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Jennifer Hooper’s Fashion Blog – IFS Utopia Exhibition


jennifers blog utopia exhibAlthough living a busy life of family, friends, careers and now in mid-life, I find myself reverting back to a much loved childhood-teen obsession of creating patterns and styles and a specific look that creates interest and excitement in the realms of creativity.

This leads me to an exciting annual event. Access to the FREE entry event took me to a grand foyer of International mannequin models

There was quite an ambient feeling in the entrance hall and I was thinking about how I was going to spend my time here. As a self employed Mental Health Worker, Coach and Psychotherapist in my day job, it’s really easy to neglect my own creativity and focus on everyone else’s, therefore, an event like this is like an opportunity for my own therapy and self-care, and more research into culture and personal identification from a fresh angle. 

A walk through a further archway leads me to a marble floor hallway of individual rooms with a number of photographers, VIPs, students and other visitors taking pictures, filming and creating a buzz. I was soon drawn to Han Kim prints from Korea in the foreground and some chocolate brownies in the cafe in the background. I then remembered that it was only Monday gone that I had put out seven bags of clothes, some still with good wear left for the weekly recycle truck from the local council. If only I had spoken to Fashion Designer Dimitrije Gojkovic, I might have had some ideas for hand sewing some individualist outfits to re-wear.

Although clothes are inanimate objects it is interesting how it evokes feelings.  I sometimes feel terribly guilty about throwing good clothes out and not knowing precisely where they are going to end up.

As I was scribbling away at my blog I was shifted out of the Austria room in a nice way because there was a 360 Degrees filming going on so I moved on to the Australian exhibit.

It was during this process of moving from room to room that I began to feel inspired to have a bit more confidence wearing my own clothes around the globe, that includes hand sewn objects and the projects I have done on my sewing machine at home to reignite this passion.

This nicely manoeuvred me into the Czech Republic Room G17. These wholly outfits, I would wear all year around as it happens. That Friday of the showcase, I was wearing my maxi denim oversized dress, leopard print faux fur coat and hug boots. I prefer to be warm when I go out and about and shed layers of clothing as the temperature changes.

Across the hall in Room G11, I was in awe to view some amazing beaded and print material necklaces that looked very heavy to wear but was happy to learn were very light to wear.  I was struck by the amazing detail and wondered if I could afford to buy one.  (pic)

A visitor was kind enough to let me know that there was a Guatemalan village, South American influence in the prints. I spent a bit of time thinking about what I could wear them with and my thought was loose or baggy white linen to bring out the colours. 

It was my grandmother that genetically passed on to me her love of colourful clothes. Only met her once and realised, that’s where I got this transgenerational nuance from.  It was exciting to let my imagination do its work on planning patterns and styles. 

It was when I entered Room G10 I found a darker ambience, however, I soon found out it was because there was an amazing digital-print display on the centre table. However, it was Andrea Pojezdalava’s grey 100 per cent wool coat with an inserted leather belt that I wanted to wear straight away and disappear down The Strand with.

As an amateur pattern cutter and fashion designer I was thinking about how much research I will need to do and how many strategic moves I will need to make to immerse myself into the industry and to have a strong network portfolio to make some entrepreneurial milestones in the business.  On reflection, I did attend the Fashion Technology Academy launch party and fashion show, The Liberty Print exhibition, F&T museum London Bridge, V&A Fabric of India Exhibition, South Kensington, Tour of John Lewis, Cookham 2015. It’s now easier to place the current Utopia Showcase on the map in my mind for recognition of the past and of culture and how I can draw on these influences to make a personal statement and further concretise my identity.

One of the biggest highlights of the day was I had noticed a team walking up and down the corridor a few times and was curious about what had bought them to Somerset House.  It was a good thing that I asked them if they were enjoying their day to break the ice.  It soon came to my attention that I was in contact with the Exalt Fashion Show, co-founders and dynamic team of researchers!  After spending some time alone at the exhibition in my universe I was only too excited to open up to a multi-verse and dive into discussion in the moment. 

Endilla, Jennifer and Moni


(Jennifer is an independent student at RACC)

Lilo and Rose were only too happy to be friendly and let me know about the fashion show organiser business Exalt Fashion Show at http://www.exaltfashionshow.com/based in the USA and their designer Stevie Boi from Augusta, Georgia. There we were talking selfies and photos of us all and they were only too delighted to hear about my projects at RACC Fashion Design, Richmond and universal t-shirt design on show at the Richmond Museum. I was really happy that Endilla, co-founder and Moni asked me to take a photo with them.  I was wondering if I was one step away from meeting some of their clients, people like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Rihanna?  They did ask me to stay in touch so I am about to write that all-important email to thank them for giving me their time.  We went our separate ways and I headed back to room G9.

I leisurely walked through G9, Indonesian collection, through to the Portugal and Egypt rooms.  However, it is really interesting that I part ended the journey in the G5 Ukraine room.  I say this because it takes me closer to my day job as a psychotherapist.  Exhibit was entitled ‘Fashion School Rebels’.

Revolution, conflict and economic crisis ….

I soon began to reflect that perhaps our lives and identification live on through our clothes and socio-psycho-economic mental processes.

I must say that there did seem to be something synchronous about actually ending in the Nigerian room G3, especially as I had not planned the navigation experience. I started with a uni-verse, migrated to a multi-verse and then returned to a universe, a room with a cultural identity just like the other rooms that made me visualise some kind of systemic joining, forming a Utopia.

Rose, Jennifer and Lilo

Exalt Fashion Show Team

(c) copyright and digital rights Jennifer Hooper 20 February 2016.  All rights reserved.

Courtesy Somerset House and International Fashion Showcase Utopia exhibition and fashion designers exhibiting.








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