an exclusive look at claire barrow’s reality-bending exhibition
Dancing With Dreams at Galeria Melissa includes fashion, sculpture, projections, film, and an original soundtrack by Taigen Kawabe of Bo Ningen and Kenichi Iwasa of Xaviers, premiering right here on i-D.
Back in September 2016, Claire Barrow told i-D that she had decided to leave the official London Fashion Week schedule after her autumn/winter 16 collection, in order to facilitate working more freely and creatively. "I think [it] will make the work better and I can explore other mediums," Claire said at the time, and it certainly looks like the plan worked.
Barrow's latest exhibition, Dancing With Dreams at Galeria Melissa, is a dizzyingly multidisciplinary installation of fashion garments, a footwear collaboration with Melissa, sculpture, film, projections, and a specially commissioned original soundtrack by Taigen Kawabe of Bo Ningen and Kenichi Iwasa of Xaviers featuring vocals from Beatrice Brown.
Ahead of the opening, on Friday night during London Fashion Week, Barrow gave i-D a sneak peek at Dancing With Dreams, sharing images of the show and the evocative original soundtrack. Press play below, and get Claire's own take on the exhibition, below.
Tell us more about the concept for the exhibition?
It's more of an installation 'experience'. It is about real people performing to sculptures which have been manipulated with clay and acrylic -- but the real people are projections. The concept is looking at both digital and real life experiences and the fact that the 'real' people aren't really there. The digital element signifies our online communication with friends to feel less lonely but not seeing them IRL. I try to use the everyday in my work and this is our new reality.
What kind of work have you made for the exhibition?
I've designed and created the costumes which both the sculptures and the projections are wearing, along with Melissa shoes which I collaborated on. I cast and co-directed the film upstairs (the opening space) with Joseph Bird and collaborated with Melissa by customising 13 individual shoes for this display space in the entrance of Galeria Melissa, Covent Garden, where the exhibition is being held. And I commissioned the soundtrack which has been created by Taigen Kawabe from Bo Ningen and Kenichi Iwasa of Xaviers.
What are your top tips for being a better friend IRL?
Listen to your m8s more. Take it off text and onto the phone or IRL.
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Asia Werbel