Shopping Routes: Networks of Consumption

Shopping Routes: Networks of Fashion Consumption in London's West End 1945-1979.

Principal Investigator: Christopher Breward
College: London College of Fashion
Main Funder: Economic and Social Research Council
Funding Period: 01 October 2003 to 30 September 2006
Key partners included: V&A, Royal Holloway, University of London

Project summary

This project investigated the development of London's West End as a key location in metropolitan, national and global cultures of fashion consumption. Based at Oxford Circus, it was undertaken by an interdisciplinary team, with expertise in human geography, cultural history and media studies. The project focussed on changes in metropolitan consumption culture during a pivotal period in the making of the modern West End (1945-79).

It aimed to provide a re-conceptualisation of the practices of fashionable consumption, connecting the immediate and visible routes of commodity culture in the shop and on the street with the more hidden networks of production and supply, and the international networks of fashion, leisure and tourism.

It sought to develop critical understandings of consumption-led processes of metropolitan transformation and renewal in the late modern period, indicating factors enhancing and inhibiting innovation and dynamic creativity. It also aimed to provide a focused basis for comparative consideration of the changing nature of metropolitan modernity across key global sites of fashion consumption.