Style: Warholiana

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Everybody knows who Andy Warhol was, but in the years since his death in 1987 his legacy has come to represent different things to different people. Say "Andy Warhol" to one person and they might say "He was a weirdo who wore a wig," or "Campbell's Soup" or then again, they could just as easily say "He changed the rules, but those changes have now become the rule".

Whatever the response, Warholian pop culture has come from the underground where it originated, and is now - particularly since last week when his "Orange Marilyn" portrait fetched pounds 10.6 million at a Sotheby's auction - a mainstream commodity.

From 28 May, Londoners will be able to see, understand and learn more about him at the Barbican where "The Warhol Look: Glamour, Fashion and Style" finally opens its doors. I say finally because the exhibiton was first unveiled in New York last October, and it was then that everyone heard about it because his former protege, Stephen Sprouse (with the nod from the Warhol Foundation), came back from nowheresville with a collection of Eighties-style hip-hoppy clothes covered with Warhol prints.

Warhol probably would have applauded the collection, for if there is one thing he loved more than anything, it was glamour and all its trappings. It ruled his life and tempered his obsessive habits by forcing him to collect every bit of memorabilia he could lay his hands on, and to record his life by taping and filming everything; when he died he had 6,000 hours of film.

He began collecting at the age of six, and a lot of his memorabilia, - magazines, movie posters and photographs (including the one he used for "Orange Marilyn") - will be on show at the Barbican, which is utilising both of its sizeable galleries to put on the show, such is the wealth of material. Clare Brown, the curator, says the exhibition should help people understand the way Warhol thought, for that in turn will explain why everything is there in the first place.

And it is an eclectic and revealing lot. There are 100 pictures of Marilyn, lifesize reconstructions of his window displays for department store Bonwit Teller, fashion illustrations, excerpts and cuttings from his magazine Interview, his wigs, clothes and self-portraits, as well as his famous artworks and hours and hours of videotape - Andy on 15 minutes of fame, Andy at Studio 54 asking celebrities "Uh, so why are you here?", and Andy being Andy.

There's also the 1969 Richard Avedon picture (right) which illustrates just where Calvin Klein and Steven Meisel got their idea for the cK One adverts, and lots and lots of clothes.

Designers were fascinated with him, and he with them. Costumes by Betsey Johnson for the Velvet Underground and Warhols' Factory film Paraphernalia, are in the show, as are clothes by Sprouse and Halston. There are even signed gifts to him from Hubert de Givenchy, and garments from Comme des Garcons, Versace (who used Warhol prints in his spring/summer 1991 collection) and Gaultier.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. One friend who saw it in New York said she could have spent all week there, so she bought the brilliant accompanying book instead.

Barbican Art Gallery, Silk Street EC2 (0171-638 4141) 28 May-16 Aug

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