The Radical Decade Symposium

09 December 2016

Leeds College of Art currently have a curated show The Radical Decade, (7 October - 16 December 2016) which explores the archive and work of the 1960s fashion designer Gerald McCann.

The British fashion designer Gerald McCann (born in Lancashire in 1931) has had a long and varied career in fashion. He trained at the Royal College of Art under Madge Garland and following graduation he worked in London Couture and established his own wholesale business. McCann played an influential role in the development of the UK fashion industry alongside designers such as Foale and Tuffin and Mary Quant. His designs were sold in Harrods and he was a key supplier to the Woollands 21 Shop. McCann also achieved great success in the United States designing for Bloomingdales, Saks, and Bergdorf Goodman.

This one-day symposium/colloquium will explore the social, cultural and political dynamic changes enacted in the 1960s. This was a radical decade for style, fashion, music, education and counter culture, shifting boundaries between race, class and gender. Do the changes that occurred in the 1960s continue to impact our cultural views today?

Key note from Sylvia Ayton MBE 

Sylvia Ayton: After a very thorough training at Walthamstow School of Art and Royal College of Art, Sylvia left in 1961 to start her own company before teaming up with Zandra Rhodes to run a short-lived but exciting business "The Fulham Road Clothes Shop". Sylvia joined Wallis Fashion Group as outerwear designer in 1969 and in 1990 was awarded the MBE for services to the fashion industry, whilst continuing to work as an external examiner and part time lecturer to many BA (Hons) fashion courses. In 1980 she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the Jury of RSA’s Student Design Awards (Fashion), and is a former Chairman of The Costume Society, which enables her to have a wide insight into the many aspects of costume which have inspired and influenced her as a designer.

The symposium will be followed by a reception in the gallery. Lunch and refreshments are included in the ticket price. 

Tickets are £25 and available to purchase from our online shop.

11.00 - 16.00   Symposium

16.00 - 17.00   Reception

  • 09 December 2016
  • Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds College of Art