Reissue of The Visible Self: Interview with Joanne Eicher

The Visible Self

2015 will see the reissue of The Visible Self, a seminal text many of us have encountered in our study of dress. Co-Author Joanne Eicher, PhD is Regents Professor Emerita from the University of Minnesota and was my professor for Dress & Culture graduate level course as well as served on my dissertation committee. She was kind enough to share with us her thoughts on the research, writing, and publishing process of The Visible Self and the state of fashion scholarship/publications today.

In conjunction with this interview, the publisher of The Visible Self, Bloomsbury, has provided a copy I can give away to one fabulous Worn Through reader! (U.S. mail address only, apologies, I need to save on postage and I’m in the U.S.). Below the interview you’ll see instructions. UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER THANK YOU!

M: This is the Fourth edition of The Visible Self (TVS). Why was now the right time to do an update and reissue? What is different?

J: My co-author, Sandra Evenson, and I have worked through updates for various parts of the text and wanted to take advantage of Fairchild Publishers commitment to providing ancillary materials to faculty to enhance the basic concepts in the book. A revision allows us to review the images and update them with many new examples as well as use refinement of John Bodley’s ideas regarding sociocultural systems that we relate to dressing the body as a communication system and refinement of our own ideas as well that develop over time and with our reading of current research and scholarship.

M: Do you see this as a book for undergraduates or graduates?

J: We see it as appropriate for both levels, although it will no doubt be primarily used for undergraduates. In late March, however, I am presenting a seminar in London with MA students from both History and Culture of Fashion and Fashion and Film at London College of Fashion as well as students from Critical Fashion Studies and Journalism pathways of MA Communication at Central Saint Martins. The seminar focus will be a give and take on the Definition and Classification System of Dress that we present in the first chapter of TVS.

M: What kinds of courses could it be used in?

J: The book has been a basic text for courses on understanding the sociocultural significance of dress and fashion, using a three-pronged approach of viewing the physical base of the body for dress, its aesthetic aspects, and the sociocultural significance in cultures across the world. Our book makes students think about dress in other cultures as well as viewing dress and fashion from a more limited “Western” perspective. We want them to ditch stereotypes about other cultures and what may seem exotic when looking at others from an outsider’s point of view.

M: Do you think it can be used in pieces/chapters or is best read as a course-long textbook?

J: Of course, an instructor is free to use parts of the book for various purposes, such as the initial chapters about “what is dress” and “what is its significance,” to “what do we know about dress” and “what are the sources of information,” or to use the sociocultural perspective chapters or the aesthetic chapters to fit into or enhance/supplement another course. We see the book serving the purpose effectively to provide an overview to understanding that fashion and dressing the body are mainstay activities in all societies across the world and not “special” to the immediate world around us and students.

M: Is the book intended for international audiences?

J: The revised edition, just out in August of 2014 has been adopted in other countries as well as at least 40 universities in the United States. The adoptions abroad are in Scotland, England, Wales, Bosnia-Herzogovina and Japan so far.

M: Are there differences in the way the United States and other countries are studying apparel?

J: Often, at least in the UK and Europe, textbooks are not usually chosen for use as much as basic readings from specific books. In the United States and Canada, the textbook is a more common approach that synthesizes knowledge and provides extensive bibliographic references for readers.

M: How did you address different learning perspectives in the book?

J: Our questions at the end of chapters provide a wide array of possibilities for different points of view across cultures with discussion by students and instructors.

M:The Visible Self covers a vast amount of material. It is a mix of collected writings and textbook-style explanations with a plentiful amount of images. Can you discuss the process for dealing with a large body of information and how to wrangle it into one cohesive publication?

