Almond, Kevin (2014) Fashion in Jeopardy. In: Fashion and Conflict: Not Living in Khaki, 18th October 2014, London Costume Society, London, UK. (Unpublished)

Glamorous, ostentatious, extravagant, alluring, flamboyant, frivolous! (SLIDE 4) The opulence of high fashion is often referred to with these very evocative words. Aspiring to such dizzying heights in the daily construction of appearance is the ultimate dream of the fashion consumer. This conflicts with the every day functionality of dress and the changes in society that fashion often needs to accommodate. The individual consumer of fashion will put together a look that conveys a visual message that can reflect these changes. These could be induced by war, depression, economic recession and political turmoil. The changes can also put the system of fashion and its consumption in great jeopardy. This research investigates and compares how fashion reacted to the deprivations of the Second World War, with similar deprivation, in the economic recession, beginning in 2008. This resulted in many parallel initiatives that have either been revived or have evolved. Whilst the research recognises that the deprivation suffered during war is far more destructive materially, physically and emotionally it emphasises the similarity of parallel initiatives in relation to fashionable clothing that impacted in the dual times of economic shortage. The initiatives discussed often-threatened recognised systems of fashion, design and consumption. It was driven underground only to re-emerge in different interpretations. In relation to this the research also details how final year fashion design students were set a live two day brief, that asked them consider the concept of ‘Fashion in Jeopardy’. This exercise introduced students in a practical way to how fashion can mirror conflict in society and how a sense of individual style and fashion can be maintained in a crisis.


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