Fashion, fabrics and fishtails: Dr Leah Broad discusses concert dress for women classical performers

Dr Leah Broad's article 'Fashion, fabrics and fishtails – why we need to talk about what female classical performers wear' has recently been published in the Guardian. Within the piece she notes how critics rarely discuss concert dress and often do not acknowledge the part that outfits play in the expression of a performer's personality. If the choice of clothing is mentioned, more often than not it usually ends up being in a negative context. Leah writes: "Nineteenth-century ideas about what classical music is, who it is by, for and about have all been upended. So, too, must ideas about how it looks."

Dr Leah Broad is an historical musicologist who teaches music history, music analysis, and musical thought and scholarship at the Faculty of Music. Currently, her research is focused on women composers in twentieth century Britain, in particular Ethel Smyth, Rebecca Clarke, Dorothy Howell, and Doreen Carwithen. The project establishes their relative significance in their lifetimes, explores how this changes our narratives about British music of this period, and looks at how their music has been received since their death. She is currently writing a group biography of Smyth, Clarke, Howell and Carwithen for Faber & Faber, and was a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker and winner of the 2015 Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism.

Read the full article on the Guardian website.

Image © Monika Tomiczek.