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Jonathan Anderson Unleashes His Spirit Animal With Costumes For The Squash

Performers dressed in stripes, harlequin prints and giant vegetable helmets fill the Tate Britain for Jonathan Anderson and Anthea Hamilton’s immersive installation ‘The Squash’.

The latest ongoing performance is being held in the neoclassical hall of the Tate in London from March 22nd to October 7th. It is a collaboration between Spanish fashion designer and Loewe creative director Anderson, and Turner Prize-nominated British artist Hamilton. Each day of the week, one of seven costume designs will be chosen to be worn. A performer selects an outfit that they think most aligns with their mood that day. These spectacular outfits range from a monochrome stripe unitard reminiscent of a humbug, to a flared-leg all-in-one outfit replete with billowing white ruffled shirt, to an orange 70s patterned satin number. All costumes are finished with a giant helmet that is inspired by a squash or pumpkin, hence the production name. Hamilton supposedly got the idea from a (now lost) photograph she saw of a person dressed up as a vegetable.

Anderson used fibreglass to create the marrow helmets, upholstering them with quirky materials such as ostrich skin. For the costumes, he made use of a range of unusual materials too, like hand-painted leather. Speaking about seeing his designs on the performers, Anderson comments “I love watching the dancers move in them, it’s so interesting. It’s really about watching your designs in a different way.” Difference is certainly celebrated here. These are costumes that wouldn’t look out of place in a psychedelic performance of Alice in Wonderland.

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