The past year has lead to an increased emphasis on ‘loungewear’ or ‘athleisure’ as the comfortable way to ride out this pandemic. I personally haven’t worn a garment without an elasticated waist since about August, nor indeed has there been any expectation that I should. However, for centuries clothing hasn’t been designed for ‘lounging’ - it has for the most part been an indication of status, wealth and, for women, femininity. The concept of living through a year of quarantine in a girdle or corset is frankly dreadful, so I wanted to research who I had to thank for this shift in attitudes to both clothing and women.
This project is very much still in its development stage, but I’ve been enjoying using archive photographs and experimenting with layout and type.Slacks is a concept exhibition for V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, exploring the social history of the past 170 years - beginning with the ‘Bloomer Craze’ of 1851 - that has given us more freedom in clothing and put less emphasis on the gender of an individual. I am looking in particular and the changing lifestyles and expectations of women as they campaigned for the right to vote and joined the workforce.