Fresh from the success of its staging of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, London’s V&A museum has announced plans to display a number of fashion-inspired installations during the London Design Festival, set to take place this September.
“The only brief I was given was that I was to use Swarovski crystals and that it would be situated in the Grand Entrance of the V&A — which was enough for me to work with,” said designer Kim Thomé, who has created a 59-foot tall installation called “Zotem” set to be displayed right at the heart of the museum’s entrance. Created in collaboration with Swarovski, the structure features over 600 bespoke crystals presented in a chic black frame. “As I had no preconceived idea of what I was going to do when I was first given some sample Swarovski crystals, the project was really led by what I learnt by experimenting with the crystals and exploring the how they could be experienced differently,” explained Thomé, who went on to say that he was also inspired in part by the architecture and layout of the Grand Entrance itself. “I wanted to create a site-specific installation that would entice people to explore, as a sort of a visual link between the interior spaces on the museum. The models I built were about a quarter of the size of the real thing. The crystals I used for these were big, but are something anyone could order. We blew them up two and a half times to fit the installation. When they arrived — over 600 of them — the scale suddenly hit me. It’s going to be gigantic.”
In addition to Thomé’s work, visitors to the museum will also be able to glimpse Kvadrat’s collaboration with the London-based furniture designer Faye Toogood, which involves 150 coats made from sculptural material. And whilst the majority will be on display in the museum’s circular cloakroom, others will have sewn-in maps that will direct people to find the remaining coats scattered around the V&A.
Visitors will be able to see Zotem at the V&A museum from September 15 to October 31, whilst Kvadrat and Faye Tooogood’s coats will be on display from September 19-27.