Mining Couture: A Manifesto for Common Wear

Claire Barber, Steve Swindells

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Mining Couture emerges from Barber Swindells' (Claire Barber and Steve Swindells) commission at the Leicester County Council Snibston Discovery Museum, UK, as part of the Transform regeneration programme. Gaining their creative inspiration from the Snibston site and collection, Barber Swindells explored the relationship between coal mining history and fashion. This book delves into the notion of "common wear", records diverse narratives of fashion and labour, and focuses on the social context where the seemingly unrelated realms of mining and fashion converge.

This volume is intended as an integral element of Barber Swindells' exploration of the theme of "common wear". It illustrates and extends the work developed through their commission rather than document it rigidly - its aim being to present an open-ended process. A visual dialogue is developed between mining and fashion environmentalism through the juxtaposition of evocative photography, inviting the reader to take an active part in making links and shifting boundaries between these two realms.

Texts include an interview with 1972 National Coal Queen Margaret Dominiak and contributions from textile artists and curators, exploring diverse themes: from the responsibility of making art in a social context, to the legacy of coal mining in contemporary fashion trends, through to crossovers between mining and fashion lexicons. Looking back at twentieth century Russian Constructivist and Italian Futurist anti-fashion designs, such as the TuTa, or "Universal Overall", Barber Swindells develop their own work-wear and the book is a journal/sketchbook/manifesto of their ongoing process.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBlack Dog Publishing
Commissioning bodyArts Council
Number of pages128
ISBN (Print)9781907317927, 1907317929
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012


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