The Highbury Branch of the Women’s Auxiliary Force (WAF) at a needlework class to mend clothing for hospitals, ca. 1915.
Opening this spring, Fashion & Freedom spotlights the radical changes in women’s clothing brought about by the First World War – and updates these fashions for the 21st century with the help of Vivienne Westwood and other contemporary designers.
The new responsibilities taken on by British women during the war led to a dynamic new look, as tight corsets and heavy skirts gave way to more natural silhouettes. This new look has prompted leading female fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Roksanda Ilincic to create a series of exclusive contemporary pieces inspired by WW1 fashions, which will be exhibited alongside historic wartime outfits at this multi-faceted exhibition.
Fashion & Freedom will also include a series of specially commissioned short films from directors including Luke Snellin, along with contributions from students at five British fashion colleges. Fashion & Freedom will take place at Manchester Art Gallery and at locations around Manchester from 13 May to 27 November 2016.