Women fashion power at the design museum should be more accurately called ‘a short history of what women wore’. After paying a pretty penny to get in (£12.40) I expected a little more bang for my buck. The exhibition takes you through the various eras of fashion, with sample pieces for each. It started from the figure defining corsets of the 1900s moving onto the more neutral elongated forms of the 20’s, then through to the 50s where there was a renaissance of the hourglass figure and then fast forwarding to modern day dress. Each era explored seemed to just scratch the surface, offering only a cursory glance at the deeper social and political influences at work.
As a member of the public and a keen feminist, I expected to emerge from the exhibition empowered and inspired as the emotive “Women, Fashion, Power – Not a multiple choice” poster suggests. Whilst the portraits of powerful women and reasons for their fashion style were interesting, the rest felt superficial – a nod to the fashion world perhaps, but not enough to engage me fully.
Exhibition runs til April 26th at the design museum, London.