J: Our first edition of TVS was text only with no readings, authored by Mary Ellen Roach and me as colleagues. We wrote first drafts of various chapters that came from the courses we taught at our two universities (University of Wisconsin, Madison, for her, and Michigan State University for me) which were based on the ideas, the starting point, we developed in editing our first book together, Dress, Adornment, and The Social Order in 1965. We had a very similar point of view having received our PhDs at Michigan State University in a combined Anthropology and Sociology Dept at that time. Each of our drafts were shared with the other one and then carefully scrutinized and worked over in discussion (we most frequently met in person when writing). The end result was an amalgamation of ideas, It was difficult to say at the completion, “this is mine.” You have a co-author, Sandra Lee Evenson, so dividing the work was certainly part of the process. We worked similarly to the way Roach and I began which was also true for 2e and 3e when Hazel Lutz was also a co-author. Both Sandra and Hazel had worked with me as students and we shared similar perspectives, but they brought new points of view as well. Sandra and Hazel had extensive experience in design and construction with Sandra also having retail experience and Hazel having had depth in anthropology in graduate work. The three of us shared fieldwork and knowledge of South Asia Indian dress and textiles as well.

M: You start the book with 4 chapters that compile a “systematic study of dress” with classifications, dress society and culture, records of types of dress, and writer interpretations of dress. By putting this framework first and foremost it serves as a foundation for this line of study. Do you feel the current academic apparel programs are addressing each of these issues?

J: I do not have any research about what other programs have as a base, but my impression is that many focus on the world most familiar to their students, American culture. We are committed to the idea of the basic similarities of human beings across the world with the differences that come about cross-culturally as icing on the cake.

M: You have a portion in your book on the types of scholarly publications that established the study of apparel. Thankfully in my doctoral program I took a course with Gloria Williams about the history of writing in our field. I took contemporary writing, which covered the early 20th century to the present, and I was always disappointed the course on earlier writings did not fit into my schedule. From what I can tell, these types of courses are rare. Scholarship in our field has been spreading and shifting since its inception. Each expansion provides fresh new perspectives however it does appear some of the foundation/past is not considered, and a canon in our field is dissipating. How did you decide which to include in The Visible Self and can you discuss this issue in general?

J: I am a wide reader across disciplines and the references we cite in the 4th chapter, “Written Interpretations of Dress,” reflect the three prongs I discussed earlier of focus on the physical, aesthetic, and sociocultural aspects of dress. This is an expansion/revision/update of the chapter that Roach and I were determined to include in our 1973 first edition, as we wanted readers to know how extensive the study of dress is and how broad a base it has.

M: The book addresses international dress, ethnic dress, religious dress, and how those concepts intersect with tourism in home countries and identity issues with immigration and relocation. Can you address a few of the main points from these chapters?

J: Our main purpose, again, is to have students think about the role of dress in their own lives and compare and contrast with the lives of others, whether other cultural groups in their home country, whether they are students in the US or elsewhere. There are many specific differences in the US and Canada with our histories of immigration and influx of people from all over the world, continuing to today.

M: This section of the book made me think of two things: Do you feel the mainstream press/popular media explores these concepts empathically or one dimensionally and what is the impact on public perception of ethnic/religious dress?


J: I think it depends on what press/media you cite/read. Some sources like the New York Times are very thorough in presentation of various examples. Some sources, perhaps like popular magazines, may be less so. I think you are asking what could be a research question to be pursued for its answer. Also, there is always a great deal of discussion when these markers of cultural identity are appropriated. Would your research indicate that is appreciation or misunderstanding or just an expected outcome of globalization? Not sure I understand this last part of the question. I think whatever answer comes out, depends on the specific source to be cited.

M: Can you talk a bit about publishing? What do you think is the future of academic publishing on apparel?

J: The publishing world seems to be all agog on publishing about dress and fashion, particularly picking up on the word, “fashion.” [There was] an article that was published in 2013 on the numbers of articles that are coming out on the topic of fashion…(Style and Substance: Fashion in Twenty-first Century Research Libraries) which is pretty fascinating. Just going into any bookstore or even to the fashion section on the web for Barnes and Noble or Amazon is astonishing in regard to numbers of titles and varied related topics. I am editor of two book series on dress/fashion for Bloomsbury Publishers and we have 61 titles in Dress, Body, Culture, a series that began with its first title in 1997 and two titles to date with my most recent series, Dress and Fashion Research. Journals are pouring forth along with books and many publishers are entering this field with titles.

