The New Research in Dress Histories Conference 2017

Deconstructing Fashion Podcast
Episode 2

What we’re wearing: hand-knitted garments

Anushka has been knitting her own socks, which leads into a riveting discussion of craft, feminism, and 21st century living arrangements. Can an act of domesticity be subversive?

Reference: Shreddies Knitted by Nanas (TV advert from 2010)

Recommended reading: ‘The Culture of Knitting’ by Joanne Turney

Review: New Research in Dress Histories study day

We discuss our favourite talks at the Association of Dress Historians study day on February 2017, at the University of Brighton (click here for the full programme).

  • Convention and Progression: An Analysis of Swedish Fashion Journals, with Examples from 1842–51 and 1916–25
    Lisa Svensson, University of Gothenburg

Swedes considered class relations more important than nationalism, and looked at their contemporaries of the same class internationally, rather than nationally.

Sumptuary laws were implemented and later discarded, yet the didactic tone of fashion magazines has become of stringent form of guidance that we have internalised today.

  • A Place for ‘Theatre Costume’ in Dress History: A Case Study of the Celebrated Actress, Ellen Terry (1847–1928)
    Veronica Isaac, University of Brighton

A valuable and useful methodology for analysing theatre costume.

  • Conceptual Parallels in Fashion Design Practices: A Comparison of Martin Margiela and John Galliano
    Olga Dritsopoulou, University of Brighton

An interesting comparison of two fashion designers not commonly associated with each other.

What they’re wearing: Emma Watson in ‘Beauty & the Beast’ (2017)

A dress historian’s take on Emma Watson’s feminism, after the costumes designed by Jacqueline Durran. There is a strong cultural myth of the corset being an entirely restrictive garment, and thereby, being regressive as a form of costume. Much depends on the body type of the wearer, as for women with a fuller figure, the corset can be a supportive and necessary undergarment, being the precursor to the bra.

Recommended reading: ‘The Corset’ by Valerie Steele

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Image: @asourtelling
Podcast music: Pheori
Editing: Siân