AGM - Dressed for War

AGM - Dressed for War

Saturday 01 February 2014

After the business of the AGM has been completed Nina Edwards will give a talk entitled: Dressed for War: How clothing mattered in the First World War.

A century after the outbreak of the First World War and we struggle to imagine what it was like for the men and women who lived through that time. Those in the trenches, those working in armaments factories, the first combatant pilots, women working on farms, as coal miners or may be left in familiar domestic roles - how did they come to terms with such a war? One way of approaching this question is to look to the detail – how details of dress exposed the initial excitement and later the reality of muddy, lice-ridden khaki; pride in new practical roles set against a lingering desire for fashion or a longing for baths and all the small luxuries of soap, a clean shave, or clean hair. Why was jewellery made from spent fuses so desirable? To what extent did Paris fashion continue and how did photographic images affect nostalgia? First World War uniforms have taken on a sort of reverence that might not have been felt by the wearer. Fashionable young women would stain and bleach their aprons in order to take on some of the ‘glamour’ of warfare, even if they were stuck safely at home. With these questions the speaker hopes to bring the first hand experience of the war to life – through the medium of dress.

The report on this event is included in the Spring 2014 issue of WECS Wardrobe.

Magazine Cover