Museum of Applied Art / "POSH: the evolution of the traditional British brand"
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POSH: the evolution of the traditional British brand

22.January – 20. February 2004.


How are Britain 's traditional and luxury brands coping with an increasingly egalitarian society? In recognition of the need to broaden their customer bases, a number of traditional and luxury companies have transformed themselves through their engagement with contemporary design. This new approach has taken various forms: the comprehensive rebranding (e.g. Garrard or Pringle), the introduction of products by high profile designers (e.g. Portmeirion, Wedgwood or Lloyd Loom of Spalding), or the overhaul of advertising campaigns (e.g. Aquascutum or John Smedley). POSH is an exhibition that explores this phenomenon through an examination of both the design process in such companies and the shifting meanings of class and taste that have informed them. Featured companies include: Pringle of Scotland , Dunhill, Jaguar, Wedgwood, Garrard and British Airways.



POSH is curated by Sorrel Hershberg of the British Council (formerly part of the V&A's contemporary team) and has been designed by Stickland Coombe Architects and UNA ( London ) Designers with illustrations by Paul Slater. The accompanying catalogue includes a specially commissioned essay on the evolution of class in Britain by Philip Hoare, author of Spike Island and biographies of Noel Coward and Stephen Tennant.

Programme coordinator: Bojana Popović MA, Senior Curator