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Fashioning the Rose | Amy de la Haye and Simon Costin in Conversation

'Making the exhibition'

In this conversation designer Simon Costin and curator Amy de la Haye will share their passion for the romance of roses, their inspirations behind the exhibition Wild & Cultivated: Fashioning the Rose, and what they discovered in the hunt for the perfect rose-adorned dresses, hats and more, creating a floral treasure trove of fashion in the Museum.

Fashioning the Rose explores the use of roses in fashion from the Victorian era to today, with designs from Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Ashish and Comme des Garçons amongst other historic and modern collections. The rose and fashion are inextricably entwined. Roses, like fashion, are a luxury and they are ephemeral. They are both ‘shown’ seasonally, their appeal is multi-sensorial, and they each incite passion and obsession.

Throughout history artists, designers and writers have explored this fragrant flower and its deterrent thorns (technically they are prickles) – a conjunction of opposites – to draw out illusions to love, beauty, sexuality, sin, rites of passage, degradation, and death.

  • Amy de la Haye

    Amy de la Haye

    Amy de la Haye is a curator and writer. She is Professor of Dress History & Curatorship and Joint Director of the research Centre for Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion. SHOWstudio host her ‘Fashion in a Time of Crisis’ platform. Amy’s most recent exhibition, and publication of the same title (Yale University Press), was Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion at the Museum at FIT in New York. She was Curator of 20th Century Fashion at the V&A 1991-99. Much of her work comprises telling stories of lives lived using dress as primary evidence.

  • Simon Costin

    Simon Costin

    Simon Costin is a set designer, curator and museum director. He has worked as creative director and set designer for fashion clients including Alexander McQueen, Maison Margiela, Lanvin, Hermes and H&M and collaborated with photographers Nick Knight Tim Walker and Paolo Roversi. His work has been exhibited at the ICA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the V&A. Simon is the Director of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic (Cornwall) and the Museum of British Folklore (no fixed venue). Running throughout his work is an eye for the fantastical, magical and surreal.