Exhibition | North: Fashioning Identity, 2017

Truth, myth and the spaces in-between in visual representations of the North of England.

By Somerset House

North by NorthSomerset House

North by NORTHSomerset House

North: Fashioning Identity explored contemporary artistic and stylistic representations of the north of England.

The exhibition at Somerset House in 2017 featured contemporary photography, fashion and multimedia work, sitting alongside social documentary film and photography, highlighting how the realities of life in the north of England captured in the mid-20th century continue to influence new generations of photographers, artists and designers.

North - Media Representations by NorthSomerset House

Lou Stoppard (curator), Matthew Whitehouse (Arts and Culture Editor, i-D Magazine), James Hyman (Founder, The Hyman Archive) and Tory Turk (curator, The Hyman Archive) explore stylistic representations of fashion and culture from the North of England through the lens of the media.

North by NORTHSomerset House

The exhibition featured over 100 photographs, fashion garments and artworks from a host of renowned photographers, designers and artists including Alasdair McLellan, Corinne Day, Mark Leckey, Jeremy Deller, Alice Hawkins, Raf Simons, Paul Smith, Off White’s Virgil Abloh, Peter Saville, Stephen Jones, Gareth Pugh, Nick Knight, Glen Luchford, Jamie Hawkesworth, plus the likes of Shirley Baker, John Bulmer and Peter Mitchell.

North by NORTHSomerset House

The show looked at the themes and tropes present in these collective visions of northern England and considered why these regions, or representations of them, are increasingly a source of inspiration and still so idealised today.

North - Growing up in the North by NorthSomerset House

Fashion designer and Somerset House Studios resident Gareth Pugh shares his experience of growing up in Sunderland. Film created for North: Fashioning Identity, an exhibition exploring contemporary artistic and stylistic representations of the north of England.

North by NORTHSomerset House

Many of the works in the show offered personal reflections on the artist’s sense of northern identity, including a number of interviews with northern talent looking at how their home towns have influenced their creative output over the years. It's not just homegrown creatives; admirers from further afield are also shaping and spreading narratives of the North. The international impact of northern style and culture – its music, film, sport, fashion, landscapes and communities – was also showcased in the exhibition, from Belgian-born Raf Simons’ parkas with Peter Savile prints to the (Ben Kelly) Haçienda (design) - inspired designs of American fashion designer Virgil Abloh.

North - Documenting the North by NorthSomerset House

Photographer Ken Grant shares his experience of documenting the North.

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