Fashion & Freedom - 14-18 NOW

Extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War

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VIVIENNE WESTWOOD, HOLLY FULTON, ROKSANDA, J JS LEE, EMILIA WICKSTEAD, SADIE WILLIAMS, SHOWSTUDIO, LUKE SNELLIN

Fashion & Freedom

13 May 2016 - 8 April 2017

MANCHESTER / BARNSLEY

Free

Image credit: Design by Vivienne Westwood, image © Jez Tozer

Fashion & Freedom

Image credit: Design by Vivienne Westwood, image © Jez Tozer

One of the most radical changes at home during the war was the huge change in women’s lives and work. With the men away fighting, more than one million women went to work for the first time during the war years – in munitions factories and on the buses, driving ambulances and even ‘manning’ the London Underground. These new responsibilities gave women new freedoms – and they also led to a new look, as tight corsets and heavy skirts were replaced by more natural and fluid silhouettes. A century later, this era has inspired Fashion & Freedom, an ambitious, multi-faceted exhibition that examined the fashion legacy of the First World War for the 21st century.

From the doyenne of British fashion, Vivienne Westwood, to Belgrade-born, London-based designer Roksanda Ilincic and rising star J JS Lee, leading female designers created contemporary pieces inspired by the profound changes in women’s dress that occurred during the First World War. Exquisite craftsmanship courtesy of fashion stalwarts Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton and Sadie Williams was also on display. These exclusive designs were presented in an exhibition alongside historic wartime selections drawn from Manchester Art Gallery’s renowned costume collection.

A series of specially commissioned original short films complemented the garments on display, including films by directors from Nick Knight’s award-winning SHOWstudio, who pioneered fashion film online. Luke Snellin wrote and directed first, which reimagined a young woman’s first day at work as a bus conductor, with uniforms designed by Manchester fashion label Private White V.C. The films were shown in the Gallery and across digital screens in Manchester, as well as online.

Click here to find out more and watch these short films

Click here for further information on the project

Fashion & Freedom also showcased the next generation of fashion talent through contributions from students at five British fashion colleges, working to the First World War-influenced theme of Restriction and Release. The new designs, the films and the students’ contributions combined to bring a modern-day sensibility to the fashions of this landmark era in women’s history.

Find out more about the exhibition and it’s ideology in this exclusive interview with Creative Director, Darrell Vydelingum.

Darrell Vydelingum is the Creative Director of Fashion & Freedom
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Manchester Art Gallery, supported by the British Fashion Council

Dates, Times & Locations

Manchester Art Gallery

13 May – 27 Nov 2016

The Civic, Barnsley

11 Feb – 8 April 2017

CREATIVE TEAM

Darrell Vydelingum Creative Director
Natasha Howes Project Director
Dr Miles Lambert Costume Curator
Jenna Rossi-Camus Producer
Laura Thornly Project Assistant

Partners

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