Surreal Fashion at the Concise Dictionary of Dress Exhibition
LONDON—We love when serious museums turn their curatorial eyes to fashion, but all too often, the rigid display protocols and protective measures can make style exhibitions as stiff as a mannequin’s port de bras. So it was with a mix of excitement and curiosity that we headed to Kensington’s Blythe House for The Concise Dictionary of Dress, a special collaborative fashion exhibition concocted by a costume curator and a psychologist. The exhibition is organized around eleven ‘definitions’ (more like evocative associations) of the words armored, comfortable, conformist, creased, pretentious, fashionable, tight, measured, essential, plain and loose. Guides lead small groups on an hour-long journey through the building, pausing at installations that illustrate each word. We began on the roof and spent the next hour descending through the floors.