Fashion & Freedom

Manchester Art Gallery

Clara O’Donnell

Female influence:
Penny Jones

Layla Sailor

I chose to represent my mother as she has always encouraged me to believe in myself and do what I love. She raised me with the love and kindness that I hope I show towards others.

She always shows determination in whatever she does and she is willing to demonstrate the freedom that she believes in. She didn’t change her surname when she married my dad because she believes that it isn’t necessary. In my portrait I am wearing one of my mum’s dresses. I chose this dress to represent her style and how it also influences me. I also have two photos of her in glass vases as I wanted to capture how she has instilled good values in me.

WWI began to break down the restrictions enforced by Edwardian society; women began working and wearing clothes that we much less restricted. I believe this was a woman’s first step in the direction of freedom, and I find it fascinating how this act of freedom was expressed through fashion.


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