Inna Style and Fashion
: Fashioning Jamaica 1950-1970

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This study explores the different ways Jamaicans both individuals and government,employed fashion and textiles in the construction and performance of Jamaican identities between 1950 and 1970. This period marks a pivotal moment in Jamaica’s history, yet notably remains under-researched. It represents a critical period for understanding the role of fashion and textiles in shaping national identities amid profound social and political changes. Employing oral histories, life stories, photographs, case studies and archival material, this research aims to understand how Jamaicans used fashion and textiles in the performance of their identities. This investigation addresses key questions: how was fashion designed, produced, and worn in the construction of Jamaican identities during the period of transition from colony to independent nation? In what ways have fashion and textiles been used in the construction and performance of Jamaican identities? And what can an examination of Jamaican fashion during this period contribute to current fashion and dress history narratives? As this thesis will demonstrate, Jamaicans engaged with fashion in creative and innovative ways. Rather than merely adopting Western dress styles/trends; rather, they made changes and adaptations that reflected a multiplicity of experiences. Changes that were not only a testament to their resilience and creativity but also made them uniquely Jamaican. This study contributes to the growing body of research undertaken by scholars such as Carol Tulloch, Steve Buckridge and Christine Checinska who examine Caribbean African diaspora fashion and dress histories. It serves as a bridge fill the gaps between existing Jamaican fashion and dress histories and laying the important groundwork for future studies of fashion and textiles in the region.
Date of AwardJun 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton
SupervisorCharlotte Nicklas (Supervisor) & Veronica Isaac (Supervisor)

Cite this