David Bowie circa 1984; Suit: Yohji Yamamoto, Photographer: Greg Gorman, Stylist: Roger K Burton
Did you know that the Horse Hospital, independent artist hub and exhibition space, also houses the largest collection of post-war street fashion in Europe? The Contemporary Wardrobe Collection features over 20,000 pieces from 1947 to present day, and was launched in 1978 by costume designer and stylist Roger K. Burton. It was imagined as a space catering as a commemorate of subcultural clothing while providing rentals to the film, TV, and fashion industries. This includes pieces from the quintessentially British boutique Mr Freedom and several Yohji Yamamoto suits circa 1984, as well as unique Leigh Bowery pieces and many more London-centric fashions. It’s every vintage fans dream come true – but unfortunately, none of these pieces are for sale. In addition to its online gallery, the archive’s site serves as a platform for accessible fashion studies, promoting upcoming exhibits in-house and across the UK and recently published works, such as Burton’s Rebel Threads.
Now the Horse Hospital (the venue of the archive), along with Contemporary Wardrobe, facing closure due to their rent being increased for a whopping 333%. The collective of artists and patrons behind the arts venue are asking Londoners for their help in keeping this cultural institution in place for future generations. If you are registered to vote in Camden, where the Hospital is registered as a Community Asset, you can fill out a form to join the Friends of Horse Hospital and nominate the venue for renewed recognition so that it may stay in place. The form must be completed by August 7th, and is the first step in ensuring the Horse Hospital and the fashion history it houses continues to live on.
You can support the Horse Hospital and the Contemporary Wardrobe HERE.