Fashion & Freedom at Manchester Art Gallery

Fashion & Freedom at Manchester Art GalleryImage courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery

Fashion & Freedom at Manchester Art Gallery

Vivienne Westwood, Roksanda Ilincic and other contemporary designers create new pieces inspired by the First World War and its impact on the role of women and women’s fashion. One of the most radical changes at home during the war was the huge change in women’s lives and work

 

Fashion & Freedom at Manchester Art Gallery

Image courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery

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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, co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, an ambitious, multi-faceted exhibition that examines the fashion legacy of the First World War for the 21st century.

 

Fashion & Freedom at Manchester Art GalleryImage courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery

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From the doyenne of British fashion, Vivienne Westwood, to Belgrade-born, London-based designer Roksanda Ilincic and rising star J JS Lee, leading female fashion designers are creating contemporary pieces inspired by the profound changes in women’s dress that occurred during the First World War. These exclusive designs are being presented in an exhibition alongside historic wartime selections drawn from Manchester Art Gallery’s renowned costume collection.

 

Fashion & Freedom at Manchester Art Gallery

Image courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery

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A series of specially commissioned original short films complement the garments on display, including films by directors from Nick Knight’s award-winning SHOWstudio, who pioneered fashion film online.  Luke Snellin has written and directed first, which reimagines 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 will be shown in the Gallery and across digital screens in Manchester, as well as online.

 

Fashion & Freedom at Manchester Art GalleryImage courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery

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Fashion & Freedom also showcases 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 combine to bring a modern-day sensibility to the fashions of this landmark era in women’s history.

 

 

Manchester Art Gallery
Fashion & Freedom
May 03 – November 27, 2016

 

 

more. manchesterartgallery.org

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