Fashion, OldVenue

Fashion Throwback

As part of their countdown to a series of productions to mark the 100th anniversary of WWI, UEA Drama students took us on a journey through the ages with a vintage fashion show.

Beginning with the 1920s and ending in the 90s, the catwalk highlighted the key trends of each decade. From the celebrated flapper style of the 20s, to grungy 90s fashion, these models mixed classic looks with modern accents. Amongst the ladies, the catwalk staple was red lipstick, often worn with variations of the ever popular black winged eyeliner. For the gents, Chelsea boots were a popular choice, and their appearance in the 70s outfit was one of my favourite moments (though somehow I don’t see the ankle swinging flares and Chelsea boots combo making a comeback anytime soon!).


(Photography: Greta Mitchell)

As if I wasn’t happy enough, I also got to rummage through the vintage clothing stalls from the back row of Norwich market, admiring the abundance of fur coats, vintage gems and wishing my wallet stretched as far as my imagination. These wonderful people were the ones to thank for the catwalk: Nicky’s, Lovering Vintage and Taxi Vintage all leant their clothes and their expertise to the event.FashionShow

(Photography: Greta Mitchell)

The wonderful war-time themed soundtrack for the evening was provided by the talented Gemma Barnett, Izzy Jones and Joe Caplin. You’d think by now the sensory experience would be complete, but not quite. What would a throwback be without a little themed food? With recipes from the Win the War Cookbook, released by the Ministry of Food in WW1, and vintage blogs, I tasted Welsh Cakes (a dryer version of a scone), perused recipes for eggless cake and heard some of the truly bizarre ways rationing impacted our cuisine.

Speaking to Helena Nattrass who organised the event, I discovered the inspiration behind the evening. “Being drama students, we are exposed quickly to costume design and experience first hand how what you wear affects how you carry yourself, and we wanted to share this.” Helena also explained that WW1 was a pivotal moment in women’s history, with necessity simply rendering corsets, and floor length skirts impractical. For the first time women were ditching the corsets and wearing trousers to work the land. From the long nurses dresses, to the land army, the home front was a dynamic place of change, which gave women a new position in society.

If this has wet your appetite then go and see: ‘The Accrington Pals,’ ‘The Gods of Smoke and Earth,’ and ‘Darlings: Four Women, Four Years,’ Tickets can be found at and for more information you can find them on Twitter: @homefrontline or Facebook: thehomefrontline.


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October 2021
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