London Olympic Festival Will Unite Fashion Designers, Artists for ‘Britain Creates’ Collaborations

The countdown to the London Olympics is on, and even if you can’t get on board with the Jem and the Holograms-flavored logo or those aerodynamic cyclops mascots, you’re bound to find something of interest in the city’s ever-growing slate of cultural happenings. More than 1,000 performances and events are planned for the London 2012 Festival, which runs from June 21 through September 9, including a floating opera co-created by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame, pop-up Shakespeare performances, and new public artworks as part of Frieze Projects East. But we think the big news is “Britain Creates 2012,” which is matching up British fashion designers with top contemporary artists to create one-off works that will be exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in July (planning is underway for additional “physical and virtual events” that will showcase the commissions).

Backed by the British Fashion Council/Bazaar Fashion Arts Foundation in partnership with the Mayor of London, the project has just announced the dynamic duos: Hussein Chalayan is working with Gavin Turk, Jonathan Saunders with Jess Flood-Paddock, Mary Katrantzou with Mark Titchner, and Paul Smith with Charming Baker. Meanwhile, Giles Deacon has been matched with Jeremy Deller, who is also at work on “Sacrilege,” a major new public artwork that will be situated in a variety of outdoor spaces in London this summer. “I am going to make a festive sacrilegious sculpture for the public’s delectation!” promises the Turner Prize winner.