Struck by Biba…

28 09 2012

Current NCTJ Fast Tracker Mary Isokariari and her fellow  students checked out the Biba exhibition at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery for review purposes and was rather taken with it all…

Oh Biba, how I wish I was born in the 1960s when Edwardian high necks ruled and everyone played dress up in skinny sleeves and faux eyelashes.

As I strolled through the Biba and Beyond Exhibition at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, I felt like I had stepped back in time and into the creative vision of Barbara Hulanicki.

The exhibition depicts Barbara’s life through a series of poignant quotes, nostalgic video footage and photographs told not only from her perspective but from those close to her.

Barbara’s clean-lined illustrations were displayed throughout the three rooms. Her winning entry for The Evening Standard Newspaper fashion and design competition in 1955 propelled her into the spotlight at the age of 18.

The death of Barbara’s father in 1948  had a significant impact on her life and inspired early Biba designs, such as the brown-striped trouser suit worn by her father the last time she had seen him alive.

The exhibition allowed visitors to partake in the dreamy designs of Biba influenced by fashions of the different periods, such as the 1930s satin bias cuts dresses and the utility wear of the 1940s.

Black and white photographs showcased pivotal moments like the opening of the first Biba store on Queens Road, Brighton in 1965.

The Biba and Beyond exhibition also unfolded Barbara’s present life as an interior designer for buildings and hotels.

However, it was clear that Barbara Hulanicki single-handily changed British fashion. Her presence has managed to weave into the fashion consciousness of contemporary brands today.

Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki exhibition is on at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery until 14th April 2013.

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