Compton Verney Lecture: Britain in the Fifties – Design, Aspiration and Fashion
Saturday 15 October 2016
Blenheim Palace, The Indian RoomVenue
Cultural historian Professor Steven Parissien and celebrated dress collector and expert Liz Tregena explore the crucial role of design in shaping the brave new world of 1950s Britain and the effect of growing wealth and expanding choice on the everyday life of Britons.
Parissien traces how increasing availability and affordability became inextricably linked to high artistic standards in almost all areas of manufacture – from Lucienne Day’s fabrics and Robert Welch’s cutlery to Ken Wood’s Chef and Alec Issigonis’ Mini – while Tregenza looks at the fascinating history of how High Street fashions came to embrace cutting-edge design, contemporary patterning and vibrant colour during this most misunderstood of decades.
Parissien is director of Compton Verney gallery in Warwickshire and curator of its recent exhibition Britain in the Fifties: Design and Aspiration. The exhibition explored the history of post-war design through the experiences of the average British couple. Tregenza began wearing vintage clothes at 15 and went on to study fashion at university. She has a large collection of clothing from the 40s and 50s, co-curated the Little Black Dress exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum and is co-author of Style Me Vintage: Accessories: A Guide to Collectable Hats, Gloves, Bags, Shoes, Costume Jewellery & More.
Sponsored by Compton Verney