Nick Waplington | Alexander McQueen | Working Process
East Wing | DIFC | Dubai
Private View Thursday 4 February 2016
Running until 3 March
In 2007, British photographer Nick Waplington received a call from Lee Alexander McQueen, one of the world’s most important fashion designers of the last two decades. McQueen asked Waplington to create a book, in the photographer’s own unique style, which would capture McQueens’s working process as he developed his 2009 fall collection over six months; from inception to the grand finale in Paris.
The resulting collaboration between fashion designer and photographer was realized in 2010 and later published as a book titled, 'Working Process' (Damiani Editore, 2013). Waplington’s insightful images capture the energy and development of what was to be McQueen’s penultimate collection, 'Horn of Plenty' (2009), which was essentially a personal survey of McQueen’s creations to date; recycling numerous ideas from the last 15 years down the final stage set, composed of broken mirrors and a giant trash heap made up of all the sets from his previous shows.
Waplington was given unprecedented access to McQueen and his staff, enabling him to reveal the more chaotic and unpolished aspects of the fashion world. Candid images of McQueen’s working process are juxtaposed with photographs of recycling plants and landfills made by Waplington on a 10 x 8 field camera in locations as diverse as Nottinghamshire, England and the Negev desert in Israel. The final edit reflects both McQueen’s commentary on the fleeting and ephemeral nature of the fashion world, embodied in the 'Horn of Plenty' and the photographer’s own unique, unordered aesthetic.
The exhibition presented at East Wing is an excerpt of Tate London’s premiere presentation of 'Working Process', mounted in 2015 - the first one-person exhibition by a British photograph ever to be shown there. McQueen openly shared his legacy, giving Waplington total creative freedom to document – yet the work is truly a collaborative effort between the two artists, with Waplington remaining faithful to the final edit and sequence as selected by Lee Alexander McQueen prior to his death in 2010. Also included in the exhibition is a video interview with Waplington, giving further insight to the making of this fascinating and important project.
Nick Waplington (b.1970) is a British photographer born in Aden, Yemen. He studied art at West Sussex College of Art & Design, Trent Polytechnic, completing his postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art in London. Walpington received th ICP Infinity Award in 1993 and represented the UK at the Venice Biennale in 2001. He has published several monographs including, Living Room and The Wedding (Aperture), Safety in Numbers (Booth Clibborn) and Truth or Consequences (Phaidon) to name just a few. His works have been exhibited widely, including the Whitechapel Gallery, London and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the United States. His work is held in numerous museum collections, including the Guggenheim Museum and MoMA in New York, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The artist lives between London and New York.
Lee Alexander McQueen (1969–2010), CBE, was one of the most important fashion designers of the last two decades. He was the recipient of four British Designer of the Year awards, as well as the CFDA’s International Designer of the Year award, 2003. In 2011, following his death, the Costume Institute in New York organised an enormously successful retrospective of his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.