Sunday, 10 March 2013

Sixties Fashion in 'Made in Dagenham'

Bit of a blogging break for me this week as work has been very busy and I have also been afflicted by a nasty streaming cold.  But back this morning and full of ideas for posts this week so watch this space.

Last night I watched a great film, 'Made in Dagenham' which had its first TV showing last night - never did get round to see it when it was on at the cinema.  Wonderful portrayal of 1960's Britain and I liked the way they showed the real women behind the story of the fight for equal pay for women in the closing credits.

One of the things I really enjoyed about the film was the fashion.  I was a child in the sixties and remember the clothes my mother wore then.  She had a white broderie anglais blouse just like the one worn by the main character Rita in a family meal time scene near the beginning of the film.  In fact I liked everything about that scene - the set was fabulous too: even the glasses used for the squash looked authentic.

I loved this blue suit Rita wore in the TUC conference scene.  The colour is very 1960s and so are the lace collar and sleeves.  In fact I remember my sister had a little crimplene suit in this colour which was her going to church outfit.  I had a matching one in pink.  What ever happened to crimplene?Made In Dagenham


The dress worn in all the film posters is Biba and the main character borrows it for her visit to meet Barbara Castle, played by Miranda Richardson.  I suspect this is not an entirely accurate version of real events but there is a wonderful exchange between Rita and Barbara Castle about fashion.  Barbara admires Rita's Biba dress, saying she saw it in a magazine, but admits that she herself is wearing an outfit from C&A! (Remember it?  Still there in Europe I think.)  I love the styling of the Biba dress with the inverted front pleat and the contrasting square white buttons.  I'm not so keen on the outfit Richardson wore though - too mother-of-the-bride.

This shot below shows the characters after their successful meeting and it shows just what a good job the costume designers did on this film.  Geraldine James, the older shop steward character, is wearing the kind of crossover print dress I remember my granny wearing in the sixties and the younger woman, whose name I have forgotten, is wearing a chain belt.  Had one of those too in the late sixties.

I think the decision to explore fashion as a minor theme in this film was a good one.  Showing an interest in what to wear and enjoying fashion doesn't stop women achieving success.   

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