Menu Login Ticket basket   Search

Joan Alleyn crossed with Lady Gaga? Check out our latest youth project


WATCH: To mark the end of the project, the budding designers modelled their garments in a special fashion show at Spotlight, strutting their stuff down the catwalk 

What do portrait sitter Joan Alleyn and modern-day pop icon Lady Gaga have in common? Ostensibly, very little – but this was not the case for 14 year old aspiring designer Gary who has found a likeness between the two women to create a highly unique contemporary garment featuring fluorescent wigs and emoji icons.

For the last six months, Dulwich Picture Gallery has been in partnership with creative youth centre, Spotlight for a wholly unique project blurring the boundaries between fashion and art. Spotlight on Fashion empowered a group of teens from East London to express themselves through creativity. Nine young people, age 11-18 interpreted the Old Master paintings at Dulwich using sewing and haberdashery skills to create bespoke, contemporary garments. 

“I feel more responsible now, like a grown up, like I can do anything I want if I believe in myself”

Style and fashion can say a lot about a person – and in this case, the participants’ outfits express not only their individual taste but their responses to portraits at the Gallery, some of which were painted over 400 years ago. Gary was instantly drawn to the striking portrait of Joan Alleyn out of a shared enthusiasm for exaggerated shoulder pieces. While Melissa, age 12, looked at Phillip IV King of Spain from the workshop of Diego R. Velazquez for pattern inspiration for her garment and Betty, 12, created a Tudor-style costume based on the Portrait of a Lady by Marcus Gheeraerts the younger.

The budding designers modelled their garments in a special photoshoot with professional photographer, Sal Idriss. Their portraits will be up in a photography exhibition in the Gallery’s Linbury Room from the 2 April – 13 May so come and take a look next time you visit! Find out more here.

By Charlotte Walsh, Press Intern 

Flick through the photos from the Spotlight Fashion Show: