There’s a decent amount of menswear in the V&A’s new show Undressed – some pics

The V&A is previewing its new exhibition Undressed this morning.

It takes up residency in the central space of the Fashion hall for the next year or so.

The show is all about underwear, and most of the attention will be on the examples of corsetry through the centuries, many of which are eye-wincing and extreme.

But there’s also a decent amount of menswear in the show. On that I shall focus.

One of the first looks seen is an 18th century linen top and drawers. 

Look at that sleeve.

Those drawers.


Men’s socks.

The show is not especially linear, more by theme, but I’ll impose on it some order so this is not too skittish.

And warning: my pics from this show are even more fantastically amateur than normal.

Jaeger woollen top, supposed to regulate temperature.

Some breeches.

1920s linen shorts made for the climate in Egypt.

A jock strap.

I quote: “this jock strap was owned by a wealthy socialite and diplomat with a renowned and impeccable sense of style: Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle Junior (1897-1961). He was a skilled amateur tennis player.”

So there you go.


Chukka – Throwaway Briefs for Men.

From around 1970.
The exhibition is clever to pick up on the sexualised undercurrent of underwear imagery for gay men.

If you couldn’t get hold of porn like you so easily can now with the internet and porno providers like, there were always underwear adverts.

Here’s one for Dean Rogers.


A shop promo figure for Y-Fronts, which sat on the counter of a men’s store in The Hague.

Some actual Y-fronts.

Some Disney print men’s bikini briefs.

“This pair was bought from a mail order advertisement in The Observer newspaper.”

Best caption ever.


A 19th century men’s dressing gown.

A Vivienne Westwood look shown on the womenswear catwalk, but this example was worn by a man.

And then, opposite, a Sibling knitted top and lounge pants from 2013, featuring toile de jouy images of the London riots.

And some Church’s slippers.

They’re all pieces I donated to the V&A.

This is obviously a tenth of the show or something.

The majority of it is women’s, which has its own multi-layered narrative.

But it’s great that from it, a menswear story can also be extracted. 

The show opens to the public on 16 April, runs to 12 March 2017, click here for more etcetcetc.

Three more exceptional shows from Glasgow International: Tamara Henderson, Aaron Angell, Claire Barclay

Three more shows from the excellent Glasgow International, which opened this weekend just gone.

Tamara Henderson at the Mitchell Library.

Her work is completely new to me, and I am now obsessed.

This is Garden Photographer Scarecrow.


I mean I pass out.

She works from stuff she remembers from dreams.

Close up with the scarecrow.

The back of its head.


Its arm.


I guess these are its knees.


A foot.


Opposite is Body Fountain Fetch.


Those pipes and daffs.


Surrounding them are cloth sculptures.


Close up on that T-shirt body.






It was one of those shows that you go round once, then go round again, see more, and again…

I was forever in there.



Spot the dolphin.






This one was my favourite.


Over at the begonia greenhouse of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Aaron Angell had installed some works.

He’s a particular fan of begonias, so the placing is apt.












So so major.

A begonia leaf.


Over at the disused Kelvin Hall, Claire Barclay.

Another artist new to me.

A long view.


From the side.


Close-up on that slick.




So so so good.

There’s so much talk about the market at the moment, about its imminent collapse, its collapse that has already begun.

It’s as if this talk of market was the only story.

The work at Glasgow International points towards another way.

Which is a focus on work of lasting worth, often unsung, rather than that of obvious fame, infamy or novelty.

Four artists completely new to me: Cosima von Bonin; Tamara Henderson; Claire Barclay; Liz Magor.

One artist who suddenly made sense: Mika Rottenberg.

It was such a contrast to come back to London and see the new conceptual art show at Tate Britain, which is so confined to a male, expected idea of art.

In Glasgow, I’d gotten used to seeing stuff that to me was of broader reach.

Which is how things should be.

If you can get to Glasgow, go go go. The directors programme of shows is on until 25 April.

Tate Britain’s new show Conceptual Art in Britain should be renamed Male Romanticism in Britain

Tate Britain is previewing today a show it’s calling Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979.

More accurately, it should be called Male Romanticism in Britain 1964-1979.

Since the majority of the work is by male artists, and most of it is essentially romantic.

The land art of Richard Long.

