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Audio guide

Here you can listen to or download an audio guide that might be of assistance to visually impaired visitors. It could help when planning a visit to the exhibition, for navigating through the gallery and for more information about the content in each section. This guide is also available at the exhibition itself.


Welcome to the Walker Art Gallery and this new temporary exhibition; 'Fashion V Sport' .

You are listening to an audio description for this exhibition that may be of assistance to visitors with visual impairment.

This message is in two parts. Firstly, you can listen to a brief description of the gallery and the exhibition themes. Then if you wish to hear more I will give a more detailed description.

The brief introduction to the exhibition lasts around three minutes and the more detail description lasts around five minutes.

Gallery layout

Firstly, let me tell you about the gallery layout. You are standing in towards one the corners of the gallery which measures about 30 metres or 90 feet long by 10 metres or 30 feet wide.

Wood-strip flooring runs throughout the exhibition and there are no major changes in floor height or steps. The light levels within the gallery are kept low in order to protect the objects and costume on display.

So that's the domestics taken care of. Let me tell you a little more. The Walker Art Gallery is hosting this stylish exhibition which is on tour from London's Victoria and Albert Museum. 'Fashion V Sport' explores the relationship between contemporary fashion and global sportswear brands over the last 20 years.

The exhibition is in four sections: Dare, Display, Play and Desire.

'Dare' looks further at contemporary fashions and how sportswear is rated highly as an essential part of the modern wardrobe.

'Display' and 'Play' highlight the street as the most crucial space where sportswear is worn as fashion.

'Desire' features examples of obsessive sportswear collections.

'Fashion V Sport' runs from 13 February to 31 May 2009.

That completes the brief introduction. If you would like to hear a more detailed description, please stay on the line and I'll continue.

Detailed description

The exhibition displays around 50 outfits and 120 objects including contemporary sportswear, streetwear, accessories and shoes, the exhibition aims to reflect the convergence of fashion and sport, showing the extent to which designers take inspiration from each other to score hits on both the catwalks and the sports fields. Designers such as Stella McCartney collaborating with well known sports brands like Adidas, illustrate sportswear's popularity as a fashion statement. 'Fashion V Sport' shows how designers such as Dries van Noten and Vivienne Westwood have reworked original sportswear staples such as the grey jersey tracksuit, redefining them as high-end must-have fashion items

You are now standing in the 'Dare' section of the exhibition which looks further at how sports innovations have influenced fashion design. With the lines becoming blurred in the use of sportswear, sports technologies are being integrated into every day fashions, and the exhibition highlights the struggle that has developed between traditional and innovative design. Just behind you is a large projected video that depicts a traditionally-styled cycling suit, made from wool woven together with a modern reflective fabric. This illustrates perfectly the meeting of old and new technologies.

Moving further along the gallery you will come to 'Display' and 'Play'. These sections highlight the street as the most crucial space where sportswear is worn as fashion. Particularly relevant to Liverpool, it is common practice to wear a t-shirt of a certain colour, not only as a piece of casual wear but also to pledge allegiance to the football team you support, therefore making the t-shirt's purpose two-fold.

These sections also trace the customisation of sports fashion including a jacket reconstructed from sections of Nike clothing by cult designer Dr Romanelli, and show how the creativity of trainer customizers such as I-Saw and Nash Money has been embraced by global superbrands. There are two short films featuring I-Saw and Nash money that show their work as they customize off-the-shelf trainers to their own unique designs.

The section titled 'Play' also has a video display of people photographed wearing a variety of street fashions.

Finally, we have the 'Desire' section. This features examples of advertising campaigns for fashion brands, including sports personalities such as David Beckham and David James modelling for Armani along with designer sporting accessories including a Paul Smith-designed snowboard and Chanel fishing bag.

This section also uncovers the world of sportswear obsessives, from collectors who own hundreds of pairs of trainers, to the Japanese fashion designer Hirofumi Kiyonaga who has created a brand named after his virtual football team 'Football Club Real Bristol', for which he designs two fashion collections each year.

There is a full programme of events and activities linked to 'Fashion V Sport', including guided tours of the exhibition. If you would like to know more about these events, please see a member of staff or ask at the welcome desk on the ground floor.

That completes this audio description. We do hope that you have found it of assistance. Please do enjoy the rest of your visit.