Andrew Groves

Shonagh Marshall

Designer Biography

DOI: 10.5040/9781474260428-FPA054

Born 27 February 1968, Andrew Groves grew up in Maidstone, Kent, UK. In the early 1990s Groves designed under the name Jimmy Jumble, creating showstopping club pieces. He went on to study for an MA in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design in London and graduated in 1997. His graduate collection was entitled “Ordinary Madness”; inspired by turn-of-the-century drawings by the mentally ill, it included pieces studded with four-inch nails and a skirt made up of 2,000 dressmaker’s pins.

Upon graduating, Groves set up a label under his own name. His first collection, for spring/summer 1998, was called “Status” and explored the decaying of society using the perfect beauty of the model as juxtaposition. Most memorably, the finale presented a cotton batting jacket which, when opened by the model, released hundreds of flies into the audience of fashion journalists. Following this debut, Groves continued to comment through his designs on political and sociological matters. His fall/winter collection of 1998–1999 was called “Our Selves Alone” (a translation of “Sinn Fein”) and was based on the troubles in Northern Ireland. Following this, his spring/summer collection of 1999 was entitled “Cocaine Nights” and was criticized for promoting the glamorization of drugs as it was staged just after Bill Clinton had condemned the fashion industry for “heroin chic.” The show featured a trail of white powder where the models walked and the invite was a rolled-up five-pound note. Both Status and Our Selves Alone had been seen off-schedule; Cocaine Nights was shown as part of the British Fashion Council’s official London Fashion Week schedule.

Grove continued to show in London until 2003, when he became course director of the BA (Hons) Fashion Design course at the University of Westminster. In addition to this he has created stage costumes for celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, the Spice Girls, and Robbie Williams, and also works as a design consultant for companies including Nokia and Wedgwood.

Andrew Groves, Fall/Winter 1999 Photograph by Niall McInerney, Fashion Photography Archive

References and Further Reading

Find in Library Blanchard Tamsin. ““A Smack in the Face for the Gurus of Heroin Chic: Clinton Accuses the Fashion Industry of Glorifying Addiction”.” The Independent , 23 May 1997 .

Find in Library Evans Caroline. Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity and Deathliness . New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, 2003.

Find in Library Tredre Roger. “Show Reviews for Spring/Summer 1999”. The Observer , 27 September 1998 .