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Formula Fashion opens at Silverstone

Wednesday 08 June marked the launch of the Formula Fashion exhibition at Silverstone Circuit.

Image supplied by Chris Denner

Formula Fashion is showcasing some innovative new works inspired by a fusion of motorsport, art, leatherwork and cutting edge design. The project’s sponsors and partners were treated to a sneak preview of the exhibition before it opens to the public on Friday 10th June at the AirAsia British Grand Prix (MotoGP).

Inside in a domed tent, over 40 guests, including Guy West of Jeffrey West Shoes, Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone and Associate Dean of the University of Northampton’s School of Arts, Christine Midgley, were met with a show stopping array of work from five of the best fashion and textile designers working today. Jo Cope was on hand to tell the guests about her wonderful bright yellow aerodynamic dress construction and Northampton based artist Aasen Stephenson’s wonderful hand cut jacket was much admired.

Other exhibits include two leather dresses designed by internationally renowned textile artist Kei Ito. Kei has just completed working on the royal wedding dress with Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen before moving on to her Formula Fashion creations which draw from the bright colours of medieval religious paintings and also echo today’s racing gear. Critically acclaimed shoe designer Marloes Ten Bhömer has developed a bespoke woman’s shoe that explores and captures the unique processes and aesthetics that result from recent developments in the engineering of motor vehicles. Finally, Genevieve Bennett has developed a technique using a laser-etched line to remove the surface of the leather giving a subtle engraved effect on a large wall hung panel. She has taken the unique shape of the circuit at Silverstone and developed a simple yet familiar linear artwork, which explores the idea of velocity, acceleration and competition and conveys the excitement and dynamism of the sport.

Graham Callister from Northampton County Council summed up the event: ‘Formula Fashion represents a ground-breaking new initiative for Northamptonshire County Council to be associated with, that continues to develop the future of Silverstone Circuit, strengthens our excellent links with the University and local partners, and re-builds and re-shapes the county’s historic association with its world class leather, shoe and motorsport industries.’

For an opportunity to view these stunning pieces, they can be seen on the following dates and venues:-

  • July 8–10 Silverstone, 2011 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix, Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire
  • July 22-24 - Silverstone Classic, Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire
  • August 22–September 05 - The University of Northampton, Northampton
  • September 08–21 – Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, Northampton
  • September 24-November 06 - The National Centre for Craft & Design. Sleaford, Lincolnshire

  • Formula Fashion is part of Igniting Ambition, a Cultural Olympiad programme in the East Midlands, which invests in projects, and people that take the London 2012 Games as their inspiration to create once-in-a-lifetime cultural opportunities for audiences and communities. Igniting Ambition is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to create a cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games, the European Regional Development Fund and the East Midlands Development Agency, with the support of Arts Council England and many others. For more information about Formula Fashion and other Igniting Ambition programmes please log onto

    Image supplied by Chris Denner

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