Monday, 12 January 2015

Women, Fashion, Power

Yesterday afternoon was beautifully sunny (if a tad windy!) and we headed up to the Design Museum to check out an exhibition that is currently on there. The museum is situated in a great location, just along the river from Tower Bridge and at the end of Shad Thames, a cobbled street full of converted warehouses. We walked there from London Bridge station, along the river, taking in the views of the city across the water.

The exhibition is called 'Women Fashion Power' and traces the history of fashion for women, but also looks at how women of all ages and classes have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world. The exhibition has been designed by architect Zaha Hadid and brings together interviews, film footage, photos and historic pieces of clothing. The exhibition illustrates how women have 'used fashion as an important tool of self-expression and empowerment to build reputation, attract attention and assert authority.'

It starts with images of world leaders from Cleopatra, to Elizabeth I,  and on to Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, outlining each of their signature styles. There is also a section containing outfits worn by contemporary women, from designers to politicians, explaining why they chose that particular outfit. It was interesting to hear how Natalie Massenet of (who has a whole wealth of stunning outfits to choose from) chose a very simple black suit, or that Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty chose a white wrap dress, simple and classic.

These 1920s flapper dresses were very simple in style but very feminine with their beautiful beading. 

I loved the space-age influence of the 1960s dresses on the left and the fab flared black and gold of the Biba trouser suit on the right. If only I had the lifestyle to wear it!

The simplicity of these coats were very appealing.
I love the green of the coat on the right and know of the perfect Cheeky Leopard clutch bag to match it!

This Thierry Mugler suit was stunning in the flesh, with bold black leather detailing.
I know of another Cheeky Leopard clutch bag that would match this suit!

Both these shoes have a blingy element, but have about 80 years between them. The killer heels on the left are Laboutins from a few years ago, the kitten heel shoes on the right are from the 1920s.

This show wouldn't have been complete without a Vivienne Westwood item and two of her iconic outfits were represented in the show.

This dress made by People Tree is beautifully embroidered and almost looks like an outfit from the turn of the last century.

After a great time at the museum, we headed to Borough Market where we picked up a juicy racklette cheese toasty before heading on to the Hoxton Hotel for an early evening drink.

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