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Trousers

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1990 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Mixed fibre

  • Museum number:

    T.709-1994

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This outfit was worn by Inge Blackman, a gay black woman. It was displayed in the V&A's Streetstyle exhibition of 1994-95 to represent lesbian style of 1993-94.

There are various terms used within the gay community to describe particular styles of dress and appearance. For example, "butch" may be used to describe an exaggerated masculinity in both male and female dress. Inge's friends described her style as "butch-dandy", because she wore men's jackets, shirts and trousers, but with flamboyant ties and cuff links. She acknowledged her African ancestry with dreadlocked hair and brightly coloured head-wraps, and also wore lipstick.

Inge used her clothes to make political statements about race and sexuality. She said: "My clothes carry codes for my sexuality which will be too subtle for those narrow minded people who find lipstick, dreadlocks and a black skin incompatible with lesbianism."

Physical description

Men's trousers in checked mixed fibre.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1990 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Mixed fibre

Object history note

Registered File number 1994/1527, Streetstyle exibition 1994-1995, in the exhibition it was part of an outfit called 'Lesbian Style UK 1993-4' (includes the shorts T.714-1994, the jacket T.710-1994, the shirt T.711-1994, the belt T.712-1994, the cuff links T.717-1994, the boots T.715-1994, the socks T.716-1994 and the scarf T.713-1994).

Part of an outfit worn by Inge Blackman to represent 1993-94 Lesbian Style for the Street Style exhibition held at the V&A between 1994-95. She said of this outfit:

"My friends describe my style as butch-dandy: classic men's jackets, flamboyant ties, cuff links, bright head-wraps, and of course, lipstick! I wear dreadlocks to show respect for my African ancestry. My clothes carry codes for my sexuality which will be too subtle for those narrow minded people who find lipstick, dreadlocks and a black skin incompatible with lesbianism."

Descriptive line

Trousers, grey checked mixed fibre, British, 1990

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Described in the exhibition publication, part of an outfit called 'Lesbian Style UK 1993-4'.
Surfers, Soulies, Skinheads & Skaters : Subcultural Style from the Forties to the Nineties

Materials

Fibre

Techniques

Woven; Sewing

Categories

Gender and Sexuality; Fashion; Clothing; African Diaspora; Women's clothes; Streetstyle exhibition 1994; Men's clothes

Production Type

Ready to wear

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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