Documenting Fashion

Category Archives for Commentary

Our comments on current or past events, projects, writings, and topics in dress history and fashion


The Red Hat Society

July 14, 2014 by Jessica

The Red Hat Society (RHS) is a social organization originally founded in 1998 in the United States for women aged 50 and beyond, but is now open to women of all ages. As of 2011, there are over 40 000 … Continue reading

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A Juxtaposition of Femininity in The Great Gatsby (2013)

July 4, 2014 by Julia

The representation of fashion in the 2013 film adaptation of the novel The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Lurhmann, has raised a number of significant questions with regard to both its role in the portrayal of key notions of femininity … Continue reading

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Chris Marker: Visualising women post-war, post-apocalypse

June 20, 2014 by Katerina

The French documentary filmmaker Chris Marker wrote of the women he photographed on his travels: ‘I stare at them, but not enough, not long enough’. Paraphrasing the poet Valery Larbaud he mused: ‘perhaps, if I could catch up with them … Continue reading

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sculptural forms, lush silks and hidden contrasts: the rediscovery of a Charles James dress

June 17, 2014 by Rebecca

The first thing that strikes you is the sheer volume of fabric. Dove grey silk taffeta – and lots of it. Packed into a suitcase, this Charles James dress was a complete surprise. And a wonderful treat for my students … Continue reading

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A Collector of Thoughts: Review of ‘Dries Van Noten: Inspirations’

June 3, 2014 by Julia

The popularity of the fashion exhibition has gained increasing momentum in recent years, transforming itself from selections of historical examples hidden in the darkened recesses of permanent collections, into a rapid succession of lucrative  blockbuster temporary exhibitions highlighting contemporary trends … Continue reading

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Flügel, fashion and cardboard cut-outs: an evening at the Fashion Space Gallery

May 20, 2014 by Alexis

My recent encounter with a woman disguised as a lobster with glittery flippers, brought to mind the psychologist J.C. Flügel’s ideas on protection and clothing. In 1930, he wrote that ‘[t]he desire for protection against human enemies has led to … Continue reading

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Re-Thinking The Experience And Representation Of Dress

May 16, 2014 by Alexis and Katerina

On 6 May 2014, we held a study day at The Courtauld’s Research Forum. This day was a result of a collaboration between the Andrew W Mellon Foundation MA 2013/14: Documenting Fashion: Dress, Film, and Image in Europe and America, … Continue reading

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Re-Thinking The Experience And Representation Of Dress

May 7, 2014 by Rebecca

On 6 May 2014, we held a study day, Documenting Fashion: Re-Thinking The Experience And Representation Of Dress, at The Courtauld’s Research Forum. This day was the result of a collaboration between the Andrew W Mellon Foundation MA 2013/14: Documenting … Continue reading

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Fashion in Amateur Film: I’d Be Delighted To (1934)

March 27, 2014 by Julia

A phone rings. A woman begins to bathe, tentatively dipping her toe into a tub of warm water, before slowly pulling a stocking up her shapely calf. A man douses his shaving brush in cream before selecting the perfect pair … Continue reading

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Auratic presence and mass manufacture: a review of ‘Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol’

March 27, 2014 by Fruzsi

Dress history students in London are spoiled for choice when it comes to exhibitions, with numerous institutions and galleries catering to fashion-related interests. The Fashion and Textile Museum is one such organisation. Their current exhibition, Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol … Continue reading

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