Living, working and writing in the rainy city of Manchester.
The Fashion and Freedom show at Manchester art gallery will challenge everything you think about fashion. Often thought of as a trivial subject and only loosely linked to historical changes this collection examines the link between changing attitudes and the clothes we wear. The start of the war in 1914 changed society in many ways, especially for women. With a large number of men away fighting in the war the roles of women significantly altered, as for the first time they took on more responsibility. Over one million women entered the workplace for the first time. This radical change in their lives meant that they experienced a new found freedom. The changing role of women was reflected in the evolving shapes and styles of clothing.
We can often overlook the fact that the way we dress evolves alongside the political climate of the time; this show places a spotlight on how fashion is instrumental in mapping important historical changes. The show itself is amazing and well worth a visit. Several designers have created pieces that reflect wartime stories and are inspired by the women who lived during this time who are often overlooked in history. There are also pieces by university students and it is great to see a mix of work from established designers alongside new and emerging talent. Films are also being screened documenting the experiences of women during the war. There really is something for everyone in this show from fashion lovers to history buffs; this is not to be missed. It gives a new perspective on the changes that occurred during the wartime and shines a spotlight on how the fashions of the time can tell a story about the society we live in.
Fashion and Freedom runs until the 27th November and admission is free. It is a wonderful show and is great to see alongside the Vogue show on the third floor which runs until the 30th October if you have time. Thursday nights are a great time to visit as the gallery has a late night opening, not closing until 9pm, giving you a chance to enjoy the show and a drink in the café.