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Amy: Beyond the Retro
Amy Winehouse perfectly crafted an aesthetic that reflected her diverse musical influences. Her iconic image blended 50s pin-up culture with 60s pop-group styling and a punk inflection reflecting her beloved Camden, a haven of vintage fashion.
Amy’s preoccupation with retro is symbolic of our wider fascination with the past. Our nostalgia for the fashions, sounds, interiors and graphics of the generations before our own represent a romanticisation of the perceived values found in the designs of the past.
Often adopted by subcultures, retro can symbolise a rejection of contemporary cultural values. In this panel conversation, arbiters of retro style including curator Victoria Broackes, writer and cultural producer Lorna Holder, music journalist and vinyl connoisseur Anton Spice, and Fred Perry Managing Director Richard Gilmore discuss the enduring hold of vintage over our collective cultural imaginations.
Over the course of the evening, they will explore how Amy’s mosaic of references combined to create something utterly unique, and what her style signifies about how we choose to differentiate ourselves through design.
Anton is a journalist writing about music, art, technology and the environment. Former editor of The Vinyl Factory, his work has been published in The Guardian, Frieze and Electronic Sound.
Lorna has over 40 years of experience as a fashion designer, producer, writer & curator, working in the Middle East, New York, and London. She produced the Hanging Out documentary and accompanying V&A display exploring 1950s and 1960s youth culture, and authored the book Style in my DNA, documenting 70 years of British Caribbean fashion.
Priya is the Head of Curatorial at the Design Museum and the lead Curator of the exhibition 'Amy: Beyond the Stage'. She has worked across arts institutions and design journalism for the past decade, following an earlier career as a lawyer.
Richard has been the Managing Director of global fashion brand Fred Perry since 2018. He currently oversees a global community of over 370 direct employees and a network of 243 stores globally, all inspired by the Laurel Wreath and what it represents.
Victoria is Director of the London Design Biennale, which presents London as the prestigious global stage for world-leading contemporary design and design-led innovation, creativity and research. At the V&A, Vicky curated 'The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains', Co-curated 'You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970' and 'David Bowie is'.
For your safety, we are operating at a reduced capacity for our events. Increased cleaning has also been implemented across the museum. Face masks are mandatory unless exempt.
Please note that this talk will be held in person at the Design Museum however, in the event of strict COVID-19 restrictions, it will be streamed digitally and you will be notified of the decision one week ahead of time.
Background image: Amy: Beyond the Stage exhibition photographed by Ed Reeve.