You may be aware that recently there have been a number of Fashion Weeks for Autumn/Winter 2015, with 4th to 11th March the last major fashion week of this season in Paris. For anyone interested in fashion and indeed how culture affects style and trends (and vice versa) Jisc MediaHub has a really wide and fascinating range of items, from still to moving images, and even some audio clips.
The major fashion weeks are held in New York, London, Milan and Paris and there are two major seasons per year – Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer. For womenswear, the Autumn/Winter shows always start in New York in February and end in Paris in March. There are a number of short video clips of actual fashion shows in MediaHub, many of which also giving you a peek into what goes on behind the scenes. One example is this short film of Matthew Williamson’s Autumn/Winter collection at London Fashion Week 2010.
And don’t forget men’s fashion! The Zoolander antics in Paris earlier this week were a great reminder that men’s fashion and tailoring are an essential part of any fashion week. Here is a great example of a menswear collection catwalk show from Alexander McQueen as part of the Milan Fashion Week 2009.
It is very fitting to include Alexander McQueen in this post as the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty starts at the V&A, London on Friday 14th March and runs until 2nd August 2015. Below is another one of his dramatic creations, from the Alexander McQueen fashion show at Paris Fashion Week, Autumn 2006. The short film of Alexander McQueen: Paris Fashion Week 2009 also demonstrates how wonderful his designs are.
Fashion Designers and their muses
A well as Alexander McQueen, MediaHub contains resources on other fashion designers, examples being Paul Smith, Karl Lagerfeld, Gorgio Armani and Vivienne Westwood. In many cases, there are particularly strong partnerships between designers and models, celebrities and muses. One very famous partnership was between Madonna and Jean-Paul Gaultier. Below is a picture of the singer wearing a pointed-bust corset by the fashion designer.
Fashion comes to the High Street
Of course, fashion is not just about Fashion Week and catwalks! Fashion pervades everywhere – from the catwalks to the High Street to the streets themselves. One clear instance of this is when fashion designers and models launch their own clothing ranges in high street stores, such as the Top Shop Kate Moss clothing range and the capsule collection designed by Luella Bartley for New Look, which included two ensembles. However, equally fashion can originate in the streets and go on to influence the catwalk. This is apparent when you look at fashion and youth culture and “street style” in particular, more on that a little later in this post…
Fashion re-lived and re-imagined
Trends come back around! At the moment denim and Seventies fashion, including tan, suede and kick flares, have re-appeared. If you want inspiration, or just wonder what people used to wear in years gone by, take a look in Jisc MediaHub – indeed you may remember that 1930s fashion was a very popular search term back in January this year! Here are a just a few examples of fashions from the twentieth century:
Fashion and contemporary youth culture
MediaHub gives you access to items from the PYMCA Image and Research Library, a collection of images sourced from all over the world documenting post-war lifestyles, fashions, hairstyles, music and subcultures of young people. These images provide powerful documentation of changing fashions and lifestyles of young people, depicted at their finest (and worst). Looking at these images, it becomes very apparent that music plays a big part in fashion and culture. Breakdancing, punk, mods and clubbing cultures, among others, are all represented.
Journey deeper into fashion
There are so many great fashion resources in Jisc MediaHub that it is impossible to cover it all in this blog post. In addition to PYMCA, here are some of the other wonderful collections you can access through MediaHub on the subject of fashion, style and culture:
There are a great array of fashion collections from VADS (the online resource for visual arts):
- London College of Fashion Cordwainers Shoe Collection
- London College of Fashion Gala Archive
- London College of Fashion Paper Patterns Collection
- London College of Fashion Victor Stiebel Archive
- The Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection. This collection, which was a collaborative venture between staff and students at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) and Zandra Rhodes Studio, with funding from Jisc, provides unique open online access to images of 500 of the designer’s iconic garments, for use in learning, teaching, and research. These designs were selected out of thousands of garments in the private archive of Zandra Rhodes, and cover her entire creative career from the late 1960s to the present day, with particular focus on her landmark collections of the 1970s and 1980s. A number of contextual open educational resources (OERs) are also available.
We also recommend the Gaumont Graphic Newsreel (Silent cinema newsreels from 1910 – 1934) for early twentieth century fashions and millinery, often including experimental and hugely glamorous ensembles.
As mentioned earlier, there are a number of fascinating audio clips of people talking about fashion. Some examples you may want to start with are a woman’s view of beauty, the reopening of Biba fashion shop, home-made and locally-made clothing in Shetland; local shops…, and the Hartnell fashion house.
We hope that by looking at some of the many fashion resources in MediaHub we have awakened your curiosity and creativity in clothing design, styles and trends. It is a fascinating area to explore, and one which will continue to evolve and leave its mark on culture and society as a whole. Do let us know if any of these items have inspired you – for instance do you have a favourite fashion image which you have found in MediaHub? Share your fashion highlighhts in the comments below or via Twitter using the hashtag #MediaHubFashion.