Saul Milton: In 2014 Tory curated an exhibition called ‘A Streetstyle Journey’, where she asked key influencers to style mannequins for particular subcultures. I styled the jungle mannequin in the full ‘Lips’ print Moschino 3 piece.
Tory Turk: It was then that Saul told me about his Moschino collection and that he’d love to discuss an exhibition that explored the jungle style further. I went and saw Saul’s collection, which at the time was over 1,000 pieces, and it blew my mind. It was an absolute treasure trove for a curator. We have been working on the exhibition’s concept ever since.
SM: I think it was multi-layered. Peacocking and showing your worth by wearing designer labels on your back went hand in hand with the time. Designer labels certainly weren’t the norm for the youth to wear so having Moschino or Versace for all to see was a big statement. The loud, brash colours and patterns were also very much in sync with the music & the vibe of it all. If you wore certain designers then there was a large chance that you’d be at the rave with the other like-minded people. The labels became our uniform for all to see.
TT: The actual vintage garments take centre stage in the exhibition. At Super Sharp, a special selection of garments from Saul’s archive will be on display. The exhibition gives people the opportunity to experience the physical garments, their cultural importance and impact is then further enhanced by the music tracks and testimonials that accompany the display.
TT: Super Sharp is the first instalment in the RTRN II JUNGLE exhibition series. This introductory exhibition is a taster for a much wider exploration of jungle culture. It was commissioned by the Fashion Space Gallery situated in the London college of Fashion so the exhibition must also be accessible to an audience that wouldn’t have necessarily experienced the scenes first-hand. Super Sharp explores a style trend that is experiencing a resurgence today; an obsession with designer labels that was made famous by garage music in the late 90s, but was actually instigated by jungle ravers earlier in the decade. In the exhibition, changes in the 90s era are narrated by people who were actually lived through the raving style. The exhibition starts the story in the early 90s.
SM: 2018 marks 15 years of Chase & Status & this year we return to our roots. The next instalment is the RTRN II JUNGLE exhibition which carries on where Super Sharp left off and will delve deeper into the ties between street, style and culture and will house my entire 1500 piece vintage Moschino collection. We also have DJ tours, documentaries and music being released all under the RTRN II JUNGLE banner.
TT: There is a section in the exhibition called ‘Bravado’. This section includes around 50 photographs taken by Tristan O’Neill in the mid to late 90s. The large display of club photos show the energy in the jungle rave – people dancing, posing and peacocking head-to-toe in designer garments. The photos reveal how style and music collided in the jungle raves to create a ‘jungalist’ identity, full of attitude and bravado.
SM: I think that the very essence of being a collector is exactly that – why do I still continue? When do you stop as a collector? There’s always that piece to find, that other colour way etc. There are downtimes where I’m not actively searching as much but it’s always there. Aside from that I still collect vintage Moschino because I still love it and it what it meant to me. The era I collect is predominantly the 90’s and clothes that you would have seen at the raves and clubs which is something that will always resonate with me./text]
SM: I think we’re in a very similar climate to the 90s – uncertainty, unrest and a feeling that a change is in the air. In these times people always turn to music and fashion and that’s usually when the most ground breaking and forward thinking music is made. The kids today look back at the 90s and want to experience ‘it’ themselves and they put their own twist on it; they see the style and they make it their own. Everything’s come back around.