SS20 "MINDS INSTRUCTION"
“Charles Jeffrey’s vision of energy and rebellion as a response to the challenges of our time stands in a long tradition of written and spoken word in the British Library collections. Whether the rebellion of romanticism in the 19th century with William Blake challenging the established order of his time, or the Library’s collections of zines expressing the anger of punk in 1970s, the British Library is a place of potent ideas with the power to inspire and challenge. Our age brings a young generation of poets using the internet – digital, audio, visual - to express and distribute their responses to political, economic and environmental pressures of today, collected through the Library’s web archiving programme and in our collections of contemporary printed poetry. This collaboration with Charles Jeffrey starts a new dialogue between words, performance and fashion, showing the power of libraries to be places enabling new and exciting creative dialogues.”
Maja Maricevic, Head of Higher Education, The British Library
I’ve been following
Following your mind's instructions
On how to just slowly, sharply screw myself to death
Horrowshow, The Libertines
Ours is a peculiarly violent time for the mind. The stop-starts of progression and regression happening inexplicably in tandem. It’s an unreasonable load for the spirit to bear.
While those who govern us publicly falter and fail – the fabric of our everyday lives pulled apart by policy – as citizens we are asked to meet with a labyrinth of enormous geo-political ideas, which have become almost too big for us to contend with. A sense of crisis is un-ignorable, but the target's ever-moving – an intangible enemy at the gate.
The body of work that is LOVERBOY SS20 erupted beneath violent pressure; as a diamond under heat. Formed in the eye of a storm, or the centre of a furnace, Charles Jeffrey proposes these clothes as physical, visceral responses to societal change. In first considering human shortcomings, Jeffrey explores too the human potential.
New pattern-cutting techniques, geographic and gestural, become a kind of visual exploration of the civil consciousness of Jeffrey’s generation. Seersucker suiting and featherweight jacquards, referencing armour and civil service uniforms, speak to the need for both freedom and protection. Opal blue silk column dresses appear disarmingly serene; the contradictory detailing of military jackets slung across them. Across the collection lie brutal, intricately layered rips and tears - or are they fault lines...?
Returning to the ideas of consciousness and confusion: The literal broken records of our soundtrack vibrate with questions. How, then, to make sense of the extremity of modern living? Perhaps peace can still be found in the beautiful and the unexplained. The enduring wonder of the human psyche, or the secret mystery of music. Joining us in The British Library tonight – physically, in spirit, and through the collections surrounding us - are some of the great thinkers and feelers who, to LOVERBOY, incite belief.
Something linear streaks through central ideas of maps, guitar riffs, neural networks. We consider where we're going, and where we've been. These are clothes that are alive to the primacy of thought.
A sense of rebellion can't be ignored – at the beginning of a formative new chapter for his business; Jeffrey considers what modern punk looks like. Perhaps it looks like expectation... The idea that anarchism simply identifies that any force which dominates us has a burden of proof to bear.
This show deals in intricate thinking and feeling; over-burdened hearts and minds.
Location British Library
Words by Sophie Jewes