All The Rage In Bloomsbury

Date: 4/6/24
Speakers: Virginia Nicholson, Charlie Porter

Tuesday 4 June at 7pm, Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of The Arts, London. Tickets FREE to Members/Fellows.

Dalloway Day is the RSL’s annual celebration of Mrs Dalloway and other writings by and inspired by Virginia Woolf. This year, marking 99 years since the initial publication of the iconic book that takes place over a Wednesday in mid-June, our events are taking place over a few days at Birkbeck College, using spaces in the college which are part of the former home of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.

Join us for a conversation between social historian, Virginia Nicholson, and fashion writer and curator Charlie Porter on the politics and societal tensions played out through the medium of fashion and beauty.

Nicholson’s new book All The Rage: Pleasure, Pain, Power – Stories from the Frontline of Beauty is a multi-layered, hundred-year-history of women’s lives through fashion and beauty chronicling the relationship between women and this industry; navigating its codes, its contradictions and its underlying power struggle. Her study includes her own family and their relationship with beauty and fashion in their lives and work.

Virginia Nicholson has been described by Carmen Calil as ‘the outstanding recorder of British lives in the twentieth century’. She is also the President of the Charleston Trust, the former home of her grandmother Vanessa Bell and other members of the Bloomsbury Group.

Charlie Porters’ Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and the Philosophy of Fashion focuses on six members of the Bloomsbury Group and examines how they were in the vanguard of a social and sartorial revolution, each of them offering fresh insight into the constraints and possibilities of fashion today. Charlie Porter is ‘a magician, a radical historian who has pulled away all the threadbare myths about Bloomsbury, using clothes as a way of revealing the vulnerable bodies and wild new ideas of Woolf and her circle.’ He is a writer, fashion critic and curator. He has been described as one of the most influential fashion journalists of his time.

This event will take place in Vanessa Bell’s former painting studio which is now the Keynes Library at Birkbeck College.

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