Fashion and Freedom Exhibition

Sadie Williams (Photo: Jez Tozer)

The Freedom & Fashion exhibition concerns the First World War and the effect it had on women and fashion. Informed by this period, the exhibition features designs created by London’s leading womenswear designers Vivienne Westwood, Emilia Wickstead, Roksanda, Holly Fulton, J. JS Lee and Sadie Williams. The exhibition is co-commissioned by cultural programme 14-18 NOW (WW1 Centenary Art Commissions) with the support from British Fashion Council. It is at the Manchester Art Gallery, running from 13 May – 27 November 2016.

As the war came to a close, it marked a new beginning. Women began taking on roles they were not traditionally responsible for, such as working in factories or driving ambulances (which appears to have inspired Sadie Williams effervescent dress). The new jobs lead to new silhouettes and hemlines were shortened. Coinciding the commissioned designs, the Manchester Art Gallery has revealed costumes from their archive that further illustrate the time period’s dress.

To accompany the garments on display their will also be a series of short films by SHOWstudio’s fashion film director Nick Knight, as well as by director Luke Snellin, who has collaborated with Manchester fashion label Private White V.C for costume.

On top of this, the Manchester Art Gallery has recruited students from Manchester School of Art, University of Salford, Leeds College of Art, University of Westminster and London College of Fashion to create works centred around the theme “Restriction & Release.” The pieces will be based off the binding corset and the shift towards more freeing silhouettes.

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See the designs and exhibit images below!

Vivienne Westwood (Photo: Jez Tozer)
J. JS Lee (Photo: Jez Tozer)
Emilia Wickstead (Photo: Jez Tozer)
Roksanda (Photo: Jez Tozer)
Holly Fulton (Photo: Jez Tozer)

Fashion & Freedom

Manchester Art Gallery

13 May – 27 November 2016

Admission Free /

University of Salford student designs c Joel Fildes
University of Salford student designs (Photo: Joel Fildes)
Student designs c Joel Fildes
Student designs (Photo: Joel Fildes)
Designs by J JS Lee and Morgane Davies c Joel Fildes
Designs by Vivienne Westwood and Morgane Davies (Photo: Joel Fildes)
Design by J JS Lee c Joel Fildes
Design by Vivienne Westwood (Photo: Joel Fildes)
Design by Joana Bustalino c Joel Fildes
Design by Joana Bustalino (Photo: Joel Fildes)