Level 4 Costume students explore the Woman’s Place in society in a contemporary, and often satirical, take on 1950’s domestic adverts.
As part of the Exploring Interpretation unit, A Woman’s Place is a collaboration between first-year BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design interpretation students, final-year scenographers and supervisors, and AUB Photography staff. The students made costumes for each other interpreted from designs based on early to mid-1950’s dress, with a nod towards Horrockses, who famously utilised bold floral and stripe prints in their popular cotton dresses.
Advertising in the 1950s is iconic because of the highly cultured objects of the era portrayed in them, but also because of the often highly-gendered, stereotypical and sometimes sexist depiction of women in traditionally female roles. Women were frequently placed in domestic situations, dressed in glamorous costume with full hair and make-up. Some of the most well-known adverts feature a woman elated to receive a Hoover for Christmas, or kneeling down to her husband as she gives him a Van Heusen tie.
The final unit resolution for the project was a professional photoshoot, replicating adverts of the period. Scenography students staged period sets where costume students posed, imitating the original adverts. The spin was the contemporary slogans, which play on and satirise the 1950’s ideal of a woman’s place in society in the home.
Costume designer: Sarah Magill, Senior Lecturer BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design.
Costume Illustrator: Nicole Cuddihy, Level 6 BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design.
Scenographers: Lottie Kerry and Nicole Cuddihy, Level 6 BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design.
Supervisors: Alexandra Cooper, Rowena Mackintosh, Level 6 BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design.
Photography credits: Lucy Veale, Jarrod Thompson, Photography Technician Demonstrators and Stefano Naddeo, BA (Hons) Commercial Photography.
Ad copy: Tony Puerschel and Taran Knight, BA (Hons) Creative Writing.
Find out more about studying BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design.