Culture Costume and Dress

5-7th June 2019 Birmingham UK


Full details to be announced, but planned events include:

Panel Discussion: the cost of fashion

Fast fashion relies on speed and low costs to deliver the latest trends to our shops, and because the clothes are so cheap we wear them and toss them away without thinking. But doing this places an increasingly unacceptable strain on the environment, exploits workers in poorer societies, and creates unnecessary waste. On the other hand, fashion contributes enormously to the economy, provides an outlet for creative self-expression, and represents a cohesive force that underpins society. In our panel session, experts from all sides of the argument will debate these issues.

Explore the Birmingham City University Art and Design Archive

BCU holds a large archive of material from the Birmingham School of Art, ranging from the late nineteenth century to the 1980s. Works on paper include a series of historical studies that display a strong Pre-Raphaelite influence in the dress and design depicted, plus costume designs from the 1930s, black and white photographs of theatrical costumes from the same period, fashion designs from the 1960s, and examples of submissions from students applying for RSA bursaries to study theatre design in the 1970s. These and other relevant materials will be the focus of a workshop where attendees will be invited to explore these historical images.

Visit Birmingham Museums’ Trust Collection Centre

Delegates are invited to join a group visiting the Birmingham Museums’ Trust Collection Centre at their 1.5 hectare site holding 80 per cent of Birmingham Museums’ stored collections under one roof.  The visit will include the chance to explore the costume and jewellery collections, and to speak with conservators about the challenges of preserving such a large collection of historic artefacts.