Women Fashion Power: From Corsets To High Heels And Everything In Between

Celebrate 150 years of stylish, professional women in this new exhibition

From Elizabeth I’s binding Victorian corsets, to suffragette Emily Pankhurst’s ‘shocking’ shorts and Coco Chanel’s wardrobe full of those famous suits, the clothes women choose to wear have always been powerful reflections of self-expression. But over the past 150 years, ‘power dressing’ has evolved as attitudes to fashion change.

So it’s fitting that a new exhibition, Women Fashion Power celebrates and explores how successful women have used clothes to assert their roles in society. Long gone are the days when we all wear uniform skirt suits to work: We are now free to express our personalities through fashion, which is demonstrated in this exhibtion.

Donna Loveday, Head of Curatorial at the Design Museum and co-curator of the exhibition said: ‘This exhibition is a celebration of exceptional women. All of the women we invited to contribute to the exhibition were chosen because they are leaders in their field and they understand that the clothes they wear are a part of the way that they communicate with the world. Today we see the evolution of a new power dress code – professional women are engaging with contemporary fashion as a way to express individuality, a sense of style and project empowerment. The women in this exhibition demonstrate their individual approaches to fashion – in their own words’.

The exhibition features a mix of clothing, photography, archive footage and interviews, Women Fashion Power has chosen 26 of the world’s most influential women to contribute an outfit to the display. There are also iconic pieces, from a 1941 handbags designed for carrying your gas mask in style, to a punk wedding dress from the 1977 Conceptual Chic collection by Zandra Rhodes.

Women Fashion Power runs from 29th October 2014 – 26th April 2015 at The Design Museum.

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