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Dressing London

Why do we make our dress choices in today's capital?

The Body Adorned exhibition reveals how a diverse population clothe and adorn their bodies to find their place in the metropolis. Over time, saris, tattoo parlours, nail bars, distended ears and scarification have become a visible, everyday part of the London cityscape. But how did cultural adornments become integrated into urban London life? 

The exhibition considers how the movement of people, objects and ideas influenced London dress in the past and explores body adornment in today’s world city of London.

Ultimately we invite you to look at how you dress your body and why.

The exhibition features hundreds of stunning objects from the Horniman’s collections including adorned figures, early tattooing instruments and headdresses, a film installation by The Light Surgeons, several wardrobes of London residents exploring why they wear what they wear and urban street portraits taken by young people.



Stories of the World

This exhibition is one of a series of four Stories of the World: London exhibitions exploring different aspects of life in this World City.

These form part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme, Stories of the World, which presents exciting new exhibitions across the UK created by young people.

Watch this video in which staff from the Horniman Museum and young Londoners speak about how they worked together to create The Body Adorned.

Film installation

The exhibtion features a specially commissioned film by the innovative, internationally renowned filmmakers and designers The Light Surgeons.

In this fully immersive experience, with film running across one large screen and four smaller screens, people in various parts of London will talk about their own and others’ dress choices.

Take a look at this teaser below.

The Body Adorned - Teaser from THE LIGHT SURGEONS on Vimeo.