In January 2016 exhibition designer Tony Hornecker and curator Lou Stoppard explored fashion’s obsession with youth, focusing on teenage boys through fashion imagery, in the exhibition titled “Mad About The Boy”. Fashion designers Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent, Raf Simons and Gosha Rubchinskiy propelled young boys into the fashion system and each seemed to share a fixation with youth culture.
The exhibition set out to examine the tropes and parallels within fashion’s treatment of youth, unpicking the many notions of the young male that feature in fashion’s imagination, from outsider to sexual fantasy to reveler.
It presented the work of a variety of designers and image-makers, current as well as select examples from the 1980s and 1990s, for whom the boy provides a constant source of inspiration. Testimony about masculinity and youth was also included to shed light on the sense of fluidity and possibility that many associate with teenage years – a time of perceived infinite opportunity, spontaneity and creative freedom.
Designers and contributors included: Raf Simons, Kim Jones, Meadham Kirchhoff, Larry Clark, Nick Knight, Nasir Mazhar, Tyrone Lebon, Christopher Shannon, Martine Rose, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Alasdair McLellan, Jason Evans, Jun Takahashi, Judy Blame, Patrick Robyn, Sibling, Glen Luchford, Brett Lloyd, Mark Leckey and JW Anderson.