A new initiative between the British Fashion Council and the Royal Academy Schools has resulted in some unusual collaborations.  Menswear duo Agi & Sam have teamed up with the sculptor Joe Frazer in creating a 4-piece installation; London designer Alex Mullins has joined fabric artist Amy Petra Woodward in humanising a big green tree, dressing it up and transforming it into a massive body shape through a set of photographs and a physical installation.

The result is decidedly more art than fashion (there are not many of these one-off pieces you can wear). But it is a project aimed at encouraging artists and fashion designers to work together and challenge each other in new ways. NEWGEN designers were paired up with RA School graduates to create one-off pieces for a Fashion Arts Foundation charity auction. The display at Christie’s on King Street is well worth a visit.


Shadowing a shell shape sculpture was the approach shoe designer Diego Vanassibara took together with sculptor Victoria Adam, incorporating the sound of seashell resonance throughout the space. The final pairing is the colourfully cheeky designs of Kit Neale and the equally vivid sculptures of Jonathan Trayte, a couple that ended up creating a full interior range for a café that is in function for the duration of the exhibition, adding a third layer to the meeting of art and fashion – a social one.

The energy between the pairings is palpable – they feed off each other, even finish each other’s sentences. While talking to Sam, Agi and Joe, their connection was pretty evident. “We looked at how each other work, where our influences are coming from and basically realised we have a lot in common,” Sam Cotton said. The final piece equally represented both sides of the spectrum – it could be the set from the next Agi & Sam presentation or a gallery piece created by Frazer with the textile design input of the duo.

Agi Mdumulla, Joe Frazer and Sam Cotton

The element of equality was also apparent in the colourful pop-up café designed by Neale and Trayte who told us about their take on the project. “Both in art and fashion there’s a certain exclusivity, it’s not really opened to everybody. That’s why we were lucky to be sponsored and then able to create this space that’s opened for everyone to enjoy and socialise,” said Jonathan Trayte. All individual pieces are going on sale through a Christie’s online auction on the 22nd of November, but both Kit and Jonathan are hoping they are going to find one buyer for the whole café so it can sustain its role in the future.

Jonathan Trayte and Kit Neale

Fashion Arts Commissions is on display from the until the 11th of November at Christie’s, 8 King St, St. James, London SW1Y 6QT. Artwork will be part of a Christie’s online auction from 22nd November until 1st December. Find out more about the auction at christies.com/onlineonly.