The Real Thing

A new exhibition, curated by Anastasiia Fedorova, at the Fashion Space Gallery, London, delves into the universe of bootleg culture and its impact on the world of design, style, and art. Born on the black market, bootlegging has become a way to express oneself not only stylistically, but politically, to the extent of forming communities.

This thirst for illicit luxury has made it’s way into street style, design, and iconography; and icons of the bootleg market, such as Dapper Dan, whose work is featured in the show, have proven that what was once imitating high fashion is now what inspires it. In addition, works by Dr Noki (aka JJ Hudson), Sports Banger, HYPEPEACE, Citizens of Nowhere, and Ancuta Sarca count amongst the pieces and creations on display. Together, they question and reinterpret issues of identity, sustainability and immigration.

The duality of real and fake has always fascinated me and through years of working in the fashion industry as a writer, I became more and more interested in bootleg as a subversive creative practice. This exhibition will explore how the culture has become more than just imitation – forming an artistic language which is incredibly relevant for the 21st century.

Anastasiia Fedorova, Curator

The Real Thing will run from the 7th of February to the 2nd of May 2020 at the Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion, 20 John Princes Street, W1G 0BJ.