Last night, 1 Granary launched a new platform, VOID, and we couldn’t have been more grateful for the number of people wanting to celebrate with us (as was seen in the fizz running out within an hour of the doors opening; everyone wanted to raise a glass)! The exhibition, displaying the work of seven young designers as styled and shot by industry heavyweights, opened yesterday at The Store Studios at 180 Strands.

Within the studio, the labyrinthine gallery coaxed attendees to explore what lay in store around every corner. Gabriele Skucas’ designs, suspended over a ghoulish backdrop made for a spectral and spectacular welcome for the guests, while many gathered around the vivid splayed pleats of Chopova Lowena’s skirts, installed as if worn by one on their knees, praying. Coos erupted from the onlookers as they turned to spot Stefan Cooke’s designs, expertly modelled by a selection of whippersnappers. It’s an unlikely context in which to find well-garbed children, but perfectly colludes with Stefan’s design ethos; “I wanted it to be familiar yet totally unfamiliar.” Beautifully juxtaposed against his youth-quake were stark, intimate images of Eftychia Karamolegkou’s sharp tailoring; “It’s the attempt to define a different type of femininity, sensuality and beauty,” she confided.  As the gallery opened out into a vista, it was as if dappled monoliths were lining the sands of a chilly winter beach; but on closer inspection, they revealed themselves as sculptures executed by Laura Newton. Inspired by tradition Scottish hap making, her knits were stretched across wooden frames, demonstrating her creative process while supplementing the cliff-top photo shoot of her knits. Richard Quinn’s flower prints exploded from an otherwise understated corner, filling the monochrome setting with vivid colour. Charlotte Knowles’ riff on lingerie reclined in glass cases; one part autopsy exposing its construction to the curious crowd, one part Snow White, waiting for the right person to liberate them for a proper night out. “We really wanted to take ‘our woman’ outside,” Charlotte agrees.

As the exhibition filled up, the gallery space came into its own; at every turn, something missed on the first viewing could be found. The overwhelming response from designers, and from attendants of the launch, was that the industry, while keen to exploit the talent and innovation of young creatives, does not currently offer enough practical support to those whose work they fetishize before moving on to the next new thing.

The exhibition is open every day until Monday 27th, from 10am-6pm, at The Store Studios, 180 Strand (entrance via Argyle Street).

Words Elspeth Taylor
Images Víctor Paré Rakosnik