My summertime to do list always includes three things. Rewatching at least 4 seasons of Friends, listening to the whole Fleetwood Mac discography in one go, and heading out West to see the Serpentine Pavilion. I ticked off the first two back in June (sad life, I know), and last Friday the third one came into play. For 2018, architect Frida Escobedo transformed the green space in front of the Serpentine Gallery into a concrete-tiled courtyard celebrating the meeting of water, metal and stone, toying with the idea of reflections within the grounds. In order to celebrate the al fresco installation, Serpentine teamed up with COS on a series of experimental, interdisciplinary events opened to public under the title Park Nights, with each Night allowing a different artist to re-interpret the installation in their own way, and use the space as a venue for their own work.
On Friday, American designer Telfar Clemens got an opportunity to preview his SS19 collection inside Escobedo’s concrete jungle. Shining red lights and abstract gospel portrayed the atmosphere of a religious procession, with an acapella choir remotely-conducted by South African music duo FAKA starring in the show dressed in the snippet of the brand’s upcoming collection. It was an out-of-body experience, walking around the installation with shining lights and soft humming coming through the gaps, with only parts of the clothes being visible from each angle. Pieced up like a puzzle, Telfar’s SS19 vision seemed like a perfect continuation of his usual bodycon, genderless sexuality, set up on a scale that’s visibly greater than ever before. Such is the power of the Vogue Fashion Fund. The humming ended, the lights turned off and we left the Kensington Gardens in silence. Something major have happened, and no one quite knew what. I, however did. My summertime to do list was done, and it’s only mid-August.
Photographs by Layo Mussi and Lewis Ronald