There's currently a new exhibition running at London's Design Museum using images, video and clothing to look at how powerful women from the worlds of politics, culture and business have been using fashion to define themselves and their position throughout history. Women Fashion Power is a beautifully curated collection of clothing and artefacts to take us through pivotal moments, demonstrating how the power of image can in fact transform both groups and individuals and allow us to take on new challenges, new roles and make innovative and important statements especially when facing the spotlight on the world stage.
Now I'll start by admitting that this was the first time I'd visited the Design Museum in the Shad Thames area of London and what a great area and museum to visit. Shad Thames is a historic riverside street right near Tower Bridge in Bermondsey and was an interesting place to walk around prior to heading into the museum itself.
This exhibition is not intended to be a 'history of fashion' but more a commentary on how women themselves have been able to use clothing during periods of huge social and political change. Freeing themselves from the weighty and constrictive garments and minuscule binding corsets at the exhibitions starting point 1850, to much looser, freeing clothes as women gained the vote, went out to work and encouraged and experienced many other important and radical changes in our social history.
The collection is fascinating - a timeline peppered with wonderful images and some of the very best examples of clothing. From the teeny aforementioned 18-inch waist corset, through to the completely contrasting loose fitting flapper dresses of the 1920's, the miniskirt, punk, shoulder pads - it's all there charting the way we have used fashion as a strong and valuable language. A language that has changed actually fairly rapidly when you look at how much has happened to the way we dress over the last century and a half.
The exhibition runs until the 26th April 2015 and with tickets priced at £12.40 for adults it's a fascinating way to spend an hour or so perusing the relevance that women have played on the world stage and the clothes that have accompanied them along the way. Where prominent women have chosen to use fashion not just as a frivolous outer edge but as an important means of expression and way to define themselves, their rights and their freedom. If you get the chance why not add it to your weekend to do list and head on over to check it out!
You may also really enjoy this great article about the exhibition from The Metropolist.
Have you been to this exhibition, what did you think? Or do you think you'll plan to go and learn more? Let me know - share your thoughts below.