About the Author

Clothes are but a symbol of something hid deep beneath – Virginia Woolf, Orlando

Amber Jane Butchart has had a lifelong love affair with dressing up, and is lucky enough to have turned this obsession into a career. She is a writer and broadcaster and a featured fashion historian on various BBC productions from Radio 4′s Making History and Woman’s Hour to the Breakfast News. She is an Associate Lecturer at London College of Fashion and she hosts a regular ‘In Conversation’ series at the V&A focusing on issues surrounding the costumed body in performance and fashion. For media work Amber is represented by Rush Talent.

Theatre of Fashion tracks current trends back through history to reveal the secrets of our sartorial past and was selected as Blog of the Day in Italian Grazia. For more press please click here. Continually inspired by the places where fashion and performance overlap, Theatre of Fashion illuminates the historical backdrop to fashion and places the semiotics of style in a wider cultural, political and social sphere. For more information see the first post.

Amber is one half of creative collaboration the Broken HeartsRising Star Sony Award nominees who are best known for their spectacular DJ sets, described by The Independent as “a Hollywood musical on hallucinogenics.” They have graced stages across the globe for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton. Their weekly radio show, Peppermint Candy on Jazz FM, is a celebration of inter-war culture focussing on swing music and the trends that the era continues to influence from fashion to food, film and literature. It was described by The Guardian as “a cool swing music show hosted by two vintage style icons” and was featured as Pick of the Day in the Sunday Times. The Broken Hearts are involved in numerous arts, fashion and music projects, all with a basis in history and a grounding in the culture of theatrics, from the catwalk to the circus. Bringing together the old and the new is a style trait that they adhere to throughout their creative pursuits, from creating soundtracks for silent films to designing clothes inspired by sideshows. They have been featured throughout the style press from i-D to Elle and Grazia, and have appeared as fashion and music commentators for various productions for the BBC, Sky Arts and Channel 4. To find out more about the Broken Hearts, please visit their website.

For 7 years Amber worked as the Head Buyer and Trend Analyst for international vintage clothing chain Beyond Retro, during which time she was interviewed for The Observer as one of the fashion world’s best buyers, photographed for Vogue as a girl with great British style and featured on the BBC’s Week We Went to War and News 24 as an onscreen fashion historian. She established the Beyond Retro Print and Design Archive which currently sells vintage inspiration pieces to design houses throughout Europe, America and Japan. She was a contributor to leading trend forecasting company WGSN for 5 years, and she also found time to complete an MA with distinction in History and Culture of Fashion at London College of Fashion, where she researched areas from Victorian swimwear and the iconography of the sailor to the importance of dress in memory focussing on Biba and the mythologising of the ‘swinging sixties’.

Following the success of her MA, Amber was offered a Research Fellowship at the Centre for Fashion, the Body and Material Cultures, based at the University of the Arts London, were she produced a paper on the influence of Hollywood costume on London fashion in the 1930s. She has sat on a number of panels, notably on the SHOWstudio live panels, as an industry judge for the Clothes Show Style Awards and as a panellist at the Royal Academy ‘Fashion Stage’ salon. She was invited to speak at the Fashion and Food Symposium at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, on the cultural history of shoes for the Wellcome Collection, and was featured in the King’s Road Music and Fashion Trail discussing the impact of the boutique revolution in the 1960s. She has also taught fashion history workshops at the British Museum. See here for more information on talks and lectures.

Amber is available to write features and contribute to TV or radio productions on many aspects of fashion, film and performance history. She is well versed in speaking about the vintage clothing industry, and is also available for catwalk coverage and archival research into brand heritage. For all enquiries please email: amber@theatreoffashion.co.uk.

Good fashion is good performance artIris Apfel

Picture by Anthony Lycett