Since 2017 I’ve been project managing in collaboration with the British Museum’s Adult Programmes team an annual one-night Late opening takeover of the Museum campus. Normally hosted in June - July each year this annual one-night event normally reflects and responds to the Museum’s flagship exhibition at the time. Over the last three years this has meant that nights have varied in theme and approach, taking as their inspiration notions of the American Dream, Rodin and Manga.

For me this was a programmatic high and definitely a career-first. I project managed my first fashion show and cultural exchange in collaboration with the iconic Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto. Students were asked to respond to the theme of Manga, creating looks which would be presented as part of the highlight programme of the British Museum’s Late night Manga special. Applications were selected by Kansai Yamamoto and his team, with each student receiving 1-2-1 mentoring from Kansai in the run up to the event. They also received creative direction from Kansai on the night of the event with the fashion show itself being directed by his team of expert fashion producers. Each student received a model from a professional modelling agency if they were unable to source their own, as well as makeup and hair support to truly comprehend their vision. The fashion show took place in the great court of the Museum with a soundtrack provided by sound artist Manabu Shimada.

Images (click and scroll)
Images: Amber Muir © Arts SU

Students involved in this opportunity:
Ciara Brown / Emily Munt & Charlotte Dack / Evgeniya Dogopolova / Ashley Lee / Eva Lee / Ciaran Griffiths / Jiang Lei / Elena Maerz

As part of this opportunity one student was selected by Kansai Yamamoto to fly to Tokyo, Japan to take part in the UK Japan cultural exchange section of the annual Nippon Genki Project - a yearly event produced by Kansai Yamamoto Inc to celebrate Japanese culture and international relationships.

Footage from Nippon Genki Project 2019 featuring Kansai Yamamoto Inc X Arts SU student exchange project including representation from UAL student Evgeniya Dogopolova


© Kansai Yamamoto Inc

Further press:

Clive Arrowsmith story: https://clivearrowsmith.org/2019/07/22/kansai-fashion-manga-at-the-british-museum/
Dress Fancy podcast covering the catwalk: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/stylish-sketches-manga-lates-at-the-british-museum/id1436021370?i=1000444472161?i=1000444472161
Story by The Japan House: www.japanhouselondon.uk/whats-on/2019/manga-colour-and-style-at-the-british-museum/
UAL story: https://www.arts.ac.uk/about-ual/press-office/stories/ual-partners-with-british-museum-manga-colour-and-style-fashion-show


Image: Amber Muir © Arts SU

With thanks to Kansai Yamamoto who sadly passed away in July 2020. He was one of the most incredible creative fires that I’ve had the privilege to work with as a result of my career. He never stopped learning and was a fantastic listener, hearing out my thoughts on student mentoring - adjusting his approach but also ensuring he remained consturctive, energectic, enthusiastic and if anything supportive of student creativity. His ability to use his platform to create a space for student creative practice was and remains incredible - many have not managed to side step to allow for the next generation to take centre stage in the way he did. He supported the vision of students right up to the very end of his life and ensured that the digital version of the 2020 Nippon Genki Project was a salutation and celebration of student fashion practice - sympathising with the reality that graduates from 2020 were unable to gain a physical catwalk. He was and remains an inspiration and shinning light for all - a true mensch in every manner of the word.

2020 Nippon Genki digital live stream


© Kansai Yamamoto Inc


Kansai Yamamoto credits
With thanks to the incredble Kansai Yamamoto, his team including the creative talent and brilliant mind that is Sakiko Nishihara (our collaboration couldn’t have happened without your understanding, comprehension and support / vision)
https://www.kansai-inc.co.jp/ 

British Museum credits
With thanks to the British Museum Adult Programme who collaborated with us for this event - facilitating and budgeting for the activity to happen, believed in the students and supported their vision:
  • Freddie Matthews - Head of Adult Programmes
  • Bryony Smith - Events Manager (2017 - 2020) and all the amazing British Museum volunteers