M: Where is the scholarship going in terms of print-academic or mass market, e-books, journals, blogs, multi-media? What are the important things for a scholar/researcher to consider about when, where and how to get their ideas out there?


J: Scholarship seems to be going across all media—The Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion of ten volumes was published in hardcopy in July of 2010 and went online in September, 2010. I have been commissioning 100,000 words yearly since then to add to the online version. I think we have wide-open spaces for publishing possibilities in our field. Blogs are thriving, books and ebooks, too. Journals, magazines, newspapers, TV pick up the stories. People have begun to acknowledge that the way we dress is an important part of life and our identities.

One person (in the U.S) will be the recipient of this $100 book for free! Please email and in 50 words or less tell us why you feel you need this book. Email subject line: The Visible Self Book Giveaway. We’ll review responses through Wednesday February 18, 2015 and shortly thereafter notify the winner, who we will choose based on who wrote the most convincing appeal. Please include your U.S. mailing address. UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER THANK YOU!

Please email me your correct response.
Thank you.

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Who is your favourite fashion writer?

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In my bedroom is a framed article about winter sunglasses, featuring an image of Blondie, by Colin McDowell when he was Senior Fashion Writer for The Sunday Times Style magazine.  As a teenager growing up in the early 1990s, I used to pour over his cultural and historical analysis of diverse sartorial objects; these were mythologies of fashion in the making.  And, there was nothing else quite like it in any other UK newspaper or, come to think of it, fashion magazines such as Elle, Vogue or Marie Clare at the time.   Similarly, when I discovered Worn Journal in 2004, I had the same response, something I wrote about here.

Looking at my saved McDowell article, I began to think about who in the UK currently writes about fashion and dress in an interesting way, perhaps taking unusual angles on well known subjects or introducing us to unknown topics.  Who do I frequently read or refer to on the topic?  Who do others turn to?  For many, identifying with common fashioned voices can take a long time as we often have to rely on serendipity and diligent curiosity, drawing upon disparate sources in order to create some sort of shared community.  In fact, I had to wait until Worn Journal before I could really begin to identify with fashion writers, most of whom were based in North America.  But, what about UK fashion writers?

In 2013, the Guardian launched a platform for a range of fashion blogs which showed the potential for hearing new voices, seeing things differently and broadening our everyday understanding of our clothed lives.  In particular, I liked The Invisible Woman with her interest in fashion for older women and Costume and Culture, an academic interested in fashion.  Unfortunately, these diverse blogs disappeared from the Guardian website at the end of 2014, which I think is a shame given that it was advantageous to have such a range within one site.  Of course, VICE UK and ShowStudio both play an invaluable role in imaginatively covering fashion and dress stories that popular printed media tends to avoid.  But, despite their plethora of contributors, I have yet to identify specific writers there that speak directly to me about dress and clothes.

Realising I needed to start looking out for more fashion writers who inspire me, this month I came across the British journal of fashion criticism called Address, edited by Johannes Reponen and Grace Eagle. In an interview in 2013,  Reponen described how the magazine would “discuss and analyse fashion as part of our everyday experience… [and it is] much more interested in the clothes we wear rather than some extravagant creation you see on the catwalks that nobody’s ever going to wear.”  Their second issue looked at ‘care’, ‘shoes’ and ‘voice’ through the lens of fashion, however, as this was published in 2013, it looks as if the website has now replaced the printed issue.  Pretty comprehensive, online Address includes opinion pieces, analyses, reviews and definitions.  This may be the beginning of a McDowell moment!

Who is your favourite fashion writer?  Who do you read and why?

 

(Top image taken by the author, date unknown)

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Around the World with Worn Through!

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Did you know how global Worn Through is?!*

Now is a good time to check out our mast head if you haven’t before. We’ve had a few personnel changes lately and some fresh voices have joined for 2015.

As always, Worn Through features contributors from around the globe, representing international ideas in apparel scholarship.

Take a look at our bios and you’ll see we’ve got people writing in from: many places in the United States, Germany, multiple place in the UK, France, and Sweden. And that’s just where we live now, as many of our writers originate from yet more countries and have moved around for school and jobs.

