Fri | Sep 21, 2018

‘From Bustle to Batty Rider’

Published:Sunday | December 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM
File This young lady (left) mixes the eternal dancehall trend, batty rider with couture in a sexy ensemble with a flowing neckline while her friend goes dancehall chic.

The National Museum Jamaica (NMJ), a division of the Institute of Jamaica, has issued a call for donations of items to be used in its upcoming major exhibition, titled 'From Bustle to Batty Rider'.

The exhibition will catalogue the social histories of Jamaican women's fashion and explore the use of dress in the languages of fashion, class and identity in the modern period from 1865 to 2014.

"This exhibition will be educational, entertaining, complicated, noisy and edgy," promised Dr Johnathan Greenland, director of the NMJ.

Symbol of identity

According to Greenland, the exhibition will look at the use of dress and adornment as a symbol of identity, power and expression in Jamaican society.

"Dress represents the second skin that is worn on the body and is also fundamental in the construction of language, identity and culture.

"Using video projectors, clothing and jewellery, intimate apparel, hats, photography and magazines, we will enable our visitors to understand how Jamaican women have navigated the past century and a half in their own inimitable way," added Greenland.

He said the exhibition will also explore complicated class issues and gender empowerment through style and fashion.

The NMJ director argued that an important section of the exhibition will highlight the work of Jamaican female dressmakers, textiles artists and fashion designers, and also the dress styles of various fashion icons.

"The exhibition From Bustle to Batty Rider engages the nature of dress and aims to use its language, identity and culture to explore and locate the Jamaican woman and her contribution to nationhood."

The exhibition, which is scheduled to open in February next year, will seek to answer questions such as, what does clothing say about the evolution of Jamaican women's identity, and what does clothing express about class, power and sexuality?