From Democracy With Love

Teatum + Teatum, London, 2012


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Fashion show as spatial interaction – The Teatum Jones Spring/Summer 2013 collection held at the Dorchester Hotel

TEATUM+TEATUM were commissioned by womenswear designers Teatum Jones to create the concept and design for their London Fashion Week Show in September 2012. Inspired by the culture of the Cold War, the spatial concept looked to this recent history to inform the relationship between the viewer and the viewed.

The proposal consists of three linear spaces defined by white columns made of reflective stretched fabric – these fragmented objects form a central corridor and two adjacent spaces. Spatially the corridor has been referenced to communicate the hidden dynamics of power: an in-between space, a space for secret conversations, hidden glances and the sound of distant footsteps. In Cold war film and literature the space of the corridor is used as a setting to amplify the fear of otherness.

The show is organised as an island of backlit light with a central perspectival corridor and two parallel spaces organised to the left and right. The island is rotated in the Orchid Suite so that the formal geometry of the existing space is altered and new territories are created between the room and the Island. The circulation allows a continuous movement around the Island to simulate the long slow experience of a film tracking shot. The audience experience eight models choreographed to move across the three spaces in a continuous loop from East to West.

The spaces between columns allow views across the three zones and through to the walls of the Orchid Suite beyond. The audience experience the show as a series of fragments when looking across space, four spaces collapsed into one view, continuously shifting and changing as the viewer moves. In contrast, the central corridor offers a single view, reinforced by perspectival columns, a space with a single focus. The walls are formed in a seamless white surface, reflecting the materials of the room and animating the pattern of the Teatum Jones collection.

The space exists for four hours; all materials have been selected so that they can be re-used. The floor and lights are hired, the column structure is re-used and the stretch fabric is turned into coats as part of the next Teatum Jones collection.

The event is conceived as an installation as opposed to a traditional catwalk, the spatial structure creates a dynamic interaction between audience and stage, an interaction that encourages the viewer to negotiate multiple views as opposed to a single view.


  • Begun: Sep 2012
  • Completed: Sep 2012
  • Floor area: 50m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £12,000
  • Funding: Client Funding & Sponsorship
  • Tender date: Jul 2012
  • Procurement: Management Contract, with Teatum+Teatum as lead contractor & lead design consultant
  • Address: The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA , United Kingdom

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