History of Dress Category Archives

Fashion Revolution Week: Refocus on Provenance

This week is Fashion Revolution Week, an annual event begun in the UK since 2014, which highlights the importance of people in the production of fashion.  In response to the many lives lost as a result of the collapse of the Rana Plaza complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24 April 2013, Fashion Revolution Week is an opportunity to remind ourselves that all our clothes, and …

Review: Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, Burnley, Lancashire

Last year, in the Museums Journal,  I noticed an article outlining proposed closures to several local museums in Lancashire due to funding cuts. One of them was Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, the ‘last working steam-powered weaving mill in the world’. Built in 1894 by Queen Street Mill Manufacturing Company for weaving plain cotton fabric, it was operational until 1982 when it finally closed before …

Guest Post: She’s Got Legs: A History of Hemlines and Fashion

She’s Got Legs: A History of Hemlines and Fashion (Schiffer Publishing, 2016) is a new book exploring fashion history with legs at center stage. The book’s thirteen chapters examine different themes of “legcentric” fashions such as undergarments, pants, swimwear, dance wear, sports clothes, and stockings. With over 300 color images, the book paints, visually and textually, a narrative of changing body and beauty ideals from …

Worn Clothes

It’s been almost two years since Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton, and Worn Stories by Emily Spivack were published.  Both texts set out to explore the significance of clothes and fashion from the perspective of individual wearers, inviting them to share their sartorial histories alongside images of the actual garments.  Somewhere between a museum and a participant observation project, …

Domestic Affairs: Philadelphia in Style at the Michener

Philadelphia is one of my favorite cities. I love the history, the atmosphere, and (of course) the museums. So when the Michener Art Museum contacted me about their new exhibition, Philadelphia in Style, which examines “clothing and accessories created, worn, and sold in Philadelphia from 1896 to 1994”, I leapt at the chance to do a “virtual” review in the lead up to the exhibition’s …

Film and Dress: Celebrating the Costume Designer

Film and dress are probably two of my favourite things in the world so imagine my delight when I recently received a year’s subscription to the new film streaming service offered by the British Film Institute (BFI).  An amazing gift, this resource allows you access to their fantastic archive of British films as well as recent films for which you pay a small additional charge.  …

Kōrero Kākahu: At the Beach

It is the reality of living anywhere that you cannot make it to every exhibition that you want to see. Such was the case with the most recent exhibition by the New Zealand Fashion Museum (whom I have mentioned before), At the Beach: 100 years of summer fashion in New Zealand. I did actually happen to be in Auckland while this was showing but for the reason of holidaying …

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 …

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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.