We hope the varied perspectives help the breadth and depth of what you see on Worn Through! If you’d like to see more places represented or you have a new idea you think would regularly benefit our readers, drop me a line to discuss. We are considering adding one more museum professional to post monthly and would possibly like one graduate student to monthly share experiences. Those are a few ideas…

*image pulled from bellabox

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Internship Opportunity: Costume & Textile Collections at the Valentine

The application for the Valentine’s funded summer internships will be open January 1, 2015 – March 1, 2015.

Funded internships are made possible through the Bobby Chandler Internship program, which is generously funded by the Kip Kephart Foundation. These internships are awarded through a competitive application process to up to five interns each summer.  A minimum commitment of 150 hours is required. An honorarium will be provided upon completion. Funded internships are open to students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program. Recent graduates (Spring 2015) will also be considered for this internship.

Students not looking to receive compensation for their internship may still apply for a General Summer internship at the Valentine – please indicate that you are applying for an unfunded internship in your application.

Internships, providing hands on curatorial and collections experience, are available with the following departments this Summer (click link for collection information).

To apply for a summer internship: Send a completed internship application along with your resume, cover letter, unofficial transcript and the contact information for 2-3 professional or academic references to the Assistant Director of Public Programs. Your cover letter should explain how an internship at the Valentine will help you achieve your future career and/or academic goals.

For more information about internships please visit http://thevalentine.org/programs-tours/internships# or contact mday@thevalentine.org

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Fashioning Britain 2015 – Happy New Visiting!

I can’t quite believe that it was only a year ago that I became a UK based correspondent for Worn Through.  The time has spun past, writing about all the exciting fashion related events and exhibitions that happened across these fair isles! However, my 2015 resolution is to try and see more outside of London, which means I dedicate the first part of this post to some exhibitions that are very much not London!

First up is the lovely Bath Fashion Museum in the south-west, where Great Names of Fashion opens at the end of January.  A new semi-permanent display (until January 2017), the exhibition features Dior, Vionnet and Balenciaga, promising to “showcase beautiful evening dresses by a number of these great names of fashion history from the early 20th century to the present day.”

Moving up north, there is Style from the Small Screen at Lady Lever Art Gallery in Liverpool.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have included this as it is due to close on 18 January but thought the sight of a small display of costumes from the ‘Downton Abbey’ television series could be just what we need to keep us going through this month!  The exhibition compares the costumes with historic garments from the same period (1912-1923) of which some are on display for the very first time.

Going further north-east, there is the Bowes Museum and its exhibition Birds of Paradise – Plumes and Feathers in FashionThe exhibition asserts itself as a “tribute to the elegance of feathers used in the fashion industry past and present, featuring extravagant catwalk creations from British, Belgian, French and Italian designers including Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten, Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Balenciaga, Prada and Gucci.”  Co-curated with MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp, this looks really exciting and the perfect excuse to make the long journey northbound before it closes on 19 April.

Returning south, the exhibition Keeping up Appearances – Fashion Through Two World Wars at the Oxfordshire Museum opens on 13 January.  With its social emphasis on the changing role of women and its impact on clothing from the 1920s to 1950s, this exhibition is a great reason to visit Oxford early this year.

Finally, in the south-east can be found Fashion Statements at Chertsey Museum, Surrey and Winter Draws On at Horsham Museum and Art Gallery, West Sussex.  Fashion Statements focuses on the Olive Matthews Collection through the themes of romantic, outrageous and classic dress and is on until 5 September. Winter Draws On looks at winter clothes through the everyday eyes of people from Horsham District and is on until May.

The second part of this post is to draw attention to London College of Fashion’s annual Better Lives Seminar Series, which begins next week on 12 January and then on 26 January, 9 February and 23 February.  The series is curated by students on the college’s Psychology and Fashion Masters programmes, MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion and MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals.  The theme for 2015 is the role of positive psychology within the fashion industries and all the lectures are open to the general public, as well as staff and students.  

