An eager crowd supported Votes For Women! the first of our series of presentations by the History Wardrobe in Henry Mitchell Hall on Tuesday 9th February.
This was originally scheduled to be the second of our events but snow forced us to reschedule Undressing Mr Darcy until later in the season. However Votes For Women! proved a perfect starting point as it quickly became apparent that Lucy Adlington and Gillian Stapleton are women on a mission to bring history to life through fashion and costume in hugely enjoyable style, and that with their learned but always entertaining delivery, their crusade is as compelling as that of women’s suffrage.
Lucy and Gillian cleverly disclosed the social and economic history and sexual politics of women from the first suffragists in Victorian times until the late 1920s as they gradually dressed the Edwardian lady to attend a monster rally demanding votes for women in 1903, and the fashionable ‘flapper’ on her way to vote in 1928.
In between they recounted the increasingly militant tactics of the suffragettes, the brutal response of the police and the impact of women's participation in the Great War in changing attitudes.
A wealth of historical detail was seamlessly woven into examination of their fabulous collection of costumes, accessories and artefacts, as dramatic changes in women’s fashions reflected the revolutionary transformations in their lifestyles. The audience thoroughly enjoyed discovering the time consuming, constricting and confining nature of Edwardian dress which revered the matron, and seeing how it gave way to flamboyance, freedom and the boyish style of the flapper, which initiated the cult of youth.
Don’t miss the second in our series of History Wardrobe events – the Fabulous Fifties.
We can’t wait!