Women Fashion Power offers an unprecedented look at how princesses, models, CEOs, Dames and designers have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world. 29 October 2014 – 26 April 2015. Designed by the world-renowned architect, Zaha Hadid, this exhibition brings together exclusive interviews, an immersive multimedia journey and unique historic pieces of clothing to form the most wide-ranging presentation of modern fashion ever to be shown in the UK. Discover how women from Dame Vivienne Westwood to Natalie Massenet and Princess Diana to Anne Hidalgo have used fashion as an important tool of self-expression and empowerment to build reputation, attract attention and assert authority.
Born in Baghdad Iraq in 1950, Zaha Hadid commenced her college studies at the American University in Beirut, in the field of mathematics. She moved to London in 1972 to study architecture at the Architectural Association and upon graduation in 1977, she joined the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). She also taught at the Architectural Association (AA) with OMA collaborators Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis.
She began her own practice in London in 1980 and won the prestigious competition for the Hong Kong Peak Club, a leisure and recreational center in 1983. Painting and drawing, especially in her early period, are important techniques of investigation for her design work. Ever since her 1983 retrospective exhibition at the AA in London, her architecture has been shown in exhibitions worldwide and many of her works are held in important museum collections.
Known as an architect who consistently pushes the boundaries of architecture and urban design, her work experiments with new spatial concepts intensifying existing urban landscapes and encompassing all fields of design, from the urban scale to interiors and furniture.
She is well-known for some of her seminal built works, such at the Vitra Fire Station (1993), Weil am Rhein, Germany, the Mind Zone at the Millennium Dome (1999) Greenwich, UK, a ski jump (2002) in Innsbruck, Austria and the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art (2003) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Parallel with her private practice, Hadid has continued to be involved in academics, holding chairs and guest professorships at Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University, the University of Visual Arts in Hamburg and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
Who is featured in the exhibition?
Each of the contemporary women featured in the exhibition is contributing an outfit for display as well as sharing their personal style philosophy. In alphabetical order, the women are:
Genevieve Bell, Vice President of Intel Labs, Director of User Experience
Camila Batmanghelidjh, Founder and Director of Kids Company
Joan Burstein, Founder of Browns
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty
Wei Sun Christianson, Co-CEO Morgan Stanley, Asia Pacific
Livia Firth, Creative Director of Eco Age
Miriam González Durántez, Partner at Dechert, wife of Deputy Prime Minister of the UK Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP
Diane von Furstenberg, Founder and Co-chair of Diane von Furstenberg
Thea Green MBE, Founder and Managing Director of Nails Inc.
HSH Princess Charlène of Monaco
Dame Zaha Hadid, Founder and Director of Zaha Hadid Architects
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris
Roksanda Ilincic, Designer
Qiong-er Jiang, Artistic Director of Shangxia, China
Anna Jones, Chief Executive of Hearst Magazines UK
Alfiya Kuanysheva, CEO of BATT, Kazakhstan
Pearl Lam, Owner of Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore
Natalie Massenet MBE, Founder and Executive Chair of NET-A-PORTER, Chair of British Fashion Council
Megha Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director of Escada
Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Designer
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director of the Serpentine Galleries
Dame Zandra Rhodes, Designer
Skin, Musician and lead vocalist of Skunk Anansie
Kirsty Wark, Journalist, broadcaster and writer
Dame Vivienne Westwood, Designer
Morwenna Wilson, Senior Projects Director at Argent LLP
The exhibition is co-curated by fashion expert and commentator Colin McDowell and Donna Loveday, Head of Curatorial at the Design Museum.