How and why has the language and meaning of the tailored suit changed? What truths does its seemingly simple form convey? Historian of culture and director of Collection and Research at the National Galleries of Scotland, Christopher Breward, will try to answer these questions drawing on the arguments of his recent book.
The tailored suit has dominated wardrobes throughout the world for over four centuries, providing a functional and elegant costume for modern life. In this lecture, drawing on the arguments of his recent book, Christopher Breward will consider how its seemingly simple form has embodied ideas of tradition, masculinity, power, and respectability while also disrupting stable concepts of class, gender, and nationhood. And at a moment when the rise of sportswear, the decline of branded luxury, and a shifting working environment and political climate have placed the concept of the suit under unprecedented pressure he will ask what the future holds for this most mundane, and poetic, product of modernity.