Fashion and Freedom exhibition at National Memorial Arboretum
Featuring designs from Vivienne Westwood, Emilia Wickstead and Sadie Williams, Fashion and Freedom examines the fashion legacy of the First World War for the 21st century.
The First World War was the catalyst for radical social change in the United Kingdom.
With men away fighting, more than one million women went to work for the first time and many took jobs in vocations traditionally reserved for men. Women contributed through working in munitions factories and on the buses, driving ambulances and even ‘manning’ the London Underground.
Co-commissioned by Manchester Art Gallery and 14-18 NOW, Fashion and Freedom explores how the changing role of women in the workplace impacted fashion, as their new responsibilities provided new freedoms.
Fashion and Freedom includes designs from Vivienne Westwood, Holly Fulton, Roksanda, J JS Lee, Emilia Wickstead and Sadie Williams, and visitors can learn about how changing social circumstances influenced the development of a new look where tight corsets and heavy skirts were replaced by more natural and fluid silhouettes.
Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said: “When we set out to create Fashion and Freedom we wanted to look at the often-neglected impact that the First World War had on the lives of British women – the roles they took on, the freedom they gained, and the resulting shift in fashion.”
The example and experience of those who lived through the First World War shaped the world we live in today. Join us in saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world.