Dressing Up with Others: Instagram Recommendations

I was going to post an exhibition review but realised that it would probably fall by the wayside, given how much attention will be paid to the US election results. Rather than compete with the momentous political event currently taking place, I will leave my review until later this month. It seems more appropriate to remain an observer at this point, to enable both myself and others to take the whole historical occasion in at a manageable pace.

Instead, I will take this opportunity to recommend a few Instagram accounts that I think are really worth following – I’ve only recently joined Instagram and already I feel like I have joined a rich and generous community of those with an interest in dress and fashion studies.

It’s great to be able to start with an account that I recently discovered is the brainchild of another Worn Through contributor.  Hayley Dujardin Mazieres, a historian and curator, uses Instagram to create brilliant triptychs related to fashion and art under the name artandfashionstories. While the captions are brief, this works well given that the themes for each triptych tend to speak for themselves.  The use of the triptych also lends itself well to Instagram’s standard layout for the viewer.  It looks like Hayley just started this account so I am excited to see where it goes in the future.

Part of Alexis Romano’s PhD research at the Courtauld Institute of Art – Elle Magazine, 1968

dressondisplay is the account of Alexis Romano, the Exhibition Reviews Editor for the journal Textile History and a founding member of the Fashion Research Network.  Her focus is on dress and the multiple ways it can create social, political and cultural narratives through the act of display. Romano’s images reflect both archival and contemporary sources, always accompanied by concise, informative and thought provoking summaries.

documentingfashion_courtauld is the Instagram account belonging to the Courtauld Institute’s dress history blog Documenting Fashion. It’s a dynamic account, focusing on images rather than explanations or summaries that are perhaps better dealt with via the blog platform. Both the blog and the Instagram account provide ample opportunity for those studying dress history at the Courtauld to share and discuss their interests. More recently, both have become an apt platform to garner support for the campaign to keep art history as an A-Level subject of study (A-Levels describe the form of assessment in the last two years of non-compulsory secondary schooling in the UK).

The Fashion in Film Festival has an account named fashioninfilmfestival (nice and easy to remember), which is quite fabulous.  It is a research and curatorial project based in Central Saint Martins that first launched in 2006. Manifesting itself primarily as a biennial festival that tours internationally, in 2017 Fashion in Film will celebrate its tenth anniversary with Wearing Time: Past, Present, Future, Dream running across the UK. Instagram is the perfect medium for this project, providing a stream of glimpses into fashion in film that a more static website would find difficult to keep up with. Also, the person maintaining the account is very interactive when it comes to comments, again engaging you in more of a conversation about the images than just expecting a passive gaze.

An image taken from costumeinstitutelibrary’s Instagram account

Three Instagram accounts that I also feel deserve a mention are those belonging to an established dress/costume collection.  These include The Costume Institute Library, which belongs to The Costume Institute’s Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Drexel University’s Fox Historic Costume Collection which is called fox_historic-costume and europeanafashionofficial, which provides visual access to several European costume/dress collections – this includes around 800,000 objects.  All three provide not just beautiful images of their items but they are also often presented within the context of contemporary cultural, political and social events.  A good example is the Fox Historic Costume Collection whose post this week focuses on pins and badges encouraging people to vote in past US elections or to be worn as a patriotic symbol.

What are your favourite Instagram accounts when it comes to the study of dress, costume, fashion and textiles?

Featured image: Screengrab of latest posts from artandfashionstories by Hayley Dujardin Mazieres https://www.instagram.com/artandfashionstories/

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