The elevation of words by Art & Language.

The recording of location by David Tremlett.

All valid work, but all romantic.

And very, very male.

ringn’66 by Barry Flanagan, 1966.


A pile of sand, which seems a pretty romantic gesture towards material.

Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges) by Roelof Louw.


Anyone can take an orange from the top of the pile – a romantic gesture.

Maybe its because printed text seems so obsolete nowadays, but all of the work of Art & Language looks romantic to me.


The work of Bruce McLean is new to me.

Pose Work for Plinths questions plinth-based sculpture, taught to McLean in the 60s by Anthony Caro.


Another by McLean.


Keith Arnatt’s Self-Burial seems now a deeply romantic work about relationship with land.


The very title of The Pilgrim’s Way by Hamish Fulton makes it romantic.


It seems so strange to still be describing Richard Long in terms of conceptualism.

His work is so deeply romantic it overrides any attempt to call it conceptual.


Alongside it is The Spring Recordings by David Tremlett.

A series of cassettes, each featuring a recording from the 81 counties of the UK.

Again, a deeply romantic gesture.


Unless I missed something, the first work by a female artist appears in the fourth of five rooms.

Untitled by Sue Arrowsmith.

A series of photos of a frame in various states of being painted.

(Apologies for the reflection of me in the glass)


What’s interesting is how this take on conceptualism includes little antagonism.

At least retrospectively.

Now it mostly seems polite.

It’s not until the final room that there is any sense of push.

Homeworkers by Margaret Harrison, from 1977.


The Twin Towers by Stephen Willats, also from 1977.


It’s the sort of show that makes you feel there must be another story that went on.

But if you’re interest is in male romanticism, then its perfect.

The show opens tomorrow, click here for more etcetcetc

If you’re going to visit, maybe wait for a couple of weeks till Pablo Bronstein’s Duveen galleries commission opens…

More from Glasgow International: Liz Magor, Alisa Baremboyn, Matthew Smith, Monika Sosnowska etcetc

Here’s more from Glasgow International, the biennale by any other name which is opening this weekend.

The great boon of the festival is its intent to introduce artists who may not have been exhibited seriously in this country before.

At the Glasgow Sculpture Studio is an excellent show featuring Liz Magor and Alisa Baremboyn. For both it’s their first institutional show in the UK. Magor is Canadian, born in 48. Baremboyn is based in NY, born in the Soviet Union in 82.

In a display of fantastic professionalism, I’ve left all my notes in my room, so I’ve no idea what any of these works are called.

Liz Magor.

Alisa Baremboyn.







Come on, show your face.

OK don’t.

It’s such a strong show.

I’m now evengelically Magor.

I say her name about every fifth word.

What else?

Matthew Smith at Koppe Astner.

The work as a whole is called Smile.

There’s 27 of them.

Based on the saw in Roobarb and Custard.

Roobarb used to go into his shed and get sawing.

They’re so so major.

Upstairs at Mary Mary is Emily Mae Smith.

More Mae Smith.


Monika Sosnowska at Modern Institute.

A close-up, because I went during the opening.

A lot of people.

So imagine this massive, filling a room.

You get the idea.

Outside were some other works they were quite beautiful.


And yes that is a dog taking a shit in the background.

I hadn’t realised quite how much mid-performance.


At the other Modern Institute gallery, A Petition For An Enquiry Into A Condition Of Anxiety by Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan.

The desk speaks.

That guy at the back.

I loved the room by Kate V Robertson, apparently in the old courthouse.

An exceptional show by Kevin Hutcheson, a Glasgow artist who died last week.

Another work.

More artists new to me.

Derrick Alexis Coard at Project Ability.

And the total unknown: Louis Michel Eilshemius, a favourite of Duchamp, at 42 Carlton Place.

So there you go.

And I’ve barely begun.

The amazing Glasgow International opens today. Some pics of what I’ve seen so far

I’m in Glasgow, where the Glasgow International festival is opening.

It’s a biennale by any other name, a programme of curated exhibitions and other shows happening over a 17 day period.

And it’s properly major.

Sheila Hicks at Tramway.


The work is called Mighty Matilde And Her Consort.

That’s Matilde.


This is her consort.


There is also yarn in the tracks.




