Hull’s Princes Quay hosts fashion exhibition

A fashion exhibition exploring the intricate link between fashion and freedom during the First World War has brought designs by Vivienne Westwood, Roksanda Ilincic and Emilia Wickstead to Hull.


Designer Sadie Williams created a glistening gownas an homage to women working for the Red Cross to be shown in the exhibition - Photo: 14-18 NOW/ Sadie Williams

Entitled ‘Fashion & Freedom’, the exhibition is part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. It captures the fashion legacy of the era, when more than one million women were forced to work for the first time, prompting the creation of a new look.

On display are designs by British fashion legend Vivienne Westwood, London-based Roksanda Ilincic and rising star J. JS Lee, as well as contemporary pieces inspired by the sartorial changes brought about by the war from Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton and Sadie Williams.

Fashion students are also showcasing pieces inspired by the theme of pre-war “restriction” and post-war “release,” while a series of specially commissioned original short films complement the garments, including films by directors from SHOWstudio.

“This exhibition looks at the often-neglected impact that the First World War had on the lives of British women – the roles they took on, the freedom they gained, and the resulting shift in fashion. These brilliant fashion designers, filmmakers and students bring modern-day sensibility to a landmark moment in women’s history,” said Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW.

Mikey Martins, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Freedom Festival Arts Trust, added: “While fashion can often be dismissed as frivolous, it is interwoven into our social and political history. It is also one of the ways that most of us express our freedom, personality and voice. This year’s festival, our tenth year, sees an exciting shift as unexpected places, from shopping centres to gardens, play host to extraordinary artistic works. By bringing a gallery exhibition into a shopping centre, we hope to reach a new audience and encourage new conversations about freedom."

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