Launched on 01 May 2014

'Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer,' says Miuccia Prada. Inspired by the deliberate awkwardness visible on high fashion runways in recent years, SHOWstudio unpicks certain designers’ fascination with pushing the boundaries of taste and redefining luxury using prints, fabrics and motifs that have connotations of vulgarity, cheapness, garishness or kitsch. Just as Umberto Eco asked in his celebrated work On Ugliness, the series as a whole will question why fashion holds some things as beautiful and others as taboo, while looking at the ways in which these boundaries have been blurred. We will ask if, when manipulated by the right designer or when backed up by a luxury, aspirational label, repulsiveness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Main Contributors



Make Up Your Mind

11 December 2008
We shine a spotlight on one of the most uncanny pieces of the S/S 09 collections; Maison Martin Margiela’s ‘Wig Coat’.

Object Fetish 2011

19 September 2011
A project laying bare the underlying themes and motivations behind our sartorial fixations.


23 July 2012
Alongside our 2012 exhibition Death, SHOWstudio invited creatives to further explore the theme through a series of live residencies and films.