Fashion for the uninitiated

I have to say, I’m a bit like Ugly Betty when it comes to dressing myself and having knowledge of the fashion world, so creating a fashion-inspired exhibition was a learning curve for me.

Fashion exhibition at South Shields Museum

View of the entrance to exhibition

‘When art became fashion: the story of South Shields fashion designer, Jax Styler’ opened on Saturday 11 February, complete with pop art and Jessie J-inspired bottle top jumpers. I wrote the labels for the exhibition and had to search out a lot of information. There is a small section with a case of tattooing instruments (a subject that I’m a bit fan of) so not only did I go and visit the Roker Tattoo Studio in Sunderland, but I also ended up researching famous tattoo artists such as ‘Sailor Jerry’. Now at the risk of showing my ignorance, I thought that was a brand, but ‘Jerry’ was actually an American bloke whose real name was Norman Collins!

Roker tattoo studio objects

Tattooing objects

The main focus of the exhibition, however, is on a young artist- turned- fashion designer called Jax Styler. Last year she won the Shields Gazette’s ‘If We Can, You Can’ entrepreneur’s competition, winning a package of prizes to help her set up her clothing brand, also of the same name.

Many of her designs are still in production (in Turkey) but the exhibition offers a taster of what to expect from the young entrepreneur, which includes t-shirts and jumpers inspired by celebrity styling.

There are also a number of her artworks on display, showing her pop culture inspirations that include music artists such as Lady Gaga and old-school icons including Marilyn Monroe.

Early artwork

Pop art-inspired paintings by Jax

There is probably a lot that I should be taking away from this exhibition with regard to how to dress myself better. Jax’s website will be launching soon, with her clothing range available to buy online. I can see my next pay packet disappearing very quickly….

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