Manchester Art Gallery

Why Fashion Matters: A Fashion Panel Debate

Hear a range of voices from across the fashion and style spectrum in this panel debate led by Frances Corner.

Wednesday 28 September 2016, 6pm–7.30pm

Please note, this event is now sold out.

A panel debate held in the newly launched womenswear department at Selfridges Exchange Square. Led by Frances Corner, author of the Thames & Hudson book Why Fashion Matters, this lively panel debate gets to grips with our love-hate relationship with fashion. On the panel is a range of voices from across the fashion and style spectrum: Presenter and columnist for InStyle UK; Alexandra Stedman, the stylist, art director and editor of The Frugality blog; the Guardian writer and co-author of the Vagenda book and blog, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett; and photographer Nina Manandhar, author of What We Wore – A People’s History of British Style.


Please note, this event is now sold out.

Wednesday 28 September, 6pm, Selfridges Exchange Square. Free, but RSVP essential (places limited) to


Professor Frances Corner OBE

Professor Frances Corner OBE is Head of London College of Fashion and Pro Vice-Chancellor of University of the Arts London. She has over 20 years’ experience within the higher education sector at a national and international level. Named a London Leader for Sustainability in 2009 and a Green Gown finalist in 2015, Frances champions the use of fashion as an agent for innovation and change, particularly in the areas of sustainability, health and well-being.

Frances plays an active role in advising stakeholders on the future of the fashion industry and the role that higher education can play in the development and support of the creative industries. She was given a ‘Women: Inspiration & Enterprise’ Award in 2015 for services to Education.

Frances is Chair of the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes, a Trustee of The Wallace Collection and Chair of Trustees of the House of Illustration. She also sits on the British Fashion Council Industry Advisory Board and was recently named in the Business of Fashion 500 – a professional index of key people shaping the global fashion industry.

She holds a DPhil from Oxford, publishes widely on art and design education and, in 2014, published her first book entitled Why Fashion Matters (Thames and Hudson). In March 2016 Frances was honoured with the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT) Distinguished Professor and PhD Supervisor Award.

Alexandra Stedman

Alexandra Stedman is a London based Freelance Stylist, Fashion Editor, Creative Consultant and blogger. With over 12 years in the industry, she has worked for brands such as Matches, Red, Conde Nast Traveller and Stylist. In 2012, Alex launched her blog The Frugality, seeing a gap in the market for a site about affordable clothes and living on a budget. Her site is now the go-to blog for affordable fashion, picking the best bits on the High Street as well as the right brands to invest in. Through her blog she has written for sites such as, Who What Wear and Red, and has been featured regularly in The Telegraph, Marie-Claire, InStyle and Grazia.

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett writes columns and features for the Guardian, and has also written for Elle, Stylist, The New Statesman and The Independent, amongst others. She co-founded the Vagenda blog, co-wrote the book of the same name, and has just finished writing her first novel.

Nina Manandhar

Nina Manandhar is a photographer and author living and working in London. Her photographs and curated projects explore contemporary global youth identity and the meaning of style. Driven by an enduring interest in people, underpinning her work is a will to champion authenticity in commercial and arts based commissions alike. Her projects have been exhibited at The Photographers Gallery, Tate Britain and The Institute of Contemporary Arts. She is the author of the What We Wore – A Peoples History of British Style (Prestel). She is an associate lecturer at London College of Fashion.