Thank You and Good Night…

At the end, you think about the beginning. I distinctly remember applying for an internship at Worn Through during the late Summer and early Autumn of 2010. I was just about to graduate from the University of Edinburgh, and was (it turns out) unjustifiably confident in my skills as a dress historian since I’d just submitted my master’s dissertation and finished an internship for the Earl of Elgin (total unabashed name drop).

Worn Through changed all that. Not in and of itself, of course. Conferences, rejection letters, museum exhibitions — amazing and terrible, alike — and many, many thousands of words and hours upon hours of research played their part. But as I sit here, in my own home (whereas in 2010 I was returning to my parent’s house), as the Managing Editor who has helped guide several other interns on their own dress history journeys, I can’t help but reflect on how the blog has shaped me as a dress historian and as a writer.

Having an audience helps. The readers here, and the commenters, were an amazing resource. Calling out my overconfidence, giving me new perspectives, providing uplift and renewed confidence as needed. I would never have had the confidence to start my own blog, submit my paper proposals to the above-mentioned conferences, or even article proposals to different journals and magazines if not for my experience here.

The core of this blog, of course, is Monica. And here, I embarrassingly run out of words. Monica took me on, unknown, untried, and overconfident, as an intern seven years ago. She has been my sounding board, my mentor, and has given me both enough rope to run free and on occasion hang myself — because we learn more from our mistakes than our successes sometimes — and become, I feel, a friend.

WordPress tells me this is the 2,556th post on Worn Through. It is my, personal, 188th. That’s counting the guest posts I edited and published along with the exhibition reviews, interviews, news dumps, and personal reflections.

Worn Through exposed me to the sheer, dazzling breadth of the field of dress and fashion studies. It enabled me to dabble and explore and play in as many of them as I wanted — whether through things I read, fellow contributors’ posts, exhibitions I visited for the purpose of review, or my own, personal pet topic of the moment.

It seems fitting that the blog is coming to an end now, when I have come full circle to the very subjects I started with as a dress historian — as an applicant to Edinburgh without a single word written or rejection received or mistake publicly made, just endless possibility before me. The eighteenth century; menswear; Scotland and Great Britain; identity politics; socio-cultural impact and manifestation of dress.

Gil Scott Heron comes to mind: you can come full circle, and be new here once again.

Worn Through has been such a huge part of my identity for the better part of a decade. But it is time for us all to move on. I hope you will continue to read and re-read what we did here. I have had the opportunity to work with such talented, amazing people, and all because of this blog and Monica’s vision that a blog could be as academic and profound as any published journal.

I would not be who I am today — as a person, as a writer, and as a dress historian and material culturist — if not for Worn Through.

And I have all of you to thank for that.

 

Opening photo: taken by the author at LACMA’s 2016 Reigning Men exhibition.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Monthly Archive

Affiliations

Available now: Punk Style by Worn Through founder, Monica Sklar, PhD. Find it at : Amazon.com, Powell's Books, or a bookseller near you.