Wonderland.

THE HOODIE EXHIBITION

The Hoodie’s politically charged history is the subject of a new exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut, curated by Lou Stoppard.

The Hoodie Exhibition Lou Stoppard Vetements

VETEMENTS Ready to Wear, Autumn/Winter 2016. Shot by Gio Staiano

The Hoodie Exhibition Lou Stoppard Vetements
VETEMENTS Ready to Wear, Autumn/Winter 2016. Shot by Gio Staiano

What can be said of our love for the hoodie, a beloved staple of any outfit for the slouchy dresser, the person who hates jackets or even the uniformed student? It is perhaps one of the most politically charged items of clothing we can wear, on par with the slogan tee, utility vest and the miniskirt, with a history well worthy of exploration – which is exactly what Lou Stoppard’s newest exhibition at the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, Denmark, sets out to do.

Originally popularised by Champion, the hoodie offered a practical solution in beating the cold for labourers working inside the freezing warehouses of New York back in the 1930s. They were naturally a success, offering a substantially warmer and less restrictive alternative to hi-vis vests or boiler suits. Several decades later in the film Rocky (1976), Sylvester Stallone then gave the garment a much-needed facelift in a now-iconic running scene. The garment would remain in the public consciousness thereafter, following adaptation from musicians, universities and high-street stores, eager to brand themselves through clothing and turn us all into walking billboards.

The Hoodie Exhibition Lou Stoppard Trellick Tower
The Hoodie Exhibition Lou Stoppard EUnify Berlin

(Left) Refuge Wear Intervention, London East End 1998 by Lucy + Jorge Orta. Shot by John Akehurst, (right) EUnify – Berlin 2019, 2019 by Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek, Exactitudes 168

The Hoodie Exhibition Lou Stoppard Trellick Tower
(Left) Refuge Wear Intervention, London East End 1998 by Lucy + Jorge Orta. Shot by John Akehurst, (right) EUnify – Berlin 2019, 2019 by Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek, Exactitudes 168
The Hoodie Exhibition Lou Stoppard EUnify Berlin

Stoppard’s mixed media selection mixes new artworks, printed matter, digital footage, social media and physical garments to not only chart the garments history, from 20th-century labourers to the modern human, but also explore the hoodie’s weighty cultural significance – noting the hoodies’ role as a political tool in moral panics around Britain in the mid-noughties.

In 2005, Kent’s Bluewater shopping center took a fairly draconian approach to the garment with a strict “no hats, no hoods” policy that directly affected working-class youth, scapegoating the teens for the premises’ low-profile. This spurred an outcry amongst the teens, who considered themselves scapegoated and turfed out of the public eye, and spotlights a seminal moment where issues of social inequality, subcultural status, style and privacy were raised and confronted in modern Britain.

The Hoodie Exhibition Lou Stoppard Devan Shimoyama Flowers

February II, 2019 by Devan Shimoyama

The Hoodie Exhibition Lou Stoppard Devan Shimoyama Flowers
February II, 2019 by Devan Shimoyama

Of course, this education comes with equally powerful and captivating visual work, such as “February II (2019) by Devan Shimoyama, a tribute to Trayvon Martin titled after the month he was born. Martin was shot and fatally killed by police officer George Zimmerman in 2012, with Zimmerman’s resulting acquittal spurring the modern-day #BlackLivesMatter movement. Shimoyama’s poignant contribution to the project is displayed in total contrast to the way in which Martin’s own bloodied hoodie was used as evidence in court and in the media. Stoppard has also enlisted the help of artists and photographers like Campbell Addy, Sasha Huber, and Lucy Orta, with other contributions from labels such as Rick Owens to Vetements, in order to tie the exhibition together from every angle possible.

The Hoodie runs from Sunday 1 December 2019 – Sunday 12 April 2020.

The Hoodie Exhibition Lou Stoppard Table Art

Umbra, 2019 by Prem Sahib. Shot by Plastiques

The Hoodie Exhibition Lou Stoppard Table Art
Umbra, 2019 by Prem Sahib. Shot by Plastiques
Words
Bailey Slater
THE HOODIE EXHIBITION

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