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August 28 2014

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Here, There Is Some Black In The Union Jack

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“John Galliano has really tiny feet—almost childlike,” observed a guest at the opening of SHOWstudio Shop’s Blackwhite exhibition in London Friday night. She was inspecting a pair of well-worn ballet slippers owned by the Dior designer, along with a collection of other Galliano artifacts, assembled in a shoebox by Lady Amanda Harlech—one of the few people in the world, we imagine, who has access to this sort of thing—and dusted with a thick coating of white baby powder (pictured, above). Childlike? Well, as they say, if the shoe fits. “They were from when he was a child,” explained shop curator Carrie Scott. “I am guessing his feet have grown since then.”

The Galliano box was one of many pieces on sale at Nick Knight’s event, where every piece was on sale, and, true to the title, black and white. (The only spots of color were the red check marks on a vintage contact sheet of Cecil Beaton’s—a roll of shots of Audrey Hepburn in full My Fair Lady regalia.) Also on offer: Irving Penn’s iconic portrait of Lisa Fonssagrives in a harlequin-print cape; a few Chanel couture headpieces by Kamo; a Knight shot of Kate Moss; Michael Howells’ black and white Union Jack (pictured, top), which was used for the 25th anniversary of London fashion week in September 2009; and a disturbing white bondage table created by artist Peter Saville, complete with painful-looking prongs and harnesses. Its title? Fashion.

Blackwhite runs through June 19 at SHOWstudio.com Shop, 1-9 Bruton Pl., London, www.shop.showstudio.com.

Photos: Courtesy of SHOWStudio.com

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Dept. of Culture