LDF15 Highlights - The Cloakroom

Thursday, 8 October 2015

A hands-on highlight from London Design Festival was Faye Toogood's The Cloakroom for the V&AShe created a customised trail of the museum that ultimately showcased materiality and craftsmanship that started at their Cloakroom.  Or as it was eloquently described in the literature a journey of discovery through the Museums collections. 

Visitors chose and wore one of the 150 almost identical oversized foam coats inside which was a giant label that was in fact a map. The map outlined a route to view 10 sculptures of the same overcoat crafted in materials that reflected their position in the museum, very much like a scavenger hunt. Marble, wood and metal rivets were among the materials selected for the pieces.
image from Faye Toogood

Whilst this exhibit had a typically Studio Toogood minimalist feel, it was also a collaborative project with her sister Erica who is a Savile Row-trained pattern cutter. The coats were made from the Highfield compressed foam fabric produced by Danish textile company Kvadrat.
All the sculptures for this exhibit were all sourced from British manufacturers and makers, with each sculpture a version of wearers foam coat. The marble version was manufactured by Lapacida and was delightfully calming, even though it resembled a headless horseman.
image by Ed Reeve for LDF
The cloakroom looked a bit like a high-fashion showroom but had a slightly giddy undercurrent as visitors chose their coats and embarked on child-like fun.
I was really taken with the small detailed maquette’s and also of the street style photography of visitors in their coats.
A fun way to encourage people to view the museum. I do however wonder what happened to all the coats after the exhibition finished?

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