When You’re a Boy:
Men’s Fashion Styled by Simon Foxton
Dates: 17 July – 4 October 2009
Location: 16 – 18 Ramillies Street, W1
When You’re a Boy will celebrate men in fashion photography, specifically the men who create photographs of men. Focusing on the career of a stylist rather than a photographer, this is the first exhibition devoted to the groundbreaking British menswear stylist Simon Foxton, whose career spans the last three decades, a time of profound change in fashion and style photography.
Foxton (UK, b.1961) is a leading image-maker of men’s fashion, who has anticipated and defined key shifts in menswear design since the early 1980s. Capturing menswear’s spirit and energy in some of the most memorable fashion photographs of the period, he questions definitions of masculinity, national identity and taste. Historic portrait iconography and classic English men’s tailoring are combined with contemporary sportswear design, street fashion and references to gay subcultures to produce sophisticated and innovative fashion images for a range of brands and magazines.
When You’re a Boy will explore the complex and varied working practice of a fashion stylist as well as showcase Foxton’s important working partnerships with fashion photographers including Nick Knight (UK, b.1958), Jason Evans (UK, b.1968) and Alasdair McLellan (UK, b.1974). Foxton’s witty, often provocative and highly influential collaborations will be presented through a range of photographic prints, scrapbooks and image installations which will include his collaborations over the years with John Balsom (UK, b.1970); Donald Christie (UK, b.1960); Ben Dunbar-Brunton (UK, b.1976); David Hughes (UK, b.1969); Benjamin Alexander Huseby (Norway, b.1978); Giles Price (UK, b.1973); Stefan Ruiz (USA, b.1964); David Sims (UK, b.1966) and Simon Thiselton (UK, b.1975).
Initially a fashion designer, graduating from Central Saint Martins in 1983, Foxton began styling for i-D magazine in 1984, at a time when the visual language of fashion photography was still being established. Foxton evolved a highly recognisable and much emulated approach to creating fashion photography that balances a deep respect for traditional men’s fashion design with an irreverent injection of street culture, popular imagery and humour. He remains the quintessential menswear stylist, consistently progressing the field of men’s fashion portraiture. His work is represented in collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum and Tate.
When You’re a Boy is curated by Penny Martin, who has written and broadcast extensively on fashion and photography. She is Rootstein Hopkins Chair of Fashion Imagery at the London College of Fashion having previously been Editor-in-Chief of online fashion and art project, SHOWstudio.com. A full-colour exhibition catalogue will be available for the special price of £8, it will include an essay by Penny Martin and an interview between her and Simon Foxton.
Following on from last year’s successful Fashion in the Mirror exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery, the first in a series of annual exhibitions dedicated to fashion photography, When You’re a Boy continues the Gallery’s commitment to exploring the boundaries between art and fashion.