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Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 […]

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 […]

Fall Book Notes and Previews (Biba, Art Noveau, and the 19th Century)

The books just keep coming! And not surprisingly, there were many released in time for the new school year. The vast majority of these are museum publications, however, reflecting the ever-increasing popularity of fashion exhibitions in museums. The Biba Years, 1963-1975 By Barbara Hulanicki and Martin Pel (September 23, 2014, V &A Publishing) A revealing […]

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 […]

Come to the CSA Western Region Conference for the papers! (Details)

I’m excited for the upcoming Costume Society of America Western Region conference (October 10-12 in Portland, OR). You can still register (through October 1). The paper presentations have just been announced and will include: From Rice paddies to Parisian Runways: Issey Miyake’s Revival and Reinvention of Traditional Japanese Peasant Textiles by Brenna Barks (Worn Through […]

Fashion Books of Summer 2014: Turquoise, Dress Patterns, Luxury, Branding, and the Kimono

This summer saw a number of fashion-related titles published from both University and traditional Trade publishing houses. Here’s a quick round-up of some of those titles you might want to add to your fall reading list: The Sky Blue Stone: The Turquoise Trade in World History by Arash Khazeni (UC Press, May 2014) This book […]