International Fashion Category Archives

Source Material: Trade Cards

About a week ago, I experienced research serendipity: while sitting in front of my computer in Sweden, searching the archives of Baker Business Library at Harvard University, I came across this little number: I was looking for Boston dressmakers and tailors in business in the 1890s (harder than you’d think), and this popped up! My unofficial interest sneaking into my “official” research. I’d know that …

Joaquín Sorolla and the Glory of Spanish Dress

After the success of Balenciaga: Spanish Master, it should come as no surprise that the Queen Sophia Spanish Institute was enthusiastic to present another exhibition that focuses on clothing.  Joaquín Sorolla and the Glory of Spanish Dress contains a gratifying combination of painting and traditional Spanish attire that simultaneously works to showcase the vision of a talented artist and the richness of Spanish dress. The …

Book Review: Japanese Fashion Designers

Japanese Fashion Designers: The Work and Influence of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo by Bonnie English Berg Publishers (2011)   Soon to delve into research of my own in the area of Japanese fashion (specifically deconstructed styles), I was delighted to sink my teeth into Bonnie English’s Japanese Fashion Designers: The Work and Influence of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo. English’s …

Sápmi Dreams, Nordic Themes

Appropriation into the Western fashion system of themes, designs and even whole objects from cultures widely perceived to be “authentic“, “original” and “provincial” has inspired ongoing discussion in our field. For example, readers living in America will be familiar with objects featuring geometric, colorful patterns erroneously sold under the name “Navajo”, and the general and more insidious misunderstanding and loss of nation- and tribe-specific adornment …

Fashion Bytes — Art, Fashion, and Copyrights

Last week the New York Times reported on the recent New York ruling on the work of modern artist Richard Prince, which has sent a wave of nervousness and uncertainty through the artistic community, as well as through the contemporary museums and galleries which showcase their work. The judge in this particular case ruled that Prince, by using photographs of Rastafarians without consent of the …

Museum life: When exhibitions travel

Due to interactive nature of this exhibition, it was designed for a specific space. When it was decided that Frock Stars would travel to regional and interstate venues in Australia there were many questions as to how the exhibition would translate into a touring exhibition. How would the exhibition fit into multiple venues? How can fewer staff install the exhibition? Will the content make sense …

Conference Report: Fashion in Translation

Early this month, I went to my first conference here in Stockholm. Although I am now confident in Swedish, I was glad to learn that most of the faculty at the Centre for Fashion Studies at Stockholm University hail from countries worldwide, and thus English is the diplomatic language for most of the Centre’s courses and events. In light of this international faculty and student …

From the Archive: Anarchists of Style: Barbette

In December 2010, Lisa ntroduced us to Barbette, aerialist phenomenon of the 1920s and 1930s famous for his high wire and trapeze stunts dressed as a woman. “He walked with a tightrope high above the audience without falling, above incongruity, death, bad taste, indecency, indignation.” —Jean Cocteau We suspect that Barbette, aerialist phenomenon of the 1920s and 1930s, might disagree with being categorized as an “Anarchist of Style.” …

APEC “Silly Shirts” – Inappropriate or Awesome?

I read with some interest the Times article Obama Says Forum’s Costume Photo Is Unnecessary. This refers to the tradition of the 21 members of the annual APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum participating in what has unfortunately been dubbed “the silly shirts photo.” Past photo-ops “have included ponchos and what looked like gowns for pregnant bridesmaids,” Jackie Calmes wrote. Frankly, I’m surprised by Calmes’ snarkiness. …

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