Invisible Men: Conference 

This one-day conference will coincide with the exhibition Invisible Men: An anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive, a major exhibition exploring menswear from the beginning of the 20th century to the current day. The exhibition will feature over 180 garments and will be the largest menswear exhibition to be staged in the UK.

Both in museums of the decorative arts or dedicated fashion museums, menswear, and the history of menswear are significantly underrepresented. Despite the explosion in fashion exhibitions over the last 45 years, menswear is still comparatively marginalised or excluded from the history of dress. Its inclusion often framed only in the well-worn tropes of the ‘dandy’ or ‘peacock’.

Why has menswear been ignored for so long? Why is menswear absent from the museums of fashion and the decorative arts? What is it about the aesthetics and design process of menswear that makes it resistant to investigation in comparison to womenswear?

A Cold Wall

Speakers include:

• Professor Alistair O’Neill, Central Saint Martins

• Professor Jonathan Faiers, Winchester School of Art
• Dr Jeffrey Horsley, London College of Fashion
• Professor Andrew Groves, University of Westminster
• Dr Danielle Sprecher, University of Westminster
• Dr Shaun Cole, Winchester School of Art
• Ben Whyman, London College of Fashion
• Mairi MacKenzie, Glasgow School of Art
• Nick Sellars, Northumbria University
• Joe Hunter and Adam Thorpe, Vexed Generation

Programme Outline

The speakers featured in this conference will examine these issues and propose new ways of interpreting and framing menswear that addresses its fundamental differences in design processes that makes it distinct from womenswear. The conference will explore key themes concerning the exhibition, including:

Expressions of working-class identity within British menswear

Beyond the dandy and the peacock

Representation of menswear in British Art: from Hockney to Lecky

The invisible codes of British menswear

Manufacturing authenticity in menswear design

The future of exhibiting Menswear in museums and costume collections

The Invisible Men conference is kindly supported by

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Conference Booking Details

Date        29th October 2019
Location   Ambika P3, University of Westminster, Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LS
Tickets     £20, University of Westminster staff and students £10. Includes lunch