Curatorial team Biennale 2024
The 2024 edition of the State of Fashion Biennale will be curated by Rachel Dedman & Louise Bennetts. Their curatorial framework further develops the concept of co-creation and will invite designers, artists, makers or collectives to become part of the decentralised curatorial team. So keep an eye on our channels!
Rachel Dedman is a curator, writer and art historian specialised in modern and contemporary art and design from the Middle East. Since 2019 she has been the Jameel Curator of Contemporary Art from the Middle East at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Recent projects for the V&A include Beirut Mapped, a writing commissioning platform for Lebanese artists; the foundation of a research residency programme; and Jameel Prize: Poetry to Politics, an exhibition featuring the work of eight contemporary artists and designers from the global south. Rachel is currently curating Material Power: Palestinian Embroidery for Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, and The Whitworth, Manchester, UK, in 2023-24. This exhibition evolved from her work on the cultural and political histories of Palestinian textiles and dress as Curator for the Palestinian Museum, West Bank, 2014-2018. She has curated several exhibitions and is the author of two books on this subject—At the Seams, 2016, and Labour of Love, 2018. From 2013-2019, Rachel was an independent curator based in Beirut, Lebanon. Selected exhibitions, commissions and programming include projects for Ashkal Alwan, Sursock Museum, and Beirut Art Center (all Beirut), apexart (New York), Serpentine Galleries (London), and Transart Triennial (Berlin). Rachel is a graduate of Oxford and Harvard Universities, and has published extensively in contemporary art contexts. She is a trustee of Metroland Cultures, delivering the Brent Biennial in London.
Louise Bennetts is a designer, researcher, maker and lecturer specialising in research and development surrounding future fashion and textile systems and sustainable innovation. She is interested in new fashion systems that challenge the current landscape both from a material and manufacturing perspective, as well as social and political.
Louise has designed clothing and textiles in-house for various UK designers, including Roksanda (2014-2016) and Faye and Erica Toogood, with whom she’s worked consistently since 2016. She has an intimate understanding of a rich variety of design and manufacture techniques, from hand-made to industrial, as well as the intricate internal operations of the fashion design and manufacture industry. Concurrently to her fashion design practice, she has worked on costume design for contemporary dance productions, including Hofesh Shechter’s 2018 East Wall, a production performed in the moat of the Tower of London, combining professional and local community dancers into a combined cast of over 120. Currently, her focus is on sustainable material developments, including working on speculative projects with bio-designers, and leading material innovation for textile waste reuse design agency ReWeave since 2021. In 2022, she worked extensively developing materials and working methodology for the creation of Cecilia Vicuña’s large-scale Turbine Hall commission at Tate Modern. Louise worked on both the BioDesign and Future Fashion Systems platforms at the Royal College of Art MA Fashion course, between 2015 and 2022, and has guest lectured at multiple Universities within the UK and Ireland. She is a graduate of the Royal College of Art (2014) and Edinburgh College of Art (2012), and currently lives and works from Edinburgh, UK.