London Design Museum

Women Fashion Power: A Celebration Of Exceptional Women

Ana B. Remos

From Margaret Thatcher, to Coco Chanel and Lady Gaga, the politics of dressing for power and success has always been a form of expression for those who value fashion and style as a way to assert authority and guarantee notoriety.


The most notable source of self-expression, fashion, has been a focal topic of conversations when discussing the lives of the world’s most influential women. The Design Museum, in Southeast London, is set to explore women’s use of this smart visual language with a new exhibit, Women Fashion Power Whether it is Coco Chanel’s affinity for modernity, Margaret Thatcher’s inclination towards memorable business attire or Lady Gaga’s preference for eccentricity, the exhibit draws attention to a select group of fashion icons. Using photography, archive footage and interviews, the show also explores the last 150 years of women’s fashion and its aesthetic, social and functional evolution. See fashion articles here.

Women Fashion Power
Pearl Lam photographed by William Louey.

Twenty five women are part of this unique exhibition. All will contribute to the show by sharing their fashion philosophy and lending some of their garments. Among them: Miriam González Durántez, Partner at Dechert and wife of Deputy Prime Minister of the UK Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP; HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco; model Naomi Campbel; Pearl Lam, owner Pearl Lam Galleries, and Dames Zandra Rhodes, Zaha Hadid and Vivienne Westwood.

The list of participating women includes, among others, designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, Browns CEO Joan Burstein, art dealer Pearl Lam and journalist Kirsty Wark. These women will personally contribute to the exhibit by sharing their personal style philosophies. See the list of participating women here.

Women Fashion Power
Zandra Rhodes photographed by Gene Nocon.

Fashion binds all the women featured in the show who come from the worlds of politics, culture, business and the arts. These powerful women have fought the notion that fashion is frivolous. On the contrary, they’ve intelligently used fashion to propel their careers, establish their reputations and provide insight into their personalities. The exhibit, on view from October 29, 2014 through April 16, 2015 is under the curatorship of fashion commentator Colin McDowell and the Head of Curatorial at the Design Museum, Donna Loveday. The design of the show fell in the hands of acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, recipient of the 2014 Design of the Year Award.

Women Fashion Power
Joan Burstein photographed by Billie Sheepers.

“This exhibition shows how women have used different approaches to dress in order to make statements which are unique to them and their personalities. Few of the women in this exhibition would see themselves as fashion plates or even strong fashion followers,” says McDowell of the featured women. “They create their own wardrobes to demonstrate who and what they are,” he concludes.

Cementing fashion as a unique asset of the working woman’s toolkit, Women Fashion Power highlights a group of style icons that had come to embody what Coco Chanel meant when she said, “Fashion changes–style remains.” Their enduring impact in the world includes bold fashion choices that continue to speak loudly of their characters and passions.

© | 2019