I mean amazing.

Alexandra Bircken also created a work responding to the train tracks that run through the floor of Tramway.


Its wheels sit in the tracks themselves.

Another by Bircken: Combinations, made from zippers.


Lawrence Wek has created a digital film about transforming the old QE2, built in Glasgow, into a new home for the Glasgow School of Art.


A boat that sits outside the screening area.

It’s housed in a construction made by Martin Boyce, who also has made some screens that intersect the space.


The show at Tramway is curated by Sarah McCrory, the director of the festival, and it looks at labour, manufacture, craft and production.

All of which swoops into extraordinary clarity in the films of Mika Rottenberg.

I’d already seen bits of Squeeze at Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York, but here in Glasgow it all suddenly clicked.

Lettuce workers in Arizona.


Holes appear in the floor, through which they put their arms.


Fully in.


Their hands are washed by workers in some strange ever changing box structure.

Workers soothing workers.

Scenes as the box changes.


More box changes.




This happens.




I could go on.

And I didn’t even watch yet her newer work, NoNoseKnows.

The festival is extraordinary for bringing such important work to a city with such a density of art students.

It’s stuff they need to see, and would never normally get the chance.

Over at GOMA is a show by Cosima von Bonin.


It’s so major.





And then last night Marvin Gaye Chetwynd instigated a performance at the School of Art were stuff went down.

Like this.


Hold up.

Back it up.




The exit of Hedi Slimane from Saint Laurent is uniquely respectful, a story played out to its natural end

The past few months leading up to Hedi’s exit from Saint Laurent have been fascinating to watch.

Since the story first broke at the beginning of the year, it’s as if the industry has been on tenterhooks of an imminent shock jolt.

And a juicy, bitchy news story.

It’s true: most fashion splits involve a sense of hurried announcement (Raf Simons leaving Christian Dior), or deeply revealed divisions (the removal of Alber Elbaz from Lanvin).

There’s something very different about Hedi’s exit from Saint Laurent. It has been choreographed with a rare sense of respect from both sides, from him as creative director, and Kering group as conglomerate owner.

It became apparent at the Palladium show in Los Angeles, which I attended in February.

I was there to write a story for the Financial Times.

For me, it was high pressure.

The show was on a Wednesday night in LA, the deadline Thursday morning in the UK.

My nightmare was that right after we’d gone to print, the story would break that Hedi had quit, rendering my story redundant.

But it became clear that this was not going to happen.

The people around Hedi all seemed calm.

There was to be no drama.

This was not a creative director working at the end of his tether.

It was the work of someone still deeply committed to the brand (you can watch the show here).

The same story happened at the womenswear shows: that tension of a news story about to break, and then the reality of a show of unusual designer commitment.

A show titled La Collection de Paris, held in silence at the new YSL couture salon.

I wasn’t at the women’s show, so can’t comment on it, but you can watch it here.

The show was of such force, many wrote as if it were a new beginning for Hedi at Saint Laurent, rather than his farewell.

The show was on March 7th. Hedi’s contract expired 31st March.

Between the two dates, what followed was a graceful tying up of loose ends.

The advertising image he chose for the April issue of Frieze made it clear this was a goodbye.


And then there has been the advertising campaigns for the fall/winter collections, released already even though it’s two or three months until the clothes reach stores.

First the advertising for the Palladium collection.

Then the campaign for La Collection de Paris, featuring Cara Delevingne.

You’ve seen them all already, I don’t need to repeat them again here – if you’ve not seen them, head to their Twitter @YSL.

By working fully till the end, Hedi ensured that he controlled the imagery of his work.

And rather than pushing him out in a bitter pique, Kering have realised its in their best interest to let Hedi tell his story at the brand right to the final sentence.

Everything is tidied up, all is finished.

Showing the respect that Hedi has for the house, and the legacy of Saint Laurent himself.

And now it’s done.

Onto the next.


We had a CHAPTER 10 with Ben UFO and Prosumer on Sunday night. Some of the records played, and fashions worn

Sunday night we held a CHAPTER 10.

It was so amazing.

Ben UFO.


Much jolliness.

I played records when people were putting their coats in the cloakroom and stuff.

Here are some of them.

Antimatter by Butch.

Also by those nice Butch people, The Message.

