In support of #FashionRevolutionWeek, the Victoria and Albert Museum have created an impressively eye-opening exhibition of the threatening connection between fashion and nature. A total of 300 exhibits show off different ends of the production spectrum. It begins with fashion pieces dating back to the 1600s, to progressively presented advanced garments made from raw materials recently.
Since the 1500s, fur has been horrendously popular and worn by both men and women. However, faux fur was not introduced until 1929 meaning all fur used for clothes was taken from vulnerable animals. By early 1600s, European beavers became less and less; to the point the British and French were competing for supplies. Now, LYNX fights the fur trade: visit them at 70 Long Acre, London, WC2.
The late 1700s to 1800s portrayed horrifying slave work for the fashion industry. Cotton was a valued material at the time and was imported from the USA. Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793, a machine that separates cotton fibres from its seed. However, in order to collect the cotton, slave works were relied on to harvest and weed the fields. Whilst being treated brutally, they were only given a pitiful portion of wage.
1890 to 1910, Canadian seal-hunting was extreme due to the value of their fur; it was treasured for its appearance, soft texture and warmth. Over these 20 years, northern fur seals reduced in size from five million to around 300,000. It took a year after for legal protection to be put forward by an international treaty.
Only in 1911 did Russia, USA, Japan and UK sign the North Pacific Fur Seal Convention - the first legislation to protect birds against being used for fur-accessorised clothes.
During the 19th century, textile industries became mechanised, increasing the amount of produce. Produce equals pollution. By 1901, the British population had tripled in size, resulting in 37 million people. Clothes were made in bulk and synthetic dyes ensured people were able to afford clothes, yet the environment was gradually facing the consequences. The fashion industry’s dependence on coal and chemicals resulted in growing levels of air, water and waste pollution 1
Beginning around the 1950s, insects were killed in the making of clothes. Silk was provided by the cocoons of silkworms, and through this process the cocoon would be steamed to death in order for the thread to be unwound.
In 2016, Katie Jones used and continues to use waste materials to create remarkable fashion items. In the home of her London studio, she used excess stock yarn and leather off-cuts to create this two piece. Katie runs her own workshops for fashion lovers to create their own crocheted fashion. Other designers such as Vivienne Westwood have joined the fight for a more ethical fashion industry and the push towards slow-fashion.
Fashioned From Nature will be open until January 27th 2019. Go check it out!
For more information and events by the V&A, visit https://www.vam.ac.uk/
Check out Fashion Revolution and what they do towards ethical fashion at https://www.fashionrevolution.org/
Use the hashtag #whomademyclothes on social media and challenge companies to find out who is behind the production of your outfit.
F -Word presents
,An Evening of FABULOUS, FIERCE FEMINIST ART
This week Doomed Gallery, in East London, held a small space for the F-Word fundraiser in aid of Refuge Charity.
The F-Word Exhibition showcased work from various female artists. Explicitness was not a limitation. Breasts, vaginas, menstruation and nudity in general was exposed. This art was both a message and a warning to the violation some women face. It will not be accepted. “I’m not your princess, I’m the MotherFu**in Queen!”
The Refuge Charity strives to create a society where violence towards women and children is unacceptable. They help to rebuild lives for those who have suffered abuse and violence. Their purpose is to empower women and stand as a voice for the voiceless.
F*** Capitalism by Louise Brown.
This piece explores the effects capitalism has on body image and consumption. Our capitalist society is an ongoing malicious circle. By creating unnecessary needs we feel imperfect, we necessitate these unnecessary desires, and we become exploit.
This emphasizes how we tend to see the good bits; the one or two photos out of 100 attempts, the photos worth sharing. We should not feel deflated by the millions of uploads from strangers, there will always be someone to compare with, but we are not defined by other people. We are defined by our actions so be productive and you'll forget all about those 'fabricated lives' that seem so perfect.
I’ll Wait by Florence Given.
You can’t name one, can you? Social media is becoming an impact on the mental health of females. We scroll and compare. Given uses illustration and text that conveys a bold, unapologetic voice aiming to uplift women and encourage them in success.
I’m sorry Mama by Beatriz Perez.
Caught in the ‘shameful’ act at just 16-years-old, “I’m sorry Mama,” is both a personal apology to a ‘scandalised’ mother and a statement over three portraits. This piece of art is by a woman who grew up in a female-owned family in a misogynist society.
Perez portrays the true sensual female body and contradicts the view that women are the ‘weak’ gender, the ‘submissive’, and only have a purpose to satisfy the male gaze. The portraits are a visual protest speaking for empowered women: we are here to satisfy our own needs and wants; to satisfy our female-gaze.
For more events and news from The Doomed Gallery check out www.doomedgallery.tumblr.com
Find out more about the Refuge Charity, who provide specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence and other forms of gender based violence, at www.refuge.org.uk
Freephone 24 hour Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247
By Leanna Coleman