Passion for fashion is a work of art

From the music to the clothes, a celebration of the culture of dressing up and going out - and its particular place in the lifestyle of Glaswegians - takes centre stage at the Merchant City Festival.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
Mairi MacKenzie, left, and Claire Biddles are fascinated by  Glaswegians' love of glamming  up for a night out  Pictures: Kirsty Anderson
Mairi MacKenzie, left, and Claire Biddles are fascinated by Glaswegians' love of glamming up for a night out Pictures: Kirsty Anderson

Who knew the promise and expectation of a big night out would make such fascinating material?

The influence of the style of David Bowie on football casuals, the radical beginnings of fashion brand Jaeger and a rare viewing of 1970s cult fan film, Roxette, are just some of the events being planned by curator Mairi MacKenzie in the Fashion Cultures strand, from July 24 to August 3.

It has been the perfect opportunity for the research fellow in fashion and textiles at Glasgow School of Art to explore why we love to dress up.

"It was the first thing I noticed when I moved to Glasgow. People make a lot of effort and I think there's a real love of fashion in the city," says Mairi, who grew up in Stranraer and moved here to study history at the University of Glasgow.

"I wanted to do something that was a celebration of fashion in the city and brought together retail, culture, history, performance, music and art. It sounds a very grand ambition, I know, but I just want to capture different aspects of fashion."

Plays and literature, especially the work of John Byrne, have perfectly captured the style of the city in all its glory.

"Glasgow has more boutiques than any city outside of London, the per capita spend is very high here in fashion retail," explains Mairi.

"This is a celebration of fashion and to move it beyond the idea that it is just an object; it's a culture, an economy and a way of life.

"It is a part of everyone's identity, whether you want to engage with it or not."

Ms B Presents: Glam Rock, at The Corinthian on July 27, revels in the joy of fandom. Compered by artist Claire Biddles it is a one-off version of a series of events she runs regularly at The Old Hairdresser's, in Renfield Lane.

Combining performance and a lecture with music, the night is themed around glam rock, from David Bowie and Roxy Music to the New York Dolls.

"It's a really rich area for the surrounding culture," explains Claire.

"It's not just a band, it's the whole look, I see it as something that is still important now in pop, in the look of things and I see it as quite present. Obviously, David Bowie and Roxy Music are really influential on performers now because of the idea of creating a world. I think that's what my events celebrate - the world created around it."

Trained at the environmental art department at Glasgow School of Art, Yorkshire-born Claire hopes fans of Glam music, as well as people interested in fashion, will come along.

She says her events are as much a journey of discovery for herself as well as those attending.

"Mairi MacKenzie is doing a talk on David Bowie, about a certain look, in The Man Who Fell to Earth, which a lot of football casuals took inspiration from, and that was something I had no idea about," she says.

Studying environmental art encouraged Claire to get involved in public work and she says she sees her event in the Fashion Cultures strand as a work of art in itself.

"All my work is about fandom and popular culture and how people engage with popular culture, so I just see this as a way of facilitating that. I make a lot of works to do with karaoke, because I see that as a great way of engaging with pop culture. I will be doing some karaoke at this event."

The biggest coup for Claire's night is a rare screening of Roxette, made by John McManus in 1977 to document a group of Manchester art students who were Roxy Music fans getting ready to go to one of the band's gig.

"It's a fabulous film, I saw it at an exhibition at Tate Liverpool, so it's pretty amazing for us to get it," she says.

Other events staged at Fashion Cultures include a talk by Grace Woodward, of television's Britain's Next Top Model, an exhibition and pop-up shop by cult Scottish designer Pam Hogg, left, an exhibition of Pharrell Williams' Billionaire Boys Club fashion brand and work by former i-D magazine art director, Scott King.

Most events are free but ticketed, visit www.fashioncultures.org

angela.mcmanus@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

170899

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

The sight of wee dolphins choking to death on discarded supermarket bags helped me change me use reusable shoppers

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You Couldn't Make This Up

The secret world of the wheelie bin.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.