Hous-O-Matik Hom-O-Patik by B.A.D.S., mixed by that nice Spencer Parker.

Rights For Men by Spencer Parker.

Swift Box by John Tejada and Tin Man.

One of my favourite records in the entire universe – Acid Alcohol by Generation Next.

Obviously Tutonic by Mr G.

Oooh the fashions that were seen on gentlemen who attended the world of CHAPTER 10.

The jacket from Prada SS16 look 19.

Vetements POLIZEI T-shirt.

(I was in my Vetements DHL obvs)

Pieter HH T-shirt (though it was worn by Bas of Pieter so not sure if that counts)

Platform shoes. Or maybe boots. I saw them at 6.07am getting into an Uber so memory is a bit sketchy.

Complete nudity except for spectacles, shoes and socks.

A chicken outfit with feathers stuffed down the sleeve for throwing.


Our next one’s May Day bank holiday Sunday…

A new show of the early artwork for Public Image Limited is opening at the ICA. It’s amazing. A peek

Tonight the ICA is opening one of its little shows with a big resonance.

It’s called Dennis Morris: PiL – First Issue to Metal Box, looking at Morris’s design work and photography of the band’s early days.

Morris was responsible for the logo, as well as its early sleeves and advertising.

A flyposter from 1978.


The first single, Public Image, came in a fold out newsprint sleeve.

A fake advert on the inside.


The inside of that fold-out, in full.


An advert for the single from the New Musical Express.


The next cabinet is extraordinary and succinct.

The magazines that inspired the cover of Public Image: First Issue.


The resulting sleeves, from 1978.

The slickness a shock contrast to what was then the detritus of punk.


In another vitrine, an advert from Melody Maker for Public Image: First Issue.

The message direct to consumer.

“We think you the punters will be pleased”


An an advert from the same campaign, this time for the New Musical Express.



Various bits of ephemera: armbands; a backstage pass; labels, and a copy of the ticket to their December 25 show at the Rainbow Theatre at Finsbury Park.

The Rainbow’s that massive venue in the fork of the road that’s now a pentecostal church.


The second album, Metal Box.

The first 60,000 copies of which came in a Metal Box.


In the accompanying text, Morris is quoted at length.

“One day John [Lydon] said he wanted to call the album Metal Box. As the words came out of his mouth I immediately remembered that across the road from my secondary school was a factory called the Metal Box Company.”

Among other things, they manufactured the boxes for film cannisters – the same size as for a 12″ record. The box itself was relatively cheap to produce, just now stamped with the PiL logo.



The show is so so so so good.

Tiny – it’s in the ICA’s Reading Room under the bar – but a total must.

Such an inspiration for what can be done with word and image and message and intent.

On the walls are many of Morris’s photos, including those he shot of Lydon on their trip to Jamaica with Richard Branson in February 1978, just after the split of the Sex Pistols.


Obviously I’m listening to PiL as I write this.

This video’s playing at the show.

The show’s on until 15 May, go see go see.

The new Channa Horowitz show at Raven Row is extraordinary, meditative, thrilling. Some pics

A new show by Channa Horowitz opens today at Raven Row.

Her work is totally new to me, and it is extraordinary.

She used the same basic rules throughout her life – the use of the circle and the square, the numbers one to eight – through which she felt reality could be expressed. 

It is not abstraction for the sake of it, but the pursuit of thought and order.

Horowitz, a Los Angeles-born artist, existed on the periphery of the art world throughout her life, from her first works in the early sixties to her death in 2013. 

Some of her works at the Raven Row show, her first solo institutional exhibition. 

Circle in Square or Square in Circle, 1968.

Circle on a Cube, 1965.

Black and White Circle and Square with Box and Shadow, 1960.


Double Square, 2005.


Canon IV, variation No.2, 1981.


8 Designs for Canon, 1982.

I didn’t get the name of this next one.

Look at that work, all by hand.


Sonakinatography, Composition XX, 1991.

Another the name of which I didn’t get.

 I’ll post on Instagram a video of this performance piece projected onto a ball – again, I didn’t catch it’s name – I was fantastically professional last night.


A total palette cleanser.

And a total inspiration for making work of sincerity outside of the norm.

Go go go, click here for more etcetcetc