The Costume Society (UK) Conference and Dinner
Friday June 30 – Sunday July 2, 2017
Celebrating 50 years of the Costume Society Journal and 50 years of Symposia
Conference takes place at the Art Workers’ Guild in Queen Square – a magnificent Georgian building in the heart of Bloomsbury, with a Friday afternoon visit to the British Library and dinner on Saturday evening at the 5* Grange Holborn Hotel. Lectures on Saturday and Sunday will take place in the inspirational Lecture Hall at the AWG where portraits of past masters line the walls.
On Friday afternoon exclusive access will be given to the British Library’s collection of fashion books, pattern books and magazines, and your visit will coincide with the temporary exhibition marking 100 years of the Russian Revolution. A further event will be announced with the British Library in the Autumn.
On Saturday night all members of the Costume Society plus a guest will be invited to join Conference weekend delegates to mark these special anniversaries for the Society at a reception and fork buffet to be held in the Orion Suite of the 5* Grange Holborn Hotel.
Presentations will celebrate and explore the theme of fashion writing:
Key note speakers are:
• Lindsey Davis Historical Novelist
• Susie Lau Founder of fashion blog Style Bubble in conversation with Agnes Rocamora, Reader in Social and Cultural Studies at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London
• Aileen Ribeiro Professor Emeritus, Courtauld Institute of Art
The Society offers some funding for a student to attend the conference – details can be found on the website
The Costume Society
2017 marks half a century since the first publication of Costume, the journal of the UK Costume Society and the first conference held by the Society. It was also the year in which two classic texts – Roland Barthes’ The Fashion System and Francois Boucher’s History of Costume in the West – exploring dress were published. What was termed costume has developed through dress history to the new growing academic discipline of Fashion Studies. In 2017 dress and fashion, history is big business, regularly the subject of blockbuster museum exhibitions and a desirable field of enquiry for academics from a multitude of disciplines. The Costume Society is marking this golden anniversary milestone for Costume by exploring the topic of writing on dress and fashion history for its 2017 annual conference, Writing Fashion.
Submissions will be considered on writing on dress and fashion history from a wide mix of viewpoints. They could include, but are not limited to, the following themes:
• Definitions of dress and fashion, and theory and dress history
• Early writings about dress
• Evolution of fashion journalism
• Imaginative interpretations of surviving garments through the written word
• The portrayal of dress in literature
• Influence of the internet on writing about dress and fashion and fashion blogging
• The relationship between writing and dress exhibitions, including catalogues and accompanying books
• The rising fortunes of dress history in academia
• Global fashion writing
For the main conference theme we welcome submission for 30 minute papers, illustrated by Powerpoint, from academics, collectors, curators, journalists, bloggers, designers, research students and independent scholars. Those wishing to offer papers should submit an abstract of about 200 words in Word (no formatting, keywords or details of applicants) with a short biography.
Abstracts and CVs should be sent to by October 21, 2016. Submissions will be considered by a committee from the Costume Society Planning and Executive Committee. All submissions will receive replies by January 2017.