TEAM EFFORT: The British Fashion Council has teamed with the Royal Academy to launch Fashion Arts Commissions, a new project that will pair Royal Academy graduates with the fashion designers who are part of the BFC’s NewGen scheme for emerging designers. The initial projects have already been commissioned and are taking shape.

Men’s wear designers Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton of the label Agi & Sam have been working with the fine art graduate Joe Frazer, while the contemporary designer Kit Neale has teamed with the sculptor Jonathan Trayte. Alex Mullins partnered with Amy Petra Woodward, who works with a variety of materials ranging from reflective glass to fabric. She has previously worked with Unilever.

“Little did we know when we started out on this collaboration what extraordinary works would be produced. The collaborative pairs of artists from the RA Schools and emerging designers have worked together discovering commonalities and divergences in their interests and processes to produce works that are bold, surprising and intriguing,” said Eliza Bonham Carter, head of the Royal Academy Schools and curator of Fashion Art Commissions.

The BFC’s chief executive officer Caroline Rush added that such projects are vital to keep pushing innovation in the industry.

“The project at its heart is about creating inspiring and educational content as well as generating funds for future artists and designers. Cross-cultural partnerships help push innovation and creativity, as participants share knowledge and practices,” Rush said.

The first pieces will be sold at auction at Christie’s, with the funds raised going toward the BFC Fashion Arts Foundation. There will be an initial auction at Christie’s gallery on King Street in St. James’ between Oct. 31 and Nov. 11, followed by an online auction that will run from Nov. 22 through to Dec. 1.

Paola Saracino Fendi, head of online auction, post-war and contemporary art department at Christie’s London, said the pieces created by the designers and visual artists are in-line with the auction house’s digital strategy, which aims to focus on contemporary art.

“Our vision for digital at Christie’s is to put together a selection of artworks that establish a visual conversation with contemporary art and I am thrilled that these emerging young talents have chosen to showcase their new works in the context of our upcoming online auction. The title of the exhibition and auction ‘Portfolio’ was chosen to highlight the strength of this incredibly diverse selection – it reads like a sketchbook of ideas and I hope viewers find it as forward-thinking and exciting as I do,” Fendi said.

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