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Producer’s thoughts on Brave New World – Part 2, Fashion 1931 – 2540

WHAT DID HUXLEY PREDICT BACK IN 1931?

Well, first of all, he predicted the use of the zipper for fashion.

Zipper

Although it lacked a catchy name at the time, Gideon Sundback’s “Hookless Fastener” received U.S. patent number 1,060,378 on April 29 1913.

The name “zipper” wasn’t coined until a decade after Sundback’s patent was issued when the B.F. Goodrich Company adopted the Hookless Fastener for a line of galoshes in 1923 and registered “Zipper Boots” as a trademark. The zipper was originally used in footwear and bags for holding tobacco. Critics labelled the zipper a morally corrupt invention that made it too easy to remove one’s trousers. That didn’t concern the US army who were the first big customer using zippers in both equipment and uniforms issued to World War One troops.

Zipper

ENTER ALDOUS HUXLEY AND BRAVE NEW WORLD IN 1931

“ZIP” “ZIP” “ZIP”

“John is so awed by Lenina’s beauty that he does not even dare touch her. He has a sudden temptation to pull the one zipper of her pajamas, but he immediately is ashamed of himself.”    
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

In fact, it would seem as if all the clothes in Huxley’s Brave New World have zippers: “zip,” “zip,” “zip,” often followed by “zip,” and even occasionally, “ZIP!”. Zippers = easy access. And in this Brave New World of instant gratification, zippers were essential.

BACK TO THE HISTORY OF THE ZIPPER

The Prince of Wales adopted the zip fly into his wardrobe in 1934.

Around the same time, designer Elsa Schiaparelli started designing zippers into her sportswear and avant-garde gowns.

And in 1937, zippers really took off when they caught the attention of a number of French fashion designers.

…And Back to Huxley’s Brave New World

“Standing in the centre of a ring of zipper-hunting twins, the Head Nurse looked round.” 
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

How do you think fashion will change in the future? What do you expect to see from this production of Brave New World? Get designing, get inspired…. FASHION FOR THE FUTURE… born of the past?

Check out these images of fashion in the 30s, research some more, could they inspire you ideas for a fashion of the future?

Brave New World
Blackpool Grand Theatre
Tuesday 28 to Saturday 28 November 2015

Opening Night Offer: 2 for 1 tickets
Tickets from £19
Concessions, Groups and School Groups rates  available
Under 26s £12.50 (first 50 tickets, weekdays only; subject to availability)
Grand Friends £5 off opening night, £3 off rest of the week 
Our booking fee is included in all stated ticket prices. If you wish to have your tickets posted to you rather than collecting at our box office the charge is £1.00 (regardless of the number of tickets).

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