Happy Holidays and Farewell from the UK

I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! While I have trepidations about what’s to come economically and politically both here and in the US, I am also feeling hopeful, as a member of a community of scholarly citizens, about what we can all achieve in the future. This is not only my last post of 2016 …

Review: The Vulgar Fashion Redefined at Barbican Art Gallery, London

According to an interview with Judith Clarke and Adam Phillips, creators of the new exhibition, The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined, at London’s Barbican Art Gallery, the term ‘vulgar’ needs to be reclaimed, brought back into critical discussion within historical and cultural debates on fashionable dress[1]. Too often, they suggest, ‘vulgar’ is used without explanation and, in doing so, has established itself as a pejorative measure of …

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 …

Review: The Costume Society Study Day on Fashion: Conform or Resist at LCF

In her book Fashion and Cultural Studies, Susan B Kaiser puts forward a case for thinking and studying fashion through a both/and, rather than a either/or perspective. Kaiser argues that ‘oppositional thinking […] oversimplifies differences and limits options for the analysis of connections and entanglements.” (1) Kaiser goes on to suggest that in order to fully understand fashion as a both/and experience, it is necessary …

What Not to Wear? Dress for the Workplace

This evening I am seeing a short film about three women whose daily professions often focus on the experience of death.  Called Style to the End, the director Avril Furness explores what these three women will wear when death befalls them. Part of a series of events called Life, Death, Whatever, which aims to “redesign the dialogue about death and dying, to open it up …

No Clothes in Utopia?

The word ‘utopia’ refers to an imagined state of perfection, a hopeful future, the opposite of what could go wrong with the present world. First mentioned in a text with the same title by Thomas More in 1516, it describes an island where people have no need for fashion because everyone is involved in making their own clothes from the production of cloth, such as …

A Postcard from Abroad: London HighLights

This week, in the UK, most people have returned to school or work so, in respect, our weather looks very autumnal with grey skies and the occasional showers. But, all is not what it seems.  The temperature is ridiculously warm, humid in fact.  Everywhere you go, there are exposed limbs and sandalled toes.  I keep wanting to eat salads and ice-creams while sneaking suspicious glances at my …

A Postcard from Abroad: Duro Olowu and Nicola Thorp

This is my last post until September – time to take a little summer break! However, just before I go, here’s two interesting events during August that represent both the everyday and the out of the ordinary aspects of fashion and dress. Making and Unmaking is an exhibition drawing the work of over 70 artists spanning the last two centuries together with an emphasis on …

Fashion for All Ages: An Antidote to the UK Referendum

Here in the UK, over the last fortnight, we appear to be experiencing seismic shifts on a daily basis across the nation’s economic, political and social landscapes. The results of our referendum on 23rd June revealed a fractured country with people divided not just by income and political parties but by education, age, geography and leisure. Arguably this is not new news but given that …

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