path through the centre widens, with a couple of grass mounds] these mounds are just artificial just for the pattern in the main part, and this area’s rather big but it feels good because I think it creates space. There’s already a lot of plants and you don’t need more.

And so when you were planting it, were you thinking the garden opens to the public in September so you want things to have grown and died back.

Oh this already is out of flower and in September I think that I have no idea, some plants will be just in flower, other plants will be just in decay, other plants are high and tall, the first year is all out of balance, even if it looks in balance, in my opinion it’ll never be good until next year. But in September maybe the plants are bigger. And it probably will feel like September and there’s more decay at that time.

So the Echinacea will be down

[Here are some echinacea among other planting - if you look, you can see them repeating in the space. I wish I was better at naming everything, but there you go]


Yeah or just in seedhead, and the dianthus or the sedums maybe in full flower still, but that’s different, but I wouldn’t say the garden is mature in September, it’s maybe the right moment to open the garden because it’s a little bit more dense, but nothing more.

[An area of sedum]


And this is all green rather than just half-green. But I think that’s why we said before it was when shall we open the garden, lets do it in the autumn, that’s why there are separate, the two openings. The gallery needed to be open for all the people that will come this summer, and then the garden is just an extra, a nice thing to do in September.

Was there anything that you planted that’s specific to here, or did you

No I think in the overall, it’s the concept and ideas and that makes it different from any other garden. It doesn’t matter if you use the same plants. It’s like writing a book, you use the same words but you put them differently. Or music or whatever you call it, it’s another arrangement. Because the plants have to be strong and to live long and yeah so it is… It’s hard to explain what I do, when I’ve done it.

Before you came did you have an idea, or was it connected to visiting?

Let’s say the ideas that you have are… There’s a brief, the idea that people entering the gallery would see the garden and realise it’s something they didn’t expect. So a surprise. But also very strongly present. The other thing, we have 6000 square metres, and you have to do something that is, it’s good we have some time…[He means it's good we have some time to talk]. I think the whole thing is that, I’ll explain it when we look at the drawings. It’s easier to explain what I’ve done. But there’s something that’s very dynamic, changing every week or every month, Every time you come it’s different, that’s why you probably want to come back. If you’re hear without telling you, you could feel that it’ll be different the next time you come. That’s also a reason to come back. So it’s not, I’ve seen it, this is it. And what plantings do is they create expectations, and also a longing to come back. If you feel what a garden is.

[There's someone from the gallery with us, and she says to Piet that actually there's someone else waiting to talk with him]. Is there someone else? Oh I didn’t know. I thought we could relax. [We've reached the top of the garden. Over at the side is someone doing some work on the garden] Hey Mark! What are you doing?

MARK: Tidying up.

PIET: [to me] Can we walk back slowly?

Yeah sure. So these are achillea, right?



I love them. I’ve never seen them so strong.

It’s a credo, which is a taller variety. [Click here to see the variety on the Beth Chatto website]

I don’t know it at all. Is that a eupatoria?

Filipendula. It’s meadow sweet, they call it in America. It’s a native. [Filipendula is the fluffy headed stuff at the back]


The thing that I’ve started growing most since visiting you is eupatorium.

We have that too. [We stop in the middle section, which is lower and calmer than the rest of the garden. He speaks to the person from the gallery]. Is someone waiting for me? [They reply, "In a few minutes yeah"] I think they can wait. Lets say, it’s not that they can wait but they can join us. You see this is another concept here, this middle part, if you look at the other part, this is an in-between section that is more wild, has more matrix of one grass, sporobolus, so it’s completely different in outlook from that.

[Here you can really see the spaces in the planting. Come next year, the grasses will have grown so much that the soil will be completely covered over]


Is that to separate out the busy feeling at the top and bottom?

Sort of calming yeah, more an easy feeling, but still a complexity you can feel.

And this is an achillea again.

Yeah you can do it with the same plants but different. [As we walk back to the bottom of the garden, Piet's told someone is waiting]. Yeah tell them we are coming. Maybe go show them into the gallery. [To me] It feels good, huh?

Yeah it really does.

And the water is also nice. It feels from here the water is the end of then garden and then behind it is another…


[He sees Mark again, who is about level with us at the side. Piet shouts over to him]. Mark, are you going to mow the lawn at the front for tomorrow?

MARK: Yeah, and I’ll remow all this? [Where Mark is stood at the sides, the grass is overgrown]

PIET: No keep it calm.

MARK: You don’t mind it?

PIET: I want to find you a life tomorrow instead of death.

MARK: You don’t mind this being longer?

PIET: I think tomorrow we will walk in the middle part.

MARK: You think no one will? You don’t think anyone will walk at the sides?

PIET: Yeah just see how far you get [We set off back towards the gallery, but still in the lower part of the garden]

So things like that, those thalictrum, will they get higher or will they stay at that height?

