Manifesto of Dress – challenging public fashion consumption practices via alternate modes of education and engagement

Manifesto of Dress

A person wearing a historical bike riding outfit sits on a bicycle on a stage in front of a screen showing examples of similar clothing.
Bloomer cycling outfit backgrounded by historical images.

The Stitchery Collective proposed that in fashion, the personal is political and the political is personal, both throughout history and in the present day. Over a decade this creative collective has explored ways in which to engage the public in critical fashion discourse, one that is uniquely suited to the material, embodied nature of clothing. 

The work pictured is a lecture-performance by the Australian-based design group, which explored moments in history that demonstrate fashion’s capacity to resist, rebel and turn the political into the fabulous. The creative work combined public lecture, historical dress up, contemporary fashion showcase and call to action in an engaging lecture-performance format.




A person in brightly coloured clothes holds up a placard saying fabulous
The work of Indigenous Australian designers Grace Lillian Lee and Miart Designs.


From Amelia Bloomer’s bloomers to the sans-culottes of revolutionary France, fashion has acted as a tool and medium for great social protest and momentum for change. In contemporary fashion, local designers in Australia embed counter-fashion ideology into their business practices to offer a counteraction to the more negative effects of capital-F Fashion. The lecture-performance aimed to reframe personal consumption choices in the now, via the political fashion of the past, as politically motivated and most of all, capable of contributing to real change.


The Stitchery Collective is a Brisbane based design collective. We share a common feeling that the culture of fashion can be joyous, meaningful and beautiful all at once. The Stitchery Collective invite you to feel and experience fashion, not just look at it and buy it. Other forms of engagement the Stitchery has experimented with include workshops, talks, activities, events and performances.

You can read more about this project and The Stitchery Collective here.



Other Team Members 

  • Bianca Bulley 
  • Kiara Bulley 
  • Ellie Graham  
  • Anna Hickey 
  • Remi Rohers