Picture by Jo Duck
Clothes are but a symbol of something hid deep beneath – Virginia Woolf, Orlando
Amber Butchart is a fashion historian working across cultural heritage, broadcasting and academia. She has contributed to numerous productions for the BBC, Sky Arts and Channel 4, from Making History and Woman’s Hour to Great British Sewing Bee and Saturday Review. She is an Associate Lecturer at London College of Fashion, a former Research Fellow at the University of the Arts London, and she hosts a regular ‘In Conversation’ series at the V&A, covering areas from Shakespeare to David Bowie. Her latest book, Nautical Chic traces the history of high style on the high seas, and was featured everywhere from Grazia and Glamour to The Guardian and CNN. Her first book, Amber Jane Butchart’s Fashion Miscellany – a compilation of vestimentary oddities, tips and trivia – sold out within a month and was featured inThe Observer and The Times ‘five best style titles for spring.’ See here for more info on books.
As well as providing the backstory to emerging trends or current key pieces, Amber is regularly called on to share her expertise on the fashion industry and its history. She has spoken about everything from 17th century silk weavers on Great British Sewing Bee, to the history of dress sizing and the social significance of Margaret Thatcher’s wardrobe for BBC Breakfast, dressing up for the theatre for Radio 4′s You & Yours and the resurgence of 1940s fashions for BBC1′s Week We Went to War. She has reviewed the week’s cultural events for Radio 4’s Saturday Review, and she co-presented an episode for the BBC Learning series, Your Body: Your Image for BBC2 on the lack of diversity in the fashion media to promote positive body image in schools. She has appeared numerous times on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, covering everything from older women and style to the history of stripes and the sea. Find more press and media here.
Amber is regularly asked to speak at conferences and public lectures at many of London’s cultural hotspots, and as far afield as Dubai and Ukraine. She has interviewed design luminaries from the RCA to Savile Row, and is frequently asked to host panel discussions on areas ranging from Russian theatre to issues around fashion and age. She has spoken on fashion and cultural history everywhere from the British Museum and Royal Academy of Arts to Selfridges, V&A, Tate Britain, British Library, Design Museum, Institute for Contemporary Arts, Wellcome Collection and British Film Institute. Diverse topics include midcentury Soviet fashion, gothic style, and the Regency dress of Jane Austen. She is a regular on the SHOWstudio fashion week panels and has been an industry judge for the Clothes Show Style Awards. See here for more info on talks and lectures.
Amber is one half of creative collaboration the Broken Hearts: Radio Academy Award nominees whose spectacular DJ sets were described by The Independent as “a Hollywood musical on hallucinogenics.” Together they have presented weekly radio shows for Jazz FM and QRadio, and have graced stages across the globe from Moscow to New York and Hong Kong for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton. Their Jazz FM show ran for over 3 years and was described by The Guardian as “a cool swing music show hosted by two vintage style icons.” It was chosen as Pick of the Day in the Sunday Times and it earned them a nomination for the Rising Star Radio Academy Award. Channel 4 called their QRadio show “a magical treat for all our ears,” while Lauren Laverne labelled it “a 60 minute shimmy across a different musical landscape every week.” To find out more about the Broken Hearts, 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 and photographed for Vogue as a girl with great British style (for more press click here). She established the Beyond Retro Print and Design Archive which currently sells vintage inspiration pieces to design houses throughout Europe, America and Japan and she was a contributor to leading trend forecasting company WGSN for 5 years.
Amber is a member of the Royal Historical Society and the Association of Dress Historians, and is available to write features and contribute to TV or radio productions on many aspects of fashion and beauty history. She has also worked with top brands such as GHD, TK Maxx and YSL Beauté, providing her historical expertise on their public campaigns. For enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good fashion is good performance art – Iris Apfel