THE LIFE AQUATIC
“Project Ocean,” Selfridges’ “art meets action” initiative, first sprang from the head of Alannah Weston, the British department store’s creative director. Together with environmental charities and like-minded artists, designers, and celebrities, Weston and company are leveraging creativity for a cause: our overfished, overpolluted oceans.
Washed Up” depicts the fragility of ocean species and their potential—if not eventual—extinction.
As part of the campaign, Selfridges enlisted the aid of curator Judith Clark, who’s worked with some of the world’s leading institutions, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the London College of Fashion, and Palazzo Pitti in Florence.
Inspired by Victorian-era “cabinets of curiosity,” “Washed Up” depicts the fragility of ocean species and their potential—if not eventual—extinction. “It is a rare opportunity for a curator of dress to be able to draw attention to such great political importance and urgency,” Clark says. To highlight the urgency for action, the garments and accessories are staged in a desolate tableau of dead coral—seized by customs from illegal smugglers—and driftwood.