Do you know about other exhibitions or events across Britain that we should visit?

 

Image credit: Thierry Mugler, Haute Couture, Collection Spring Summer 1997 ©Patrice Stable Studio Mil Pat

 

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Book Giveaway 3 – Punk Style

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We’re feeling generous this months and have been giving out a book a week!
U.S. replies only please–sorry I need to save on postage fees

In this post we’re giving away:

Punk Style by me(Monica Sklar)

The first reader to email me with the correct answer to the following trivia question about Worn Through question can have this book!

Here is the question. The answer can be found reading previous blog posts.

What Parisian design house is in the process of digitizing and sharing an extensive online archive?

Thanx for playing! Look for more giveaways in 2015.

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Fashioning Winter at Somerset House

 

If you find yourself at Somerset House over the festive period, stop for a moment to have a look at an interesting series of small displays that draw attention to the relationship between fashion, winter and leisure pursuits in a subtle but poetic manner.

Fashioning Winter, an exhibition created by nine curators, offers a poignant backdrop to Somerset House’s annual ice rink experience.  As you discover the various displays, made up of inventive interventions in and around Somerset House, you are reminded that London is not only a fashionable capital but also a city that celebrates winter pastimes.

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‘Skating is Streatham’ by Beatrice Behlen

This is particularly well achieved by Beatrice Behlen’s display highlighting the craze for ice skating during the interwar period in London with ghostly photographs of art deco indoor ice rinks and a pair of ice skates worn by a regular skater from the 1930s.

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‘Skating on Film’ by Caroline Evans

Caroline Evans’ display of silent ice skating films from the early 20th century are mesmerising and perhaps the closest thing we might get to of a re-enactment of London’s 17th century frost fairs on the river Thames.

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‘White Perspectives’ by Sofia Hedman and Serge Martynov

The display ‘White Perspectives’, curated by Sofia Hedman and Serge Martynov fills an entire staircase with objects illustrating the way in which the colour white has historically informed fashion.  I particularly loved a fascinating video about the work of designer Iris Van Herpen who uses white 3D printing to create her fashion designs.

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‘Winter Mode’ by Rebecca Arnold

Another staircase is adorned with homemade Christmas cards by photographer Angus McBean.  This display, curated by Alistair O’Neill, nicely captures the festive spirit.  Yet, it is Rebecca Arnold’s display on how fashion has informed our need to dress warmly in the winter months that for me best encapsulates the exhibition’s main title.

Fashioning Winter is a free exhibition at Somerset House until 11 January 2015 and you can download the exhibition guide here.  I would also recommend Furzsi’s post about the exhibition on the Courtauld’s Documenting Fashion blog.

 

First image credit is to Professor Amy De La Haye who provided the image for the London College of Fashion website.  It can be found here http://blogs.arts.ac.uk/fashion/2014/11/11/lcf-alumni-curate-fashioning-winter-exhibition-somerset-house/ [Accessed 15 December 2014]

 

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Review: KNITWEAR Chanel to Westwood at FTM, London

Main image © Rachel Atkinson / mylifeinknitwear 2014 and used here with permission.

It was with some trepidation that I approached the exhibition Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey on a cold rainy Sunday last week.   The loud hint of a chronology in the exhibition title was less than appealing to what is arguably my constant critique of the historical overview as the failsafe curatorial approach to fashion and dress displays.   I wondered about which objects would be used, as well as which technological developments would be explored in more depth, given that the exhibition’s aim is to ‘chart the influence of art movements Pop, Punk and Deconstruction alongside new knitwear technologies and design innovation.’

A piece from Roisin McAtamney MA Digital Fashion collection

Upon walking in, I encountered a precursor in the form of a small display curated by Professor Sandy Black at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, entitled Visionary Knitwear. A small display of contemporary knitwear from design graduates celebrates both fashion education and the continued relevance of knitwear to our daily dressed lives. I was particular enthralled by the work of Roisin McAtamney, Juliana Sissons and Sister by Sibling, all of whom show in their work a interesting juxtaposition between contemporary culture and historical influence. It was exciting to see knitwear as a dynamic form of textile and fashion design, studied to such a high level by these influential designers. I also liked the inclusion of examples produced by companies such as a pair of 2012 Nike Flyknits running shoes, drawing our attention to how important knitwear is as a technological innovation in the design of everyday goods.

