History of Dress Category Archives

Guest Post: Mannequins in Museums

Eleni Holloway is an assistant curator with the Australian War Memorial. She specialises in textiles, reconstruction, handicrafts, fashion and decorative arts, and is currently completing a Master of Studies in Museums and Art History. A perennial issue that confronts the dress and fashion curator is that of the mannequin. The humble dress form has the potential to arouse disgust, fear, empathy or indifference in us. …

Fashion Utopias at Somerset House, London

Apologies for such late notice but as part of Utopia 2016, a celebration of the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia, Somerset House is hosting a symposium this Friday 19th February entitled Fashion Utopias: Then & Now to accompany the exhibition Fashion Utopias: International Fashion Showcase 2016. The afternoon event will present papers from researchers from the Courtauld Institute of Art History of Dress Research …

Domestic Affairs: Living for the Moment at LACMA (an unexpected review)

When I was 19 years old, I wanted to be an interpreter. Not just any interpreter, I wanted to interpret Japanese at the UN. Never mind that Japanese is not spoken on the UN floor, because those sorts of details don’t occur to you when you’re 19 and dreaming. This desire was born as much from my love of language and languages, and the Japanese …

A Fine Possession: Jewellery and Identity | Exhibition Review

Jewellery and it’s influence on individuals, societies and cultures throughout history, is what the ambitious exhibition A Fine Possession: Jewellery and Identity at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (or MAAS, formerly known as the Powerhouse Museum) in Sydney Australia has set out to explore. Drawing from items in their own collection, as well as other collections throughout Australia, A Fine Possession “celebrates the …

Exhibition Review: The Fabric of India, V&A Museum

For my last post this year, I promised a review of the V&A Museum’s winter blockbuster The Fabric of India, which is on until 4th January. If you have a chance over the festive break, I strongly recommend a visit to this extensive, detailed and moving exhibition. According to the exhibition’s website, this is ‘the first major exhibition to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world …

Kōrero Kākahu: A Real feast for these Modern Eyes

On one of my many visits to my Nan, who was born in 1933, we began talking about her youth. In recounting earlier years of her life she remarked about how much pressure there was to always look perfect. She said this while eyeballing the messy bun atop my head (which was on-trend thank you Nan). I have always found this aspect of life in the …

What really happened when the V&A Museum refused Margaret Thatcher’s wardrobe?

My last post coincided with the sudden but intriguing news that the V&A Museum had declined an offer to receive Margaret Thatcher’s sartorial archive.  It was an interesting story and given what came to light, I am quite glad I waited to share this with you. The Daily Telegraph, who broke the initial story on 2nd November, claimed that the V&A had refused the offer from the Thatcher family of …

Conference Review: Survival and Revival: Clothing Design that Survives and Fashion Trends that Are Revived

Last Saturday I attended the one day international conference of dress historians in London, organized by The Association of Dress Historians. Entitled Survival and Revival: Clothing Design that Survives and Fashion Trends that Are Revived, the day was packed with a variety of short presentations from a host of international speakers. There were three main sessions, within which you could choose to attend three out …

Domestic Affairs: Fleurs: Botanicals in Dress at FIDM Museum

An exhibition dedicated to flowers and botanicals in dress seems so obvious in retrospect. Flowers and nature have long been popular themes in all the arts, especially textiles. Yet noticing and focusing on what seems obvious only in hindsight is exactly the sort of quiet genius I have come to expect of the FIDM Museum. As I mentioned in my post highlighting the Helen Larson …

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