Dress to Impress

Dress to Impress

What do Moschino, Versace and D&G have in common? Besides their iconic fashion status, these high-end labels provided the go-to uniform for UK garage and Jungle ravers during the nineties. In a new exhibition at Fashion Space Gallery, the colourful history of underground rave fashion is finally paid tribute to.

Sweat, bass and designer garms. Such was the remit of 90s rave culture, where Garage and Jungle took a hold over the UK and expensive Italian labels became synonymous with the sounds of Goldie, Jumpin’ Jack Frost, MC Nyke and Bushkin. Think bright tees with brash logos sprawled across the chest, button-up shirts splashed with micro D&G prints, and flashy head-to-toe co-ords.

Super Sharp, a new show at London’s Fashion Space Gallery, uncovers the genre’s signature style through a lovingly curated edit of 16 key designer looks, alongside personal memoirs from ravers and musicians who shaped the riotous subcultural moment. It’s the very first instalment of a series of exhibitions called RTRN II JUNGLE, led by Saul Milton (or ‘Chase’ of drum & Bass duo Chase & Status) and curator Tory Turk, which promises to reveal more than 1400 rare and striking garments from Milton’s personal fashion archive. More than just a display of clothes, Super Sharp stands as a considered and tender tribute to the powerful relationship between club culture and fashion, with committed partygoers defined an era through their incredible outfits.

“If you were buying Moschino or Versace back then, you definitely wouldn’t be seen dead wearing second hand stuff, you’d actually keep the tags on.” Turk told Dazed. “You have to be pretty brave to wear head-to-toe prints and logos, the look appeals to a certain type of person.”

 

  • Words: Monique Todd

  • Photography: Tristan O'Neill and Mark Alesky