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Simon Costin's Impossible Catwalk Shows

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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The Stage is the Star of This Show

Fashion shows can inspire designers to come up with some of the most amazing garments. These range from outfits we would love to wear ourselves to outrageous vogue styles only suited to the catwalk.

But what of the catwalk? Does anyone pay particular attention to the platform on which the models strut their stuff? I think a catwalk is like the score to a film - you don't notice until it is missing, but its presence is vital to creating the entire mood of the scene.

In an exhibition at the Fashion Space Gallery, set designer, Simon Costin, endeavours to demonstrate how the setting is just as important as that which is being presented. Simon Costin's Impossible Catwalk Shows brings outfit, model, and surrounding together like never before as he immerses visitors in a series of mythical and magical set designs that explore what a catwalk show could be like if the possibilities were endless. And it appears that they are. The only limit is one's imagination, and Costin's does not give any indication of wearing out.

Running from the 12th September to the 13th December, the free exhibit will include a series of real and imagined environment, from a disused nuclear power station to a cardboard forest. Costin's intention is to challenge the formalised way in which we view garments, one of which reminds me of the children's picture book, Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan and Janet Ahlberg. In the book you have to spy Tom Thumb, who is hiding in different scenes, including a forest. Comparatively, in Costin's forest set, visitors are given binoculars to spy through, and find the models perched on branches like exotic birds.

Accompanying the sets are Costin's sketches and notebooks, which provide insight into how his ideas formed and evolved. In addition, fashion designer, Gareth Pugh presents his Moodboard along with Alexander McQueen's Spring/Summer collection from 1998.
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Why? See fashion in a new way
When: 12th Sept - 13th Dec
Where: Fashion Space Gallery
Cost: Free
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