This is the traditional time for Bath’s Fashion Museum to announce what has been chosen as its ‘Dress of the Year’ but – as the museum is currently closed – you will have to wait until it re-opens on March 29th 2021 to see it.
One thing’s for sure – this year’s ensemble is as unconventional as 2020 has turned out to be!
Each year, the Fashion Museum invites a top name from the fashion industry to select an outfit that encapsulates the prevailing mood of fashion, represents the past year and captures the imagination.
This year seven outfits, plus one film, have been chosen by award-winning fashion journalist and educator Iain R Webb, including the headline-making look worn by Naomi Campbell on a flight to New York in March 2020: camel cashmere cape by Riccardo Tisci for Burberry with Tyvek hazmat suit, facemask and rubber gloves.
Dress of the Year 2020
Camel cashmere and brown leather cape with gold metal hardware by Riccardo Tisci for Burberry Resort 2020, worn by Naomi Campbell, with Tyvek hazmat suit, facemask, rubber gloves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iqFRaCoyv
Khaki cotton twill scrubs – Marine Garment by Ian Jeffries. Unisex ensemble consisting of reversible slipover shirt, drawstring trousers and matching mask, beanie hat and bag.
Black Lives Matter cotton T-shirt – a symbol of mass global protest, ‘a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation’.** (**blacklivesmatter.com)
Blood orange satin padded bomber jacket 6XL, PVC trousers (worn as scarf), hoodie, bodysuit, mask by Francesco Colucci as featured in his series of Instagram Isolation Portraits.
Patchwork and appliqué cashmere and cotton kimono, patchwork and embroidered sweater and painted stripe cotton shorts by Daisy Robbins, final year fashion student at Kingston School of Art, finalist in Cashmere Coutureproject for The White Company.
A Dress of Hope. Hand crafted ensemble made from antique table linen, bed linen and lace trimmings, especially commissioned for DOTY 2020, by Ibrahim Kamara and Gareth Wrighton.
Matt viscose jersey dress with felt appliqué design by Iain R Webb, updated toile from Final Collection, St Martin’s School of Art, 1980.
S.W.A.L.K – a film by Nick Knight, a collaboration with John Galliano that documents the process of making the Maison Margiela Artisanal Co-Ed Collection Autumn/Winter 2020. www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCnbjRlICSQ
Rosemary Harden, Fashion Museum Manager, said, “We are delighted to reveal the Fashion Museum’s Dress of the Year 2020. Seven fabulous – and seven very different – ensembles, will join the famed Dress of the Year Collection at the Fashion Museum in Bath. Taken together, the looks that Iain R Webb has chosen weave a thought-provoking narrative about the state of fashion in 2020. As Professor Webb notes, this is not a conventional year, and for this reason the inclusion of a myriad of looks for 2020 is one that we hope will sit well within the canon of dress history. Visitors will be able to see all of the pieces chosen as Dress of the Year 2020 on display when the Fashion Museum reopens on 29 March 2021.”
2020 selector Iain R Webb said of his selection, “Whilst making my selection for Dress of the Year 2020 I realised that it wasn’t just the conversations surrounding fashion that were changing but that the entire landscape had shifted. Fashion is now communicated and disseminated in so many ways other than from the catwalk, which in itself often feels, well, old fashioned. As does the selection of one garment, one ensemble, in the attempt to encapsulate 365 days, especially when each new day brought dreadful news. As February turned into March, the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic terrorised the world. In May, the killing of George Floyd horrified. In 2020, how could these things still be happening? This was no conventional year.
“I have therefore chosen to take a radical approach, curating instead a collection of garments that combined tell a story of a moment in time. This moment. While traditionally the selector might nominate a womenswear ensemble accompanied by a menswear outfit, the late Isabella Blow, who, wanting to promote her favourite crop of young British designers, selected the work of seven including Hussein Chalayan, Shaun Leane and Philip Treacy among them, set a precedent in 1997. I hope my selection will prove as thought provoking and cogent.”
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “Naomi Campbell’s hazmat suit generated a huge amount of interest among the press and public this year. The suit, along with the other selections, reflects a unique moment in time. Thank you to Iain R Webb for selecting such newsworthy pieces as our Dress of the Year 2020. We hope that local residents and visitors will enjoy seeing them on display at the Fashion Museum when it reopens.”
The chosen designs will become part of the museum’s world-class Designated Collection and will go on display when the Fashion Museum reopens after being closed for a year due to the pandemic, on 29 March 2021.