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Uniform, Power and the Sea

Fashion Historian Amber Butchart guest-curates a programme of three talks on power, dress and culture. For this event she explores the links between uniform, power and nautical dress.

What's it about?

Nautical motifs are a perennial on contemporary catwalks, from regimental naval glamour to the square sailor collar. But how did these elements of men’s uniform — created as a spectacular display of sartorial power and military might — cross into women’s dress, and how did their meanings change with this transition?

Fashion historian Amber Butchart discusses the complex relationship between uniform, war, power and fashion, from the development of naval uniform to its appropriation into womenswear, covering areas based on research from her latest book, Nautical Chic (2015): a look at the history of high fashion on the high seas.

Le négligé galant ornés de la coéffure à la Belle-Poule, 1778. Image Courtesy Bibliothèque nationale de France

Le Sourire Magazine © Illustrator Léon Bonnotte

Mary Quant Fashion in 1967: The Models Murph And Jackie presenting Styles By Mary Quant At The Carlton Hotel Image courtesy Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Gold braiding features in Alexander McQueen’s ‘Dante’ collection autumn/winter 1996 © Anthea Simms

Kenzo spring/summer 2006 © Anthea Simms

Junya Watanabe spring/summer 2011 © Anthea Simms

Jacques Griffe sculptural couture stripes, photographed by Philippe Pottier, 1960 © Philippe Pottier

Booking information

Tickets include a complimentary Peroni and entry to the Women Fashion Power exhibition before the talk begins. Doors will open at 18:30. The Women Fashion Power exhibition will be open for ticket holders to view between 18.30 and 19:00, and will then close. The talk will start at 19:00 and last for 1 hour.

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