Staging Decadence: Decadent Costume

  • Isaac, V. (Participant)
  • Adam Alston (Organiser)

Activity: EventsOutreach and Public Engagement


Staging Decadence: Decadent Costume:
A cabaret performance presented at the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the Friday Late - Feminist Futures - this event used costume to question what decadence is, and who decides?

Each of the artists commissioned for this Late, invited audiences to encounter decadent costume not as that which is housed the other side of a vitrine, or kept locked away in storage. They explored garments as material things that influence how bodies move, and how they present themselves to and orient themselves within a world.

In the context of a Late that took ‘Feminist Futures’ as its theme, they also invited audiences to pluralise what feminism might mean, who it might include, and how histories once deemed to be at odds with feminism might be queered in ways that make clear how important it is to think of feminism and queerness as allies.

Above all, these artists encouraged audiences to appreciate not just the agency of costume, but the agency that different garments have to offer to those who wear them: crafting identity through fabrication, and working with the staging of decadence as that which can create or manipulate its own frames and terms of reference.
Period26 Apr 2024
Event typeOther
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionRegional


  • decadence
  • costume
  • feminism
  • performance
  • drag
  • burlesque
  • race
  • gender