Dress in Context

Research Centre

Dress in a Time of Crisis

Thursday 27 August 2020, 13.00 – 17.00
Free virtual event

The current pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our lives, not least that of dress. As we adapt to working from home and virtual socialising, casual dress has become the norm, and online shopping has reflected the need for tops rather than bottoms. While personal style has evolved to meet these new conditions, will athleisure be the new dressing up, or will there be a fashion backlash with more emphasis on tailoring and high heels? Lockdown has resulted in a greater awareness of climate issues, including the damage inflicted by the fashion industry. But will calls for greater sustainability cause more suffering to already impoverished workers?

Fashion has always responded to changes in society, and crises like the present one have typically had an impact on the way we dress. As in previous pandemics, the wearing of masks has become widespread, and the irony of their imposition at a time when face coverings have been banned in several countries, highlights the ambivalence traditionally felt towards them. Our present situation may tell us more than how we are responding now, but could perhaps provide an insight into the broader significance of dress in a time of crisis.

Full Programme


Organising Committee


Link to Q&A will be added to this page as available.