Juliana Sissons fashion armour

This invigorating start to the larger exhibition was then followed up by a nice introductory display that demonstrates just how consistent  our interest in knitwear design is with the juxtaposition of two items in the same pattern; one from H&M and the other hand knitted in 1907.  This small opening display allowed me to reflect upon how and why it is that techniques and patterns continually resurface in everyday dress.

View of the main room, featuring sections Knit America Style, Crochet Your Way and the Cocktail Hour

However, further reflection and the hope of encountering knitwear through the lens of their emotional value and/or their associations with particular wearers, as proposed in the accompanying guide, fell short almost immediately as I found myself looking at a very straightforward chronological display of knitwear in the main room. Instead, there are just a few glimpses of how knitted items were made and what they felt like to be worn in amongst a rather basic timeline that could be found in most historical texts on knitwear, even Wikipedia, dare I say it.

Summary labels that make even the full sighted squint in an effort to read the inscrutable white capitalised text against a black, unforgiving background did not help. Due to a photography ban, it was not possible to capture these curious things.  I am not sure whether the curatorial team felt that the labels needed to be ‘modern’ in form as a contrast to the historical weight of the exhibition but whatever their rationale, I was glad they did not carry it through with the paper guide, which due to a more reader friendly combination of red, black and white meant I could still navigate my way through the various displays.

Display crates in the main room

The attempt to present knitwear in a more contemporary light may perhaps also explain the use of huge crates as display cases which frame the various ‘this is your life’ moments associated with knitwear in the 20th century. While one review lauded the way in which these semi-opened wooden cases suggested a sense of treasured garments being rediscovered, I found it difficult not to think of mothballs and the proliferation of East London cafes with similar DIY interiors.

Vogue shoot, February 1951. Photograph: Norman Parkinson/Vogue

Now, the need to make knitwear ‘modern’ or ‘now’ within the exhibition is interesting because what it reveals is some concern about the status of knitwear in today’s society. The curators and collectors are, arguable, not alone. The review of the exhibition by the Guardian’s Invisible Lady, a voice for older women interested in fashion, leads to much reminiscing about the demise of the knitting glory years and the constant low status bestowed upon knitwear in the face of haute couture and high fashion.  Yet, this does not seem to be shared by those involved in the designing and making of knitwear whom also visited the exhibition. Reading reviews by knitting enthusiasts Katy Evans and mylifeinknitwear remind us that this area of textile and fashion design is very much alive and well, with no intention of being laid to rest in some forgotten corner of our wardrobes.

Norman Parkinson, Vogue, February 1952

For me, it is the emphasis on presenting a chronology of knitwear that is problematic and which underpins the subsequent need to make small details in the exhibition appear ‘modern’ such as the labels and display cases. If the opportunity to debate the currency of knitwear, the shifts in production and consumption, technological developments and the philosophical concerns underlying its existence had framed the curatorial decisions, this exhibition would have better addressed the issue of knitwear being more than just a bag of old clothes on display.

The Fair Isle display

I am also confused by the arrangement of 150 knitwear examples because according to the exhibition information, the curators and collectors wanted to avoid a ‘historical overview’ and focus on ‘the emotions we invest in objects’. Unfortunately, one is completely overwhelmed by a chronological approach and very underwhelmed by the personal associations with these items. A good example of this was the display of Fair Isle garments where quantity and repetition took precedence over quality and association, making it very easy to disassociate from what looked like a bad Boden editorial.

Mark and Cleo Butterfield at the exhibition’s opening night

On closer look, it is possible to find evidence of these emotional investments, allowing me to see knitwear playing an active role in people’s lives, challenging the notion that no-one knits anymore or will care to in the future.   I was fascinated by the items that revealed just how interested their owners were in knitwear and the best examples of these were those shared by Mark and Cleo Butterfield, private collectors whose collection makes up most of what is on display.   To see Cleo’s very competent attempt to knit a Patricia Roberts pattern in the 1980s was to witness the immediacy of knitting and the effort made to ‘wear or create’ knitwear.

