Dr Alistair O'Neill
- Twentieth century and contemporary fashion
- Fashion photography in relation to visual culture
- Fashion curation and histories of display
- London as a centre for fashion cultures
My research as a writer and curator deals with the representation of metropolitan fashion cultures, the role of surviving material culture and the medium of photography. London- after a fashion (Reaktion Books, 2007) is my first publication which considers the relationship between fashion and modernity in twentieth century London.
I have worked as a curatorial consultant for Somerset House Trust since the implementation of its contemporary exhibitions programme in 2008. This has centred on fashion exhibitions including the co-curation of SHOWstudio: Fashion Revolution (2009), Valentino: Master of Couture (2012) and Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! (2013).
My work is motivated by working in an art school environment and reflecting on the intersections between theory and practice raised by fashion, as much in how it is made as how it is interpreted. I am interested in interrogating fashion as object, image, text and space. My curatorial projects allow me to work collaboratively with practitioners while my writing reflects more singular interests.
I have more recently written on bodies of photographic work that challenge the parameters of fashion photography, and explored the critical reception of the genre as it developed beyond its commercial function. This includes the forthcoming publication, Photography and Fashion (Reaktion Books).