by Lou Stoppard .

Feminism in Fashion panel talk at the V&A

On Friday I was honoured to speak at the V&A on the topic of Feminism in Fashion as part of their V&A Connects series. I was on a panel alongside the wonderful fashion commentator Caryn Franklin and the great fashion filmmaker and curator Kathryn Ferguson. We were kept in order by writer, critic and tutor (and SHOWstudio friend) Hywel Davies. Here at SHOWstudio we've been championing discussion and debate around gender for a while - just see our Selling Sex exhibition, our Fashion Fetish film and essay series and our recently launched Studs project - so it's great to see that others think the important topic is worthy of discussion. People tend to incorrectly assume that the arts are a female-friendly arena, filled with equal opportunities for both sexes. While fashion, art and film certainly have some amazing female figureheads, the truth is that women remain woefully underrepresented across the board. This imbalance was discussed at length during the panel talk, as were the images that fashion promotes of women and the industry's largely regressive attitude towards the female form. We were blessed with an incredibly passionate and informed audience who were keen to grill us on our own personal experiences and thoughts, all while making their concerns heard.

If you're a feminist - or even better a fashionable feminist - check out our Fashion Fetish initiative for emotive films by a range of fantastic female artists and creatives, as well as informed essays - many of which directly cite feminist literature - from contributors such as Erika Eiffel, Susannah Frankel, Valerie Steele and Harriet Walker. Do let us know your thoughts on the project - and on the issue of feminism in fashion in general - on our Twitter.

A big thanks to the V&A and Alexandra Plesner for organising and hosting such a great evening, and to my fellow panelists for providing such incredible food for thought. Image credit: @MegawhatDesign