Fashion & Freedom

Manchester Art Gallery


Fashion &

13 May – 27 November 2016

Admission free

Fashion & Freedom

New fashion and film inspired by the women of the First World War

The onset of war in 1914 changed British society. As men left to fight in Europe, over a million women went to work for the first time. New responsibility gave women new freedom and led to new ways of dressing, as silhouettes and social codes changed.

Fashion & Freedom presents original designs by Holly Fulton, Roksanda, J JS Lee, Vivienne Westwood, Emilia Wickstead and Sadie Williams, new film from SHOWstudio and Luke Snellin, and works by the next generation of fashion talent – all influenced by the new fashions and freedoms worn and won by women in 1914-18.

“Fashion is often dismissed as a frivolous thing, but it is interwoven into our social and political history”

Caroline Rush CBE, CEO British Fashion Council

Day dress 1917. Collection Manchester City Galleries 1968.187
G. Worth, Paris, Afternoon dress 1907-9
Collection Manchester City Galleries 1947.4254
Karin Human, The Pattern of Protection 2016
Photography: Layla Sailor

“A hundred years ago society was transforming and women had an increasingly important role to play. These brilliant fashion designers, filmmakers and students bring modern-day sensibility to a landmark moment in women’s history”

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW


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