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Category Archives: Museums & Exhibitions

Guest Exhibition Review: Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait

* I’m very pleased to present a review by my friend and fellow Costume Society of America Western Region Board Member, Brenna Barks. “Back to …” By Brenna Barks There is an intimacy present in objects of material culture that is often lost in exhibitions and academic studies. This can be especially true of clothing. […]

Guest Review of “China: Through the Looking Glass” Ends Sept. 7 #ChinaLookingGlass

“The latest exhibit by the Costume Institute is like a sumptuous banquet with many, many rich dishes, so many it’s difficult to choose. The purpose is to show the many, many ways Chinese themes have fascinated and inspired Western fashion. This is tricky territory.”

Save the date (October 10): I’m Speaking at “Body as Agent” In Richmond, CA

I am so excited to have been invited to speak at the Richmond Art Center’s symposium, accompanying the exhibition, “Body as Agent: Changing Fashion Art.” The exhibition opens on September 12, and the symposium will be on October 10, from 10am-4:30pm. This symposium is held in conjunction with the exhibition Body as Agent: Changing Fashion […]

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 […]

Exhibition Review: Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70s

Yet again, the fabulous Nadine Stewart is offering us a wonderful review of a current exhibition (at the Museum@FIT, on view through April 18, 2015 (if you are headed to NYC). Be sure to check out Nadine’s photos at the bottom of the post as well! “The Unlovable Decade.” That was what New York Times […]

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 […]

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 […]