This is a lower variety, but maybe it grows taller, I don’t know. I always wait the first year and don’t comment on myself and then if things are really not good, we change it, but it’s really not so much in the whole concept so… Design work, it’s starting with an idea, going into a flow, then it taken over by something else, then I look I think, maybe I shouldn’t have put this in the front. Maybe in the middle. But then I can let it go. Because these will get bigger. Everything will get bigger. Also the echinops will be that tall, and then when they are that tall, the plant next to it will look less tall. I always say wait one year and then we see what we have done wrong.

It’s interesting you say “what we’ve done wrong” rather than “what we’ve done right”.

Yeah, it’s not really wrong. I don’t want to defend myself. If I think it is wrong, then it is wrong. Even if other people don’t see it.

[Someone else from the PR company comes over and says, "I’m going to have to split you up I’m afraid. You’ve got another commitment"]

Really? [To me] Do you want to come back in 10 minutes?

Sure yeah yeah.

Then we’ll to the gallery.

I’ll see you later

[And so Piet goes off to be interviewed by someone else.]


I’m afraid we didn’t get to talk again. We’d travelled down to Somerset on a coach, and it was soon time to leave. I’d also not yet seen around The Farmhouse, where artists can stay when in residence or installing projects. I was shown round it by the architect, Luis Laplace.

In one of the rooms is a chandelier and projection by Pipilotti Rist, made from glass she scavenged in the local area.


We went upstairs to look in the bedrooms.

Two were locked, but one had the key in its door.

We went in.

There was a suitcase and clothes on the rail, the bed slept in.

It was decorated with Paul McCarthy butt plug wallpaper.


The coach was about to leave, and so we went outside again.

Piet was in the courtyard. There was no time to go back into the gallery to talk through his drawings.

But Piet will be back in Somerset for the garden’s official opening in September.

We plan to talk more then, and see the garden in a more complete state.

I said to him we’d been in the farmhouse.

He said that’s where he was staying, in a room with butt plug wallpaper.

“I call it the BP room”, he said.

An amazing man.

Click here for more info on Hauser & Wirth Somerset – the gallery officially opens tomorrow, and the exhibition of Piet’s work is on until 5 October.

Phyllida Barlow is the first artist to show at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. The work is extraordinary

Phyllida Barlow is the first artist to show at Hauser & Wirth in Somerset.

It’s their new gallery, restaurant and education centre just outside Bruton.

Reinvigorating and building upon a previously derelict farm.

Phyllida started work on this show straight after she finished her extraordinary show still on display at Tate Britain.

She said the first room she wanted to be celebratory, hanging from its own architecture.

Hence the pom-poms.


Many of them have paper in them as well as cloth.




The construction.


The next space is small, the presence of the work inside purposefully blunt.


The work next to it.


In the next room was a piece I found quite extraordinary.


Close up with its static churn.


A view from the other end.


I could go on.

I will.


OK another room.

This last space is the most formal, most recognisably a gallery white cube.

The work in it is amazing.


Another view.


And another.


One more.


Phyllida lives in Finsbury Park, North London.

I asked her if it was different showing in a rural environment as opposed to the city.

She said it did (and I’m paraphrasing here – I hadn’t got my recorder on) – she loves the city, it’s noise, and also its politics – the fact that someone else has control and you don’t really know who or why.

In the countryside, she was interested in the control of man – how what seems an idyll has actually been controlled by man through agriculture for centuries.

She said that the country has it’s dark side.

The work here is so, so amazing.

It opens to the public 14 July I think.

One more of that amazingness.


We’re on the bus home now.


The most important message of the men’s season was BLANKETS. They are everything. Discuss

The most important message, the ONLY message, to come from the men’s season, is BLANKETS.


I want to change my title to Men’s Blanket Critic.


Blankets were EVERYWHERE this season, like at:

The house of Saint Laurent.

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Ohmygod ohmygod.


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And then at the house of Loewe, blankets were how Jonathan Anderson started to make an immediate world.

(Blankets having been a top seller at Loewe in the 1940s apparently, but since discontinued).

Here’s a couple looking absolutely thrilled with their mohair blankets in the lookbook thingy.


And then um, at um, um…

Actually there were no other blankets anywhere else whatsoever.


Two houses are enough.


I’m obsessed with blankets.

Here are some of my blankets.

A Walter Van Bierendonck blanket-that’s-actually-a-poncho-but-I-use-it-as-a-blanket.





What’s that nice man doing down there at the bottom?



Moving swiftly on.


Obviously the trippy Welsh ones from Labour & Wait.


Even trippier on the reverse.


I just got this Shaun Samson blanket from a year or so ago, woven with the Serenity Prayer.



This one is by that Piombo before it shut down and turned into MP or something.


This next one is my total everything blanket.

An old grey Calvin Klein cashmere blanket.

My travel blanket.

My watching-Big-Brother blanket (I do worry for Ashleigh).

Ohgod is this the most boring photo I’ve ever posted on said internet site?