"I am a journalist and a 'New Woman,' if that term means that I believe I can do anything that any man can do." - Annie 'Londonderry'
"What the interested public wishes to know is, Where are all the women on wheels going? Is there a grand rendezvous somewhere toward which they are all headed and where they will some time hold a meet that will cause this wobbly old world to wake up and readjust itself?" - The San Francisco Call 1895
Women’s rights protest posters no longer demand the vote in the UK and US, but the fact that they still exist in earnest to fight for equality makes me feel close to the suffragettes who also demanded equality, but over 100 years ago. One poster aptly exclaimed: ‘I can’t believe I still have to protest this sh*t’, which gave me a strong sense that the Pankhursts, Stantons, Anthonys, Truths, Pauls, Motts, Clintons, Steinems, Angelous, and Ginsburgs, are all a part of the same century-spanning gang, passing the protest poster from one generation to the next.
All gangs need a leader, and to front this girl gang I chose Annie Londonderry. Annie Londonderry was a Latvian immigrant to the United States who became the first woman to bicycle around the world in 1895. Free-thinking, entrepreneurial, and independent, she epitomized ‘Bloomerism’, and contributed to the significance of bloomers as the ultimate symbol of women’s rights. Her heavily publicized global journey also positioned the bicycle as a key symbol of female emancipation. These drawings effectively became costume designs for the Bloomer Revolution Biker Gang, and the design attempts to show the journey that the women’s rights movement has travelled from the 1800s to 2018. The wearer, the clothing, and the adornments vocalize the protests that were uttered during the suffrage movement over 100 years ago, and also during the women’s marches that happened only yesterday. Yes we still have to protest this sh*t, but we’re all in the same gang, which makes us stronger.
Before the bike-gang-wear became road-rage-ready, some sketch book baby steps were in order.