Amber Jane Butchart
From the modernist elegance of Coco Chanel to Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s punk-fuelled pirates, the appeal of nautical dress has cut a sartorial swathe for over two centuries. But how did garments such as the blue and white fisherman’s top and peacoat cross over from uniform and workwear into fashionable dress? In Nautical Chic, the first and only book to look at the history of high fashion on the high seas, fashion historian Amber Jane Butchart traces the relationship between maritime dress and the fashionable wardrobe, uncovering stories, tracking the trends, and tracing the evolution of the style back to its roots in our seafaring past.
Written in an accessible tone but grounded in years of research, Nautical Chic charts the nautical influence on fashion over five chapters, each of which considers a particular maritime profession: The Officer, The Sailor, The Fisherman, The Sportsman and The Pirate. Butchart weaves together politics, imperialism, war, leisure, trade, sport and seafaring adventure to tell the stories of garments - the duffle coat, the yellow fisherman’s macintosh, the yacht club blazer - loaded with historical and cultural significance.
Amber Butchart is a fashion historian on a quest to reveal the secrets of our sartorial past. She is regularly called on to share her expertise on the fashion industry and its history, from Woman’s Hour and BBC Breakfast to Great British Sewing Bee. She presents a regular ‘In Conversation’ series at the V&A museum, and has lectured on many aspects of fashion history at leading institutions including the British Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, Tate Britain, British Library, and British Film Institute. She is an Associate Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies at London College of Fashion and a former visiting Research Fellow at University of the Arts London.