We've had an influx of colourful characters over the past four days to participate in our Mirror Mirror project, but in-house at SHOWstudio.com towers things have taken a turn for the monochrome. This is due not dull dressing on our behalf, however, but the latest exhibition at SHOWstudio Shop - aptly titled (wait for it...) Blackwhite, which opened to a packed crowd on Friday. Inspired by the oldest dichotomy in the fashion book, the contrast between black and white. Fashion photography is, naturally, a focal-point - Irving Penn's celebrated portrait of Lisa Fonssagrives clad in a striking harlequin dress jostles with Cecil Beaton's prints of Audrey Hepburn in the monochrome My Fair Lady number, itself contrasting with Nick Knight's controversial image of Kate Moss, inverted in the printing process to render a white Kate black. The space itself was once home to Maison Martin Margiela's UK flagship, and as befits a fashion-focussed institution such as SHOWstudio.com, garments themselves make a welcome inclusion - namely Margiela's own signature Tabi boots, and a reproduction of their first jacket from 1989, both originally created in black and then painted white. The physical centrepiece of the exhibit is, undoubtedly, Peter Saville's Fashion - a bondage bench created in white, pierced with prongs to allow corset-style lacing across each limb which Saville feels give the bench an aesthetic analogy to the fetish elements of much of contemporary fashion.
Blackwhite is open until 19 June 2010 at SHOWstudio Shop, 1-9 Bruton Place, W1.