Monday, August 01, 2016

Love Thy Denim Exhibition

Ian Berry: Journey Home, 2013. Photo credit: courtesy of the artist

From workwear to haute couture, historical to contemporary, rebellion to endeavour, a new exhibition opening this August, Love Thy Denim, celebrates the many faces of our beloved denim.

This exciting and impressive fashion exhibition will explore the origins and versatility of denim, from its workwear heritage in the Wild West right through to its adoption into mainstream fashion and becoming the fabric of our everyday lives.

There will be many key pieces on display, including a jacket and trousers from Vivienne Westwood’s 1991 Cut, Slash and Pull collection, the first time that this ensemble has been out on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum (the V&A). Among the other exhibition highlights are a Jean Paul Gaultier men’s ensemble on loan from the Fashion Museum Bath, a piece from Maison Margiela’s SS2009 Artisanal Collection, exhibits from British denim revivalists Blackhorse Lane Ateliers and nineteenth century denim artefacts dug up from US silver mines.

Jean Paul Gaultier: Denim ensemble, c1990s. Photo credit: Fashion Museum, Bath

Also on display will be the ISKO Commission, a spectacular dress made from different shades of denim supplied by the exhibition’s partner ISKO™, global leader in denim manufacturing and textile innovation. Designed by Kylie Crompton-Malcolm of Monday I’m In Love and created in collaboration with pattern cutter Russell Wharton, the concept behind the ISKO Commission is to show the versatility and beauty of denim.

The emphasis is not just on fashion and clothing. Alongside will appear iconic denim advertising images, denim accessories including sunglasses and even denim art made from the world’s favourite cloth.

Maison Margiela Denim Ensemble, SS2009 Artisanal Collection. Photo credit: Jacques Habbah

“We are so excited to have such an extraordinary and eclectic variety of pieces to show at what promises to be a thrilling exhibition,” said Janet Owen, Chief Executive at Hampshire Cultural Trust, organiser of Love Thy Denim.

“To have pieces as varied as 19th century denim from US silver mines, to a jacket by Hannah Jinkins, winner of the 2016 H&M New Designer Award, is an incredible privilege, and a great celebration of this simple cloth which has made such a huge impact on our society.”

Love Thy Denim opens in The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre on Saturday 27 August, and runs until Sunday 23 October. It then opens at the Gallery @ Gosport Discovery Centre on Saturday 29 October. Admission to both venues is free of charge, donations are welcome.

Hannah Jinkins: Denim jacket, AW 2015. Photo credit: Prexa Shrestha

About Hampshire Cultural Trust
Hampshire Cultural Trust operates and funds Hampshire’s and Winchester’s council-owned museums, galleries and arts centres. The trust proudly champions world-class culture and exists to showcase, connect and empower Hampshire’s creative economy.

The independent charity works collaboratively to bring organisations, people and ideas together for greater impact, with customer focus at its core. To find out more and for a full list of attractions operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust visit

About Isko

ISKO™ is a company of SANKO holding and the world’s largest denim manufacturer under one roof: production capacity of 250 million metres of fabric each year in a 300,000 m² factory. With a wide range of innovative fabric technologies and products that meet the most diverse demands of the denim sector, ISKO™ is geared towards the market’s high end. ISKO™ operates in 60 international locations and has secured many patents and trademarks to protect the value of its innovations. Its environmentally-friendly approach is being certified by authoritative institutions and ISKO™ has also become the only denim mill globally to receive Nordic Swan Ecolabel with ISKO EARTH FIT™ platform.

To find out more about ISKO™, please visit

Hampshire Cultural Trust would like to thank the supporters of Love Thy Denim:

Hampshire County Council

Winchester City Council
Gosport Borough Council
Arts Council England

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