The UK’s General Election is fast approaching. In the build up to 7th May, we’ll be discussing fashion and politics – two subjects some people may not expect to hear in the same sentence.
We’re going to be thinking style AND substance, to talk about what role fashion can play in politics and why fashion matters. We’ll also be giving tips for the fashion conscious and politically conscious about voting and how to get involved in the issues which matter to you.
It’s time to consider: how can fashion be a force to better in all of our lives – from the wearer to the producer? Whether it’s Vivienne Westwood sending out invitations plastered with the words “We’ve got to talk about Fracking” for her AW14 collection to Katherine Hamnett’s iconic anti-nuclear slogan T-Shirts in the 1980s – fashion has always been used to give us a voice and it’s only in recent years that fashion has been equated with shopping and scoring a quick fashion fix.
Only last month, the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) placed the spotlight on fashion’s ability to be a voice for change with ‘I Stood Up’. CSF and students went to the very heart of the UK’s seat of government and explored how fashion can be used to spark cultural, social and political change with key politicians. Too often fashion can be seen as frivolous, but just as the Why Fashion Matters campaign proved last year, fashion connects us to the most important issues about our future. For that one afternoon in parliament, this was recognised.
It was with the support of Baroness Lola Young, that CSF was able to initiate these discussions and think about how fashion is essential to both politics and youth culture.
Anna Fitzpatrick from the CSF told us about the event and what it inspired:
“The political nature of fashion is inherent in the production, consumption and use of both clothes and fashion media. Our hope was to use fashion not only as something to express ourselves, but also as a means to talk about the everyday, highlighting how even the smallest things in our lives are created by a wider political agenda. The discussions we had and everything we hope to explore coming up to the General Election will help fashion to create better lives.”
We know that students across University of the Arts London will be standing up and being counted, and we want to hear what it is you care about this General Election. Join us for more exclusive news and join in with the conversation on #fashionpolitics on Twitter and Instagram.
Are you registered to vote? Deadline is 20th April!
Register to vote
- Join in on #fashionpolitics
- A day of #fashionpolitics debate: 2nd April. Join us for the alternative to the TV debate on @LCFLondon.
- Read more about CSF’s ‘I Stood Up’ event at the House of Lords
- Photography: Katy Davies