Les Sportives section featuring knitted swimwear

It would have been great to include more details like this as related to the earlier pieces, which might better locate the making and wearing of knitwear in our emotional memory. The display of knitted swimwear, for example, left me with so many questions concerning the experience of wearing these garments at the seaside. What did it feel like to wear wool in the water or while lying down on the pebbles? To what extent did these items sag and become heavy with the weight of salty liquids? How did that alter the experience of those wearing them? Was it embarrassing, hilarious, liberating?  Alternatively, there were many pieces on display that were machine knitted yet discussion around this means of production was largely absent. The exhibition seemed to miss these moments for further deduction, opting instead for an extended but static representation of knitted items.

The Novelty Factor section, highlighting 1970s interest in pop art and postmodern styling

So, in some ways, my initial feelings of trepidation were not without warrant. Knitwear Chanel to Westwood is not an exhibition that breaks new ground nor did it leave me wanting to pick up an implement and use it to start weaving two threads together. The historical examples are enjoyable to see but they are definitely more interesting when accompanied by a personal story or two.  Yes, the exhibition does capture some cultural and technological aspects of a knitwear timeline but it could have done so much more with this.  It wasn’t a badly spent Sunday wet afternoon, just perhaps a bit too quiet for my liking.

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Punk Style Book Coupon Code

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This is the time when everyone starts to go a little wild with holiday shopping on the brain, often not knowing what to buy. Perhaps your list has a fellow fashion-minded friend or colleague, or maybe someone who has always had an interest in subculture? You could consider picking up my book Punk Style!

It features chapters on history, cultural analysis, merchandising, and identity, with interviews from Tish & Snooky, Marco Pirroni, Roger Burton from the Contemporary Wardrobe, and many self identified punks who took the time to speak at length regrading their experiences with the style. Also there are numerous high quality photos of the garments and accessories individually and in use.

Click here to read find a snippet from the book and give it a try.

My publisher Bloomsbury has generously provided a coupon code for Worn Through readers and friends and family. Use the code “PunkHolidays” on Bloomsbury.com and get 15%off thru January 1, 2015. It comes as paperback, hardcover, and e-book.

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Modulations: make a broadcast about your fashion/dress research in 2015

I just received an exciting invitation for academics to collaborate with a London based radio station on broadcasting their research in a range of creative formats.  This is a great opportunity for fashion and dress researchers to produce a speech based programme about their work, supported by an experienced team of broadcast producers.

Modulations is the brainchild of Resonance FM, a London based radio station focused on the arts since 2002, and The Arts & Culture Unit, a media and communications agency dedicated to the dissemination of research and practice in the arts, humanities and social sciences.  The idea is to produce a range of programmes, from discussion shows to documentaries, in order to engage new audiences with current research.  How exciting to be able to share your research interests in a creative way but also help raise the profile of fashion and dress research amongst a diverse range of listeners!

For this initial round, Modulations are seeking out researchers based in London and the South East with the hope of extending the geographical field in later rounds.  They are particularly interested to hear from researchers with little experience in broadcast, who are enthusiastic to collaborate and whose research makes use of a range of media forms and/or oral histories.  The project will enable you to learn about broadcast media and production, resulting in both a programme and a podcast that will become part of Resonance’s archive (which I strongly recommend you peruse)

This couldn’t be a more perfect project for a fashion and dress researcher who is looking to bring their subject to life in new ways and wants to extend her/his communication skills.

The deadline is 7 December 2014; you need to submit a 400 word outline and rationale which, with such a low word count, means entry will be highly competitive.  If successful, you will start production in January 2015 and the first programmes will be broadcast in Spring 2015.

For further details, you can either go straight to the Modulations website or contact Juliette Kristensen at The Arts & Culture Unit by emailing  juliette@theartsandcultureunit.com

Good luck!

Image credit: https://twitter.com/resonancefm

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