Women Fashion Power, Design Museum, London

Women Fashion Power, Design Museum, London

Innovative and forward-thinking, Women Fashion Power at the Design Museum celebrates the exceptional and influential women from the spheres of politics, culture, business and fashion, and features cutting-edge creatives who have had an impact on our wardrobes and the world stage. Showcasing the work of 25 high-profile women through the presentation of clothing, photography, archive footage and interviews, this trailblazing exhibition looks at how iconic women of the past and present have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world.

Devised by world renowned architect Zaha Hadid and co-curated by fashion expert Colin McDowell and the Design Museum’s Head of Curatorial Donna Loveday, the exhibition examines the last 150 years of women’s fashion and leads its audience through the journey women have taken in order to gain recognition in the professional world. With an alluring collection of contemporary and vintage pieces, including 19th century boned corsets, 1920’s flapper dresses, a Zandra Rhodes’ Conceptual Chic punk wedding dress, a Mansfield suit worn by Margaret Thatcher, and a Jacques Azagury dress worn by Princess Dianna, Women Fashion Power ultimately explores the way women have designed and modelled fashion’s sophisticated visual language as a powerful form of self-expression.

Specially selected for their daring, exquisite and powerful contributions to the fashion industry and beyond, the women invited to participate in the project are leaders in their field and deeply understand that the clothes they wear are a vital part of the way they communicate. The international line-up includes: Joan Burstein, Naomi Campell, Shami Chakrabarti, Charlotte Olympia, Julia Peyton-Jones, Pearl Lam, Skin, Dame Vivienne Westwood, and more. These outstanding women designers, directors, creatives and fashion experts provide the foundations for today’s professional women seeking to develop and utilise the ever-changing power dress code as an expression of individuality, style and empowerment in their own working environment. As more women are being recruited into powerful societal leadership roles, this apt exhibition asks whether it is time to reassess the changing role of fashion in the public and professional sphere.

Women Fashion Power, until 26 April, Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD.

Further information can be found at www.designmuseum.org.

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1. Dame Vivienne Westwood, Designer. Courtesy of Christian Shambenait.