Fashion: Conform or Resist

Saturday, October 15th 2016

A Costume Society Study Day in association with the London College of Fashion

London College of Fashion, John Princes Street, London

Saturday 15th October 2016


Following on from the Costume Society summer conference, which considered the theme of 'Fashion and Democracy?, this study day examines the contradictory role fashion can play. Sometimes it can be a mechanism for rebellion and resistance and on other occasions a means for conformity. For example, young people have voiced their rebellion against their parents and society through their clothing, political groups have created individual styles to demonstrate their disquiet against controlling governments and fashion designers have pushed the boundaries of conventional dress through their designs. At the same time society has followed conventional styles of dress and individuals have conformed to wearing uniforms of their military or occupational roles or religious order.


10.30 Welcome and Introduction

10.40-11.25  Keynote Speaker: Female Fashion under Socialism: Rebellion and Conformity. Djurdja Bartlett, Reader in Histories and Cultures of Fashion London College of Fashion.

11.25 Questions

11.35-12.05  'Not all socialists dress the same' Russia influence on Chinese fashion in the 1950s. Anthony Bednall, Manchester Metropolitan University.

12.05-12.35  ‘Don’t talk to me of politics. I’m only interested in style’: James Joyce and the Irish Revival. Helen Saunders, Kings College London

12.35 Questions

12.35-2.00 LUNCH

2.00-2.30  Ski Masks and Cartridge Belts: Zapatista Dolls as Cultural Texts. Emma Jackson, University of Reading.

2.30-3.00  Blue Object of Resistence: Jacki Willson, University of Leeds.

3.00 Questions and break

3.15-3.45  Masculinity in Conflict: Sartorial Resistance in England and Ireland, 1914 to 1918: Miriam Phelan, Jewish Museum London.

3.45-4.15 Performing the Revolution, from Flesh to Mannequin, the Sixties and Now: Elisa Bailey, Victoria and Albert Museum.

4.15 Questions

4.30 Close and networking drinks

Lunch is not included but there are several places nearby.

  • Raw Silk, Fashion Journal, Moscow, Spring 1961
  • On a Rainy Day, Fashion Journal, Moscow, Autumn Winter 1961-1962