Women Fashion Power

Design Museum |29 Oct 2014 – 26 Apr 2015

Admission: Standard entry £13

From Naomi Campbell to Pearl Lam, Viviene Westwood to the mayor of Paris, exploring how influential women have used fashion to build reputation and assert authority.


Dame Vivienne Westwood, designer Photograph © Christian Shambenait

Dame Vivienne Westwood, designer
Photograph © Christian Shambenait

Peering into the wardrobes of the world’s power-dressing women, this exhibition –​ devised by award-winning architect Zaha Hadid – explores fashion as a marker of status. Thankfully it isn’t all shoulder pads and tailored suits; the diverse choice of subjects showcase wide-ranging sartorial style. Zandra Rhodes’ outlandish outfits are counterbalanced by the demure designs favoured by Margaret Thatcher. Meanwhile, extravagantly stylish pieces worn by the likes of Naomi Campbell prove that being ambitious no longer means a dress code that’s androgynous.

Although the show encompasses 150 years of women’s fashion history, it’s the contemporary examples that are likely to draw the most interest. Twenty of today’s leading female figures were asked to contribute one of their own outfits for display, and in accompanying interviews they elaborate on their personal style philosophy. Ranging from politicians to princesses, the 20 participants include Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti, Serpetine Galleries’ Julia Peyton-Jones, Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark, the lead vocalist of Skunk Anansie and HSH Charlène of Monaco. – Art Fund

Design Museum
Shad Thames
020 7940 8783

Opening Times:

Daily, 10am – 5.45pm (last admission 5.15pm)

Book online via the Design Museum website

Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age

Barbican Art Gallery | 25 Sep 2014 – 11 Jan 2015

Admission: standard entry £12

Key moments from the 20th and 21st century are seen through architecture; the birth of the skyscraper in New York, the rapid urbanisation in China, the devastating effects of the war on Afghanistan. These images not only document the built landscape, but reveal the wider social contexts that have necessitated its transformation.

Concentrating on the work of 18 leading photographers from the last 80 years, the exhibition begins in 1935 with Berenice Abbott, who captured New York’s transformation into a modern metropolis. From there, it journeys through affluent California in the 1940s, India’s independence in the 50s, the decline of industrial Europe in the 60s and 70s and culminates in an exploration of the contemporary urban experience. Featured artists include Lucien Hervé, Ed Ruscha, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Guy Tillim, among others. – Art Fund

Nadav Kander - Chongqing XI

                                                 Nadav Kander – Chongqing XI, Chongqing Municipality, 2007

Barbican Art Gallery

Level 3

Barbican Centre

Silk Street



020 7638 8891


Opening Times:

Art Gallery
Sun–Wed: 10am– 6pm
Thu–Sat: 10am–9pm
Bank Holidays:1 2noon – 6pm
Bank Holiday Fridays: 10am–9pm

The Curve
Sat– Wed: 11am – 8pm
Thu–Fri: 11am-9pm
Bank Holiday Mondays: 12noon –8pm
Bank Holiday Fridays: 12noon–9pm

Book online via the Barbican website

Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015

Whitechapel Gallery |15 January – 6 April 2015

Admission: standard entry £9.95

December 1915 was a key moment in the history of Abstract art. The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings: 0.10 opened in St. Petersburg with a display of paintings by Kazimir Malevich featuring blocks of colour floating against white backgrounds. Powerfully reductive, these were the very first examples of geometrical abstraction. One hundred years later, Black and White. Suprematist Composition from 0.10 in 1915, is the opening piece of this exhibition at Whitechapel.

Abstraction had been gathering pace in Europe since 1911, thanks to a group of painters who believed a new style of art was needed to encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. Rejecting methods which focused solely on reproducing visual objects, they instead used colour, shape and texture to create new images.

Here the gallery brings together paintings, sculptures, film and photographs which trace the development of abstraction over the last century. As well as exploring its intimate connection with society. – Art Fund

Gabriel Orozco, Light Signs #1 (Korea)

Gabriel Orozco, Light Signs #1 (Korea), 1995

Whitechapel Gallery

77-82 Whitechapel High Street


E1 7QX

Tel: 020 7522 7888