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Category Archives: Books & Resources

Help save the Helen Larson Costume Collection @FIDMMuseum with #4for400

Today, the FIDM Museum launches the #4for400 project, a fundraising campaign for the acquisition of the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection. If successful, this remarkable collection will be kept in tact and available for research, exhibition, and inspiration. The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection ranges from gowns worn by Queen Victoria (along with the clothing […]

25th Anniversary of Tortora and Marcketti’s Survey of Historic Costume

First published in 1989, Survey of Historic Costume by Phyllis G. Tortora would become a best-selling Fashion history textbook. For the 25th Anniversary edition, Tortora is joined by  a new co-author, Sara B. Marcketti, an Associate Professor at Iowa State University. But, after 25 years, what could really be that different? It seems the publisher […]

Guest Book Review: Fashion Victims

“In her new book, Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie Anoinette, Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell masterfully discusses and explains these complexities with the familiarity of an eyewitness and the hindsight of the best of historians.–Mark Hutter”

Fashion Photo: House of Worth in 1907

A True #ThrowbackThursday: CSA Western Region Archives

When I became the Archivist for CSA Western Region, I inherited seven boxes of files on our region’s 39 years of history and activities. These boxes have been added to and passed along to each successive Past President/Archivist for many years, and I thought it was high time we digitized them. The board agreed, and […]

Fashion History Primary Sources: Les Modes Online

For some research I’m doing, it has become incredibly helpful to have access to the National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France). They have a vast online collection, including searchable Les Modes (where the above image came from). It’s a marvelous resource for anyone doing research on Haute Couture. Happy Hunting!

Guest Review: “Helena Rubinstein: Beauty is Power” By Nadine Stewart

It can be argued that Helena Rubinstein was a force of nature—a self-made magnate whose empire, originally based on her skin cream formula, of spanned four continents. But she was much more than the head of a cosmetics firm, she was a tastemaker whose unerring eye for cutting edge art informed her work and in the process changed the image of the modern woman. The Jewish Museum has presented an exhibit that showcases all aspects of this powerful personality who used her Jewish name at a time when it was considered a handicap.

Guest Post: “When Redskin Was the New Black” by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell

Whether it’s famously blonde Blake Lively wrapped in a Navajo blanket on the cover of Vogue or a Karlie Kloss walking the runway in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show wearing a feathered headdress and little else, high-fashion knockoffs of Native American clothing and textiles inevitably make headlines for all the wrong reasons. Of course, this kind of cultural appropriation is nothing new—a century ago, Paul Poiret and Sonia Delaunay drew modernist inspiration from ancient Native American textile patterns—but it’s been going on even longer than you might think.

Issey Miyake to Western Wear to Amazons at CSA Western Region Symposium

  The Western Region of the Costume Society of America held their symposium this year at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, OR, on October 11. I was fortunately enough to attend and was treated to seven lovely papers (some works in progress), and two lively discussions with attendees on the papers presented, as […]

New #FashionBooks for October: Cartier, Havana style, Haute Couture artisans and Textile tales, !

Fall is always a busy time for books, and this month a number of publishers have provided some unique offerings. Of particular note is a new book on Cartier – a tie-in with an exhibition at the Denver Art Museum (opens November 16). Strange Material: Storytelling through Textiles, was recently reviewed at TheLongThread.com, in an […]