Deciding to create a drag costume for my final piece. Based on the 80s Miners Strike and the incredible efforts of LGSM - Lesbians and Gay Men Support the Miners.
For my final major project I decided that I wanted to make a costume and as my family are from a mining community I decided to look into the story that the film "Pride" was based on. I have also looked into the book "Pride" which holds a bit more detail than the film and is a bit more accurate. They tell the story of how a group of Gay men and Lesbians based in London created a group called "Lesbians and Gay men Support the Miners" or "LGSM" in order to raise money for the miners during the miners strike. They made connections with the Dulais Valley in Wales in order to help them during the strike.
I interviewed the secretary of LGSM Mike Jackson who is also an original member of the group and he was able to give me a first hand account of the strike and oppression from the police, the public and Margaret Thatcher. During our Skype call he told me about how he dealt with homophobic attitudes. We also discussed the differences between the film and the true story, for example there were more members in LGSM than shown and when they arrived at Dulais much to their surprise they gave them a standing ovation.
"We were quite conspicuous, we expected homophobia but were greeted with open arms and a standing ovation."
Adding the inspiration to the garment...
Above are my first designs for my project, I will be making a drag costume using images and stories from Pride as well as quotes from Mike Jackson. I'm making a corset belt to go over a boiler suit top with a very colourful printed skirt made out of a variety of fabrics. I've recently been experimenting with different image transfer techniques as I will be printing family photos and images from the strike onto the fabric for the skirt. 80's clothing styles is also going to be an influence on my work as the strike was during the 80s, I've looked at a variety of resources such as films like "The Breakfast Club" and "Billy Elliot" to see different styles. I will incorporate this style into my garment by adding shoulder pads to the boiler suit top.
I'd like to create a very colourful skirt documenting the true events of the strike, I'll do this by dyeing fabric a variety of different colours to link in with the 80s theme as well as Pride. I'm also going to print images and sew quotes onto the fabric and layer the sections of fabric to create the skirt. I also will document the views the working class had of Margaret Thatcher.
"There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families."
I will be showing in this project that this quote by Margaret Thatcher couldn't be further from the truth, and that the mining valleys were a society and this society created a family. They were a community and it was this society/community helped each other through the hardship of the strike and force by the police, media and Thatcher.