Film: 3426

Art + Architecture | 1960 | Sound | Colour


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Fashion and art in 1960's Britain

Questions of art funding in Britain. Model of Henry Moore's Reclining figure. Who should pay for works of art. Do tax payers think it is value for money.
David Warner in Shakespeare . "The Homecoming" , extract, Government support for arts. Funding for the arts is an international question. Charles Monk - US expert says the British Government is a pioneer of funding for the arts. If there is no funding there would be no national theatres or galleries. Mr Alercombe of the Arts Council says funding can provide good facilities and direction for the arts. The Royal Ballet would not survive without funding. Regional art administrators discuss art grants. Royal Ballet.

Female presenter.
Genetically engineered chicken to produce 260 eggs a year. It has taken 12 years to produce a high yield hen.

Explaining the International Monetary Fund. Mr Davis of the Guardian explains new reserve currency. Credit is essential to maintain a high standard of living. In times of trouble the new reserve currency could be borrowed to maintain credit by any country that was part of the fund.

Mr Labar discusses the mini skirt. The battle of the hemline. Percentage of girls wearing a mini skirt is discussed. Skirts get shorter farther south in country you go. It is not to do with the north of the country being colder but rather fashions develop in London and then radiate out. The average skirt length is 1 inch below the knee. Fashion historian expert says mini skirt reflects female sexuality, throughout history clothes have been in fashion to show off various bits of a woman's body he thinks the mini skirt will last and last. Narrator says he likes them because "I just think they make girls girlier". Sexist piece.
Full transcript of item introduced by, and interview between Howard Williams and James Labar or James Lavar:
(HW in studio) "Clergymen disagree over them, young men love them, teachers denounce them, but one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that the miniskirt is very much the fashion this year."
(outside Vox Pox interviews of poinions on the mini skirt) "My name's Carol Smith, I'm 24 and I'm a computer operator for a bank." (Interviewer) "Why do you wear a miniskirt, Carol?" (CS) "This isn't a miniskirt. This is my most respectable skirt". (Interviewer, laughing) "That's respectable!". (CS) "Yes certainly".

"My name is Sam McLeod, I'm 20 and I'm a textile designer". (Interviewer) "Why do you wear a miniskirt, Susan?" (SM) "I just like them. I don't wear them to keep up with the fashions. I just enjoy wearing them"
(HW) in studio holding newspaper) "The battle of the hemline is being fought across the length and breadth of the country, and one national Sunday newspaper has run a survey which shows that 11% of all young women wear skirts well above the knee and 21% would like to see the miniskirt continue next year, in fact (now standing in front of a map), in the South including London, the average is even higher - 24% of girls wear miniskirts, although the average skirt length for all women is one inch below the knee. As you would expect, the skirts get longer as you go up to the colder north of Britain. For example in the Midlands, 15% of the girls wear miniskirts. In the North 14% of the girls wear miniskirts, and in Scotland it must very cold because only 6% of the girls would venture forth in a miniskirt. What does it all mean? Is it just another fashion or is there something more? With us in the studio we have the fashion historian, Mr. James Labar."
(JL) "The question of differing lengths of miniskirts in different parts of the U.K. has nothing to do with heat or cold, and no woman who's in the fashion ever feels the cold at all. It is simply that London is the centre from which fashion radiates and that it takes longer to catch up if you live in the far north.
(HW) "Well is it just the fashion or does the miniskirt have some social significance?"
(JL) "Oh, I'm firmly convinced it does. I don't think fashion is in the control of our conscious minds at all. The idea that 6 chaps in Paris sit down and decide what it will be is nonsense. They're just caught on a stream. Fashion operates on the deepest level of the psyche and it always means something."
(HW) "Well what causes a major fashion change - is it a question of class?"
(JL) "Oh class has very little to do with womens' fashions of today, and the advantage a rich woman has is a fortnight's start. Womens' fashions operate on what is called, if you'll forgive the phrase, the 'Shifting Erogenous Zone'. In other words they're intended to be a attractive as possible to shift the emphasis from one part of the body to another and there's no hierarchical principle. We're told there's hardly any class difference between the clothes of Princess Margaret and the girl in the street. I believe miniskirts will last in spite of fashion commentators talking of the wave of the long skirt. I think that this time what it symbolises is female emancipation and that this may be a wave that has gone over the sea wall and it may be irreversible"
(HW) "So the miniskirt reveals social attitudes as well as knees. As for me I think the miniskirt is just another fashion which makes girls girlier". ( perhaps a little sexist )

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