Meadham Kirchhoff Aims to Save Archive, Donate it to Museums

In case you thought you had heard the last of celebrated London-based label, Meadham Kirchhoff, when its designers Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff shuttered the label last year, think again. The design duo is the subject of a recently launched “Go Fund Me” account, which is seeking the support of the fashion community to help recover roughly 50 important pieces from the brand's archive for future exhibitions.

As you may know, the designers lost almost their entire archive of works (one that spans 13 years), which was taken by their landlord when they were evicted last year.  According to the Go Fund Me page, which appears to have been created by SHOWstudio editor, Lou Stoppard, and which is based by both Meadham and Kirchhoff, "We are asking a select group of fashion supporters to help us in our attempt to save their archive for the history of British fashion. I believe the pieces could prove of use and interest to many generations to come."

The campaign continues on to note: "We are aiming to raise $15K to bid for 40 – 50 pieces – all profit will go to buying back the pieces. Please note the archive is to be gifted to museums and the money will not be used for personal gain. As Ben Kirchhoff puts it, 'the aim is also to make these clothes live - that they can be borrowed for shoots, that they can be exhibited and not live in the past and be forgotten.'"

Speaking exclusively to The Fashion Law, Meadham detailed the project, saying, “The fundraiser will close on June the 7th, as this is the deadline for purchasing back what is possible of what is left of the archive. Once we are able to recover any pieces that can be saved, they be collected and documented and I will work together with Shonagh [Marshall, a fashion Curator and AnOther Magazine contributor] and some other people to try to house it in ideally one museum as a collection or several museums or institutions.”

As for why the drive to save the design duo’s creation is so important, Meadham told us:

What I used to do – the clothes I used to make – the contexts environments of the shows and the myriad of visual and political messages, which I tried convey with them was my entire life. The clothes that comprised the archive in its entirety were the physical embodiments of my every thought and emotion over 13 years. I had no other way of expressing myself. I did nothing else except for doing that; I didn’t go out or speak. Meadham Kirchhoff was my everything.

Those clothes were not just product, or empty bits of drag, a commodity to be traded. They were a biographical, technical and emotional exploration and experiment. We tried to push the boundaries of what fashion could be, what it could mean and how it should look, as well as personal bounders of what was possible and what I was capable of.

This all may sound sickeningly earnest and melodramatic. I guess I am that. Meadham Kirchhoff was that, which is why having the archive taken from us and taken apart, dissected and dismembered to be sold off in that way was the worst thing I could imagine.

The fact that those things will never be seen again in their intended state by me or anyone else makes it so important to us to try to preserve whatever is possible now, whatever is left, to house it in institutions where it will be cared for and hopefully displayed and remembered.