Exhibition: Hackers : Costumes From the Motion Picture

This exhibition CLOSED on Sat, 5th Jun 2021

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Cost: Free of Charge

Back in the future of 1995, the teen techno-thriller Hackers (dir. Iain Softley) burst onto cinema screens with its cyber phreak aesthetics, video game visuals and mind-bending techno soundtrack. For many, it was the vibrancy of the cartoon-like, surreal costumes that gave the film its unique identity, cult status and era-defining quality that still resonates today.

Styled by costume designer Roger K. Burton, the film is credited with giving hacker culture its cool credentials and reinterpreting cyberpunk by taking in influences from countless mid 90s style tribes: street punk, techno, surf, skateboard, grunge, drag, rave, fetish and exotic club culture scenes. A plethora of fashion labels make an appearance - Adidas, Animal, Black Flys, Casio, Christopher Nemeth, Dope, Dr Martens, Fuct, La Rocka, Michiko Koshino, Nike, Oakley, Quicksilver and Vivienne Westwood - crashing into a glorious fusion of high-techno style.

The wardrobe was worn with attitude by a young virtually unknown cast including Angelina Jolie in her first major role and her future ex-husband Jonny Lee Miller. The casts’ eclectic outfits have been variously described as “medieval-mixed-with-athletic-wear”, “part Saved By the Bell, part Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner, part Sex Queen from a hair metal video”. Burton’s cinematic references for the wardrobe however, were cult movies like The Warriors (1979), Escape From New York (1981), Liquid Sky (1982), and Paris is Burning (1990). The film is brimming with subtle nods to a host of other subcultural artefacts such as counter-culture magazines Details, Paper, Juxtapoz, Thrasher, Wired and Ray Gun, the band Deee-Lite and the Wigstock drag festival, among many others.

For the first time since the movie’s release twenty-five years ago, sci-fi fans and fashion geeks can get close and personal to a display of the main cast’s costumes, accessories and Rollerblades. Also included in the exhibition are the original mood boards for each character, key on-set costume books containing all the character Polaroids in their outfits - scene by scene, and rarest of all, photos from the fittings, including some of the outfits that didn’t make the final cut.

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