Uniform, Power and the Sea
Design Museum, Shad Thames, London, SE1 2YD
Nautical motifs are a perennial on contemporary catwalks, from regimental naval glamour to the square sailor collar. But how did these elements of men’s uniform — created as a spectacular display of sartorial power and military might — cross into women’s dress, and how did their meanings change with this transition?
Fashion historian Amber Butchart discusses the complex relationship between uniform, war, power and fashion, from the development of naval uniform to its appropriation into womenswear, covering areas based on research from her latest book, Nautical Chic (2015): a look at the history of high fashion on the high seas.