Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Women Fashion Power: Design Museum

Power and change are not the same things, not really.

Equality and change are not the same things, not even. 

Radical change is not defined by the ability to do gross shit.

If anything it is to learn from the failings of oppressive systems (in all their gory details) and to do the exact opposite.

Margaret Thatcher had power as a woman, power that other's were denied. But is the occupation and application of patriarchal power by a woman a radical act? I don't think so. Because it is the replication of a system we know is corrupt and crappy anyway! True change would be to unlearn the desire for power over others, to create newer, better, kinder ways of approaching things.

So I approached this show with cautious optimism, I mean fashion and gender and history and design=ding! ding! ding!

But the power tag? A lil bit Leslie Knope-ish no? 

And sure, the first room actually looked like her office with its portrait pics of Margaret Thatcher and Hilary Clinton:

Image by Ella Catliff whose blog is like 10x more legit that mine 

And sure, if it had launched a few month's later it would probably have included one of those 'this is what a feminist looks like' t-shirts.


**!!This is a very good exhibition!!!**

Whilst power dressing, power suits and power discussions are dubious at best, the research is strong, captions interesting, and objects beautiful. It is a serious 'woahhhh' moment to realise what we regard as fashion, not haute couture fancy stuff but the simple everyday, has only been introduced in the past century??

Corset and bra on display at the museums and Mary Phelps Jacobs smiling lovingly at a a bra just coz.

Maybe I'm a nerd (ok I am) but the evolution of lingerie from cutting corsets to the first home made bras, which did u kno were created to flatten not enhanced the chest??? (the wonder bra came wayyyy later)is the kind of stuff I love to learn about and need to know?? 

Or that zips were first introduced to garments by my girl Elsa Schiaparelli?? 

Side note: These were her sunglasses btw! Is it just me or do they remind u of those Dolce and Gabbana ones?

Or that beach pyjamas was a thing??

Aaa so psychedelic and joyful! Who would have guessed this was the works of the 20s and 30s? 

Or that satirical handkerchiefs and propaganda print scarves were a thing?

Or that Estee Lauder created the blue print for modern cosmetic retailing, from free samples, to beauty advice and customer support and artistic promotion?

Or that looking good was regarded as a patriotic act?

-Cecil Beaton, Fashion is Indestructible for vogue 1941, I wonder if it features in Tate's current war photography exhibition?

Or strange very British design terms like 'pie crust' blouse exist?

Or the significance of the shoulder bag so women may have both hands free?

Or the little below the knee club was a thing? Formed in protest of Dior's New Look? (This blog post is a brilliant introduction.)

There was also a glorious moment when neither me or Sakun realized we were looking at a Chanel suit and were like eww wtf this looks like something Miss Trunchbull would wear! So yeah, ahem. That was interesting.

My only criticism, aside from the obvious points raised at the start, is there is simply too much Vivienne Westwood and not enough of anyone else, with Yohji, Comme AND the Antwerp Six reduced to one label. I'm pretty sick of Vivienne Westwood when it comes to fashion curation to be honest!

....And again with the shitty i phone picz! 

Suffragette hat, riding hat, 60s circle skirts, YSL suit sketch, matchbox cards, DVF letter from Vogue, Skin costume, Zandra Rhodes punk wedding dress, Vivienne Westwood, Katherine Hamnet, t-shirt, interestingly it was made in silk not cotton, I feel like this is important??? Juicy Couture tracksuit-LOVE THAT THIS IS INCLUDED!!!! THIS MAY MAKE UP FOR LACK OF YOHJI!!!, anddd h + m x comme, the fact they highlighted the significance of the high street in the 00's onwards was so so great, but again would have been good to have included other Comme collections also!

Okay that is everything! Let me know if you've gone/are going and we can DISCUSS!!!

Hope you're having a good December so far!!!



  1. Beach pyjamas? WAHEY! Love seeing that tracksuit there too.

    1. Beach pyjamas are my new favourite thing!!! I want to wear nothing *but* beach pyjamas, which is a problem as 1. it's December and 2. I don't own any/have no idea where to buy them?? But psychadelic happiness plus pyjamas plus day wear?? um yess??? D:

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