Culture

North: Identity, Photography, Fashion at Open Eye Gallery

Raf Simons menswear Autumn Winter 2003 Paris Menswear Fashion Week  Copyright Catwalking.com 'One Time Only' Publication Editorial Use Only unless otherwise formally agreed

Raf Simons menswear Autumn Winter 2003, Paris Menswear Fashion Week. Copyright Catwalking.com

The north of England is a region with a distinct identity. Over the past 50 years or so it’s developed and refined its own style, culture, and way of life – from the Beatles to Madchester – and has had an undeniable influence on fashion and image-makers around the world.

Photograph by Jason Evans, Untitled, Manchester, 1997 - 02

Photograph by Jason Evans, Untitled, Manchester, 1997 – 02

The latest exhibition at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery explores just that. North: Identity, Photography and Fashion, curated by SHOWstudio editor Lou Stoppard and academic Adam Murray (who also co-founded photography collective Preston Is My Paris) looks at how the region has influenced fashion and visual culture – including Raf Simons’ parkas created for his AW03 collection in collaboration with record sleeve designer Peter Saville, and a project by Hacienda designer Ben Kelly and American fashion designer Virgil Abloh inspired by 1980s northern England.

Photograph by Jamie Hawkesworth, Preston Bus Station, 2010

Photograph by Jamie Hawkesworth, Preston Bus Station, 2010

The exhibition features a mixture of art, photography and garments that come together to show the various components that make up northern style – and go beyond the stereotypes. It explores society, culture and music and it has a real northern grit about it. It’s not experimental, inaccessible or idealistic, rather a representation and celebration of the north of England quite unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Photograph by Stephen McCoy, From the series Skelmersdale, 1984

Photograph by Stephen McCoy, From the series Skelmersdale, 1984

North: Identity, Photography and Fashion will be on show at the Open Eye Gallery until 19 March 2017. For more information, visit the website.

Photograph by Alice Hawkins, Derrin Crawford & Demi-Leigh Cruickshank in 'The Liver Birds' LOVE magazine, Liverpool, 2012

Photograph by Alice Hawkins, Derrin Crawford & Demi-Leigh Cruickshank in ‘The Liver Birds’ LOVE magazine, Liverpool, 2012

Words by Angharad Jones. Images courtesy of Open Eye Gallery



Angharad Jones

Angharad Jones

Writer and expert


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