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Category Archives: Friends and Colleagues

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 […]

The Kimono: Two Exhibits, Two Reviews

* Right now two major museums, on opposite coasts of the United States, both have exhibitions on the Kimono. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has Kimono for a Modern Age (through October 19, 2014) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has Kimono: A Modern History (through January 4, 2015). This […]

Guest Exhibition Review: “Exposed: The History of Lingerie”

EXPOSED: THE HISTORY OF LINGERIE MUSEUM @ FIT JUNE 3-NOVEMBER 15, 2014 Guest Exhibition Review By Nadine L. Stewart Exposed: The History of Lingerie explores a fashion story that often takes a secondary place in the fashion history—what’s been worn underneath our clothes. These are the pieces that give our bodies the current fashionable silhouette […]

Catching up: Fashion books you should know about

Since the beginning of 2014, I’ve found myself swimming in a wealth of new fashion history scholarship. In the coming weeks and months, I hope to share some of these gems with you: some in passing and some in greater depth. If you’ve read any of these and have comments, I hope you’ll share them […]

“Hips Don’t Lie” at the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco)

“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.”– Nietzsche

Guest Exhibit Review: Bill Cunningham’s Facades at New York Historical Society

“Though the pictures were taken 37 years ago, they show a clear relationship between architecture and fashion that informs us today. They are not simply historical dress-up.”

Guest Book Review: Islamic Fashion and Anti-Fashion

Islamic Fashion and Anti-Fashion: New Perspectives from Europe and North America Emma Tarlo and Annelies Moors, eds. 294 pp., illustrated, Bloomsbury, $29.95 Guest book reviewer, Jennifer Heath There are moments I think we’re beating this horse to death. I worry that we are still far too fixated on the hijab (veil) and on Muslim women’s […]

Holiday Book tease: “Hollywood Costume”

My Man Godfrey happens to be one of my favorite movies (hello, William Powell!). The image of this dress is gorgeous in this two-page spread, but seeing all those glass bugle beads in motion in the film is just absolutely stunning.