Cutting for Freedom: Synthesis and Nostalgia in 1970s Fashion
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This paper has the central aim of providing a new, critical look at the development of Fashion in the UK, in the aftermath of 'Swinging London' – the 1970s. The overwhelming success of 6os fashion in Britain has dominated the history of post-war British fashion. Its exposure, due to the international attention 'Swinging London' was afforded from a global level and the way in which it was mediated, has obscured the subsequent decade that followed: the more eclectic seventies. Fashion and material culture on the streets and the changing patterns of consumption in the 1960s revolutionized the way London’s creative capital operated and how it was read and perceived as an international Fashion destination thereafter. It transformed and re-spatialized the West end and gave rise to a powerful and confident post-war youth market for the first time. (Edwards, 2006). In direct contrast, by the end of the 1970s the Fashion industry in the UK had been played out against a background of recession and industrial unrest, in, it had been asserted, the mode of 'the carnivalesque'. The notion that sixties fashion melted away into a hangover of seventies cynicism, with the distraction of 'fancy-dress escapism' needs to be re-visited. (Webb, 2009). Rather it was a mythical playground of fashion where highly significant cultural exchanges occurred, because: 'it is the fashion capitals that have the strongest cultural resources to elaborate and re-work the invented traditions of their own design heritage.' (Gilbert, 2006).
Reassessing the '70s' Conference, Centre for Contemporary British History, Institute for Historical Research, University of London
Research Poster, part of ongoing research into the legacy of 'Swinging London' and the spatial proximity of the the manufacturing and supply chains to the designers, connecting textiles and fashion to urban life in the metropolis.
The Society of Antiquaries of London
- Material Matters 
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