“Fashion whispers the untold stories of resistance; rebellion wears couture too.”

12 December 2023

suffragetes fashion


Through the tapestry of time rebellion unfolds,

Fabric spills secrets that history holds,

Fashion whispers defiant desires,

Resistance woven in protesters’ attire,


In the loom of rebellion, fashion takes flight,

Stitching the strength of those ready to fight,

From little black dresses1 to liberty caps2,

In the presence of fashion, power falls to their laps.


Armour worn bold in the place of a dress3,

Powdered wigs thrown off and hair out4, a mess

Of societal order and social decree,

Insisting on citizens’ rights to be free.


Badges of loyalty5 brandishing pride,

Concealing the secrets Kings fail to confide,

An act of rebellion, however short-lived,

Presenting the power that fashion can give.


Corsets discarded, a suffragette’s plea,

Seams stitched with dreams of equality.

Bodices white and embroidered with rights,

Fashioning courage in the darkest of nights.


Purple, white, green6,

The colours fly bold,

Unveiling the secrets

Of protests untold


To the dozens of favoured,

Who hold back the throng,

With the luxury of privilege,

They’ve no need to stand strong,


Nor to fuel with fashion a thunderous plight

Of mayhem and majesty, dark falls to light

In the struggles which follow, in pursuit of fair rights,

Garments dissenting are symbols of might.


Denim-clad rebels7 emerge in the crowd,

Trousers8 and leather9 and pink hats10 shout proud

With voices of anger, resistance heard bold

In fibres and fabric, their stories are told.


Through the tapestry of time, rebellion unfolds,

Fabric spills secrets, that history holds

Threaded with protest, power now comes to rue

Remember, rebellion wears couture too.


  1. Coco Chanel, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-66065280#:~:text=In%201926%2C%20Coco%20Chanel%20designed,equivalent%20of%20Ford%27s%20Model%20T.
  2. Sans-Culottes, https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20200130-can-clothes-give-us-power-what-to-wear-if-youre-a-rebel
  3. Joan of Arc, https://www.britannica.com/topic/dress-clothing/Rebellion
  4. Benjamin Franklin, https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/Fashion-And-Revolution/#:~:text=Throughout%20history%20these%20outward%20appearances,the%20loudest%20message%20of%20all.
  5. Sir John Swinton and John of Gaunt, https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/Fashion-And-Revolution/#:~:text=Throughout%20history%20these%20outward%20appearances,the%20loudest%20message%20of%20all.
  6. Suffragettes’ Colours, https://kingandallen.co.uk/journal/2018/the-politics-of-clothing-suffragettes-suits-and-solidarity/
  7. Symbols of rebellion worn by Black Activists, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/denim-political-symbol-1960s-180976241/
  8. The history of women wearing trousers, https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/women-and-pants-fashion-liberation_l_5c7ec7f7e4b0e62f69e729ec
  9. ‘Rebel look’ – 1950s, https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20200130-can-clothes-give-us-power-what-to-wear-if-youre-a-rebel
  10. Symbol of Feminist Resistance, https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20200130-can-clothes-give-us-power-what-to-wear-if-youre-a-rebel

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