8th Dec 2011 - 10th Dec 2011
Design History and Material Culture Research Group
Developments in Dress History
8 December 2011 6pm 10 December 2011 2pm
Grand Parade Campus
Over the last twenty years, dress history has moved from the margins of academic debate to the centre of interdisciplinary analysis in the arts and humanities. Dress and its meanings are matters of significance for social and cultural historians; the circuits of clothing across the globe are used to explain patterns of globalisation; its exchange between people is essential to understandings of consumer culture; everything we wear is understood as a crucial component identities and rituals. Once denigrated by design reformers, fashionable dress is integrated into histories of design and western clothing is considered alongside traditional textiles within studies of material culture.
Professor Lou Taylor played a pivotal role in the in the ‘establishment’ of dress history, to borrow a title phrase from one of her books. A long-standing advocate of the importance dress as an object and of the use of garments as historical evidence, Lou Taylor has extended the curatorial methods of analysis of dress as well as provided a critique of the practices its collection and exhibition in museums. In particular, her scholarship has been devoted to understanding the relationships between dress and gender, clothing and class, fashion and the patterns of colonial trade.
Developments in Dress History reflects upon Lou Taylor’s contribution to the discipline of dress history and its current place in academic field of arts and humanities. The conference will explore the meanings of dress in the widest range of cultural contexts, examining in particular: dress and the making of regional and national identities, dress and everyday life, the display of dress in museums and the interpretation of dress collections, the labour of dress-making, dress and ritual, dress and identity as well as the practices of studying dress.
Professor Lou Taylor’s commitment to the academic study of dress is evident not only in her published writings but through 40 years of teaching. Beginning her teaching career at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, she spent most of her working life at Brighton, where she has taught designers, curators, critics and historians. Speakers at the conference include early career researchers alongside leading scholars in the field.
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Image: La Dentelliere d'Espaly. Musee Crozatier, Le Puy Museum.
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