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  • Head On| John Rocha SS13, Backstage| Photography by Michelle Beatty| Lead image

  • Head On| Marcel Iconic Head, House of Flora| Photograph shows catwalk model wearing head piece which is yellow felt cut out animated shape of women hairstyle

    Head On| Marcel Iconic Head, House of Flora| Photography by Derek John

  • Head On|Phillip Meech for Lara Jensen SS13 Cookbook| Photograph depicts women wearing red face and head piece made up of metal sculpted roses

    Head On|Lara Jensen SS13 Lookbook| Photography by Phillip Meech

  • Head On|Paul Stafford| Photography by Christina Smith| Image depicts a side profile view of model wearing lilac jersey dress with open back pulled over large head piece creating hooded affect

    Head On|Paul Stafford| Photography by Christina Smith

  • Head On| Ghost Hat, Giles Deacon SS09| courtesy of Giles Deacon| Image depicts catwalk model on runway wearing red ghost pac man headwear

    Head On| Ghost Hat, Giles Deacon SS09| Courtesy of Giles Deacon

  • Head On| Gareth Pugh SS12|Image shows catwalk model wearing purple metallic insect style face and headwear

    Head On| Gareth Pugh SS12| Courtesy of Gareth Pugh

  • Head On| Exhibition Installation View of mannequin in blue dress and headpiece| Photograph depicts side view of mannequin dressed in royal blue cowl back dress with large black headpiece

    Head On| Exhibition Installation View of mannequin in blue dress and headpiece| Photography by Katy Davies

  • Head On|Fyodor Golan SS13| Photograph of catwalk model wearing blue and cream dress and oversized blue tulip style hat

    Head On|Fyodor Golan SS13| Photography from Catwalking

  • Head On| AF Vandevorst AW12| Photograph depicts model wearing all black, hidden face with black scarf and black trilby hat

    Head On| AF Vandevorst AW12| Photography by Etienne Tordoir

  • Head On|Exhibition Installation View of dressed mannequins| Photograph shows 5 mannequins with a collection of red and black clothing and headwear.

    Head On|Exhibition Installation View of dressed mannequins| Photography by Katy Davies

  • Head On|Donna, Yasemen Hussein| Photograph depicts two head pieces reflecting a wig made out of metal

    Head On|Donna, Yasemen Hussein| Photography by Lucien Moolenaar

  • Head On|Exhibition Installation View| Image shows exhibition cabinet with 3 quarter mannequins wearing bespoke headwear

    Head On|Exhibition Installation View| Bespoke Hairpieces by Bumble and Bumble

  • Head On| Exhibition Installation View of Ghost Hat, Giles Deacon SS09| Photograph shows close up of red pac- man ghost head piece

    Head On| Exhibition Installation View of Ghost Hat, Giles Deacon SS09| Photography by Katy Davies

Head On

6 February–23 March 2013

Hats have historically played an important role in fashion, as practical conceits, visible symbols of propriety and class, and vehicles for adornment. While contemporary society no longer dictates the daily use of hats, the appetite for millinery on the catwalk, in editorial and even on the high street continues to flourish.

Head On investigated this new space occupied by women’s decorative millinery, situating head wear within the context of a total look, and thereby addressing its relationship to body and hair. The exhibition also showcased contemporary interpretations and subversions of head wear, exploring their dynamic role in fashion styling.

By displaying hats as part of ensembles on mannequins, this exhibition illustrated how scale, shape, colour and proportion may be used by milliners, designers and stylists to reframe the body. Engaging with it as a whole, the pieces on display often extended the body beyond its natural limits. Looks selected illustrate how head wear completes a designer’s vision on the catwalk.

 

This featured collaborations between milliners and fashion houses, such as Stephen Jones for AF Vandevorst, Donna Karan and Giles Deacon, Philip Treacy for Gareth Pugh, Noel Stewart for Roksanda Illincic and House of Flora for Hannah Marshall, as well as designers who produce millinery in-house or incorporate head wear into their design aesthetic, such as John Rocha and Yohji Yamamoto.

Hats are also conceived as isolated design objects, illustrated here by the concept-driven head wear displayed on busts. These pieces treat the head as a site of experimentation, which becomes almost sculptural or abstracted, as increasingly witnessed in editorial. Featured pieces were by Yasemen Hussein, Katsuya Kamo for Junya Watanabe and Lara Jensen.

Bespoke hairpieces by Bumble and Bumble and Radio London Hair Salon & Gallery accompanied the head wear.

Head On was curated by Leanne Wierzba and Gemma Williams.