Titled Invisible Men, the four-week long show will cover the last 120 years of predominately British menswear through the display of over 170 garments, the majority of which have never been seen on public display.
Arranged into twelve sections, the show – which takes place between 21 October and 24 November – aims to explore the design language of menswear, which, the Westminster Menswear Archive says, mostly centres on functional garments for industrial, technical, or military use.
Invisible Men will also look at how designers disrupt convention and how menswear has developed an almost fetishistic appreciation of “the working man in all his heroic iterations”, referencing the clothing of seafarers, soldiers, athletes, firefighters, road workers, and explorers.
Professor Andrew Groves, the curator of Invisible Men, said he hopes the exhibition will help to tell the “untold story of menswear”, which he feels has been marginalised and excluded from the history of dress.
“Both in museums of the decorative arts or dedicated fashion museums, menswear is significantly underrepresented,” Groves said.
“I started the Westminster Menswear Archive in 2016 through frustration that students and designers in industry were unable to see historically important examples of menswear, which is not the case with womenswear which is readily available in exhibitions and galleries.
England Football Team Tracksuit Top 1990 Umbro navy zip-up long sleeved tracksuit top made by Replikit to replicate the England football team's 1990 kit. It features contrasting geometric ivory and red striped panelling all over the front body, including the letters 'FA' in reference to the Football Association. It has a navy zip closure with a silver square Umbro zip pull. There is a British coat of arms made up of the three lions shield design sewn onto the left chest. The collar is finished with a cotton blue and white stripe panel that runs around the top, ending in a white and red three lions motif embroidered onto the centre back of the collar. The back forms a diamond shape in ivory with a large Umbro logo in navy. It has ribbed cuffs and waistband. It comes with hexagonal cardboard Umbro Replikit swing tag attached with plastic Kimble to the zip (in object file). Country of Design: England Country of Manufacture: Thailand #umbro #umbrofootball #england #tracksuit #englandfootball #trackies #sportswear #universityofwestminster #westminstermensweararchive #football
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“We are beginning now to tell the untold story of menswear, and I’m incredibly excited that this exhibition will allow the public to see highlights from the collection, most of which have never been on public display before.”
Groves and Dr Danielle Sprecher, co-curator of the exhibition, state that highlights of Invisible Men include a section devoted to examples of Alexander McQueen’s early menswear designs covering the years from 1997 to 1999 and examples from contemporary British menswear designers including Craig Green, Burberry, and Palace.
C.P. Company Urban Protection Metropolis Jacket 2000 Black Dynafil jacket with multiple double opening wind protection pockets, large hood with a removable anti-smog face mask that was adjustable through openings in the hood. Detachable velcro fastening 'C.P. Company' brand patch. Made from Dynalfil TS-70 bonded to a nylon base. Designed by Moreno Ferrari the 'Metropolis' jacket, which the first piece in the C.P. Company Urban Protection line. Country of Design: Italy Country of Manufacture: Italy #cpcompany #urbanprotection #up #casualstyle #menswear #mensweararchive #Dynalfil #casuals #wearables #wearabletech #casualoutfit
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Invisible Men will run at the University of Westminster. Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 11am-7pm and admission is free.