Fashion is often dismissed as superficial and ephemeral, but tonight we look at the economics and politics behind the glamour with author and campaigner Tansy Hoskins, and Laura Clouting, curator of Fashion on the Ration at the Imperial War Museum.
Author, campaigner and journalist Tansy Hoskins writes for the Guardian, New Statesman and the Business of Fashion. Her book Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion was published in 2014 by Pluto Press to great acclaim, winning the ICA Bookshop's Book of the Year and is currently shortlisted for the 2015 Bread & Roses Award for Radical Publishing. Tansy has previously worked on campaigns for CND, the Stop the War Coalition and as a documentary maker at the Islam Channel. As a political commentator she is passionate about discussing fashion, politics and change and has done so on Woman's Hour, BBC Breakfast, BBC World Service and Channel 4's Ten O'Clock Live. Tansy will be moving adeptly from Karl Lagerfeld to Karl Marx, delving into the alluring world of fashion to explore consumerism, class, and garment factories to reveal the real beneficiaries of exploitation.
The Fashion on the Ration exhibition is running until 31 August at the Imperial War Museum London, to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The show chronicles how the British public responded to an exceptional period of shortages and hardship, and demonstrates that fashion not only survived but also flourished during wartime. Imperial War Museum historian Terry Charman will be discussing items on display such as a bridesmaid’s dress made from parachute material, a bracelet made from aircraft components, and a bra and knickers set made from RAF silk maps to tell the story of how Britain engaged with alternative economies of clothing, from the rationing system to Make Do and Mend and the standardised, centralised production of the Utility Clothing scheme.
[Image: A model poses for the camera on a rooftop in Bloomsbury to show off her scarlet and white spot-printed Utility rayon shirt dress, which would have cost 7 coupons and 53/- © IWM (D 14784)]