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A new digital seminar series exploring the history of dress, fashion & bodily adornment.

The Sartorial Society Series is a new digital seminar programme, which aims to showcase the most exciting and innovative research in the historical study of dress, fashion, and bodily adornment. 

Sessions will contain papers from two or three speakers, as we strive to make connections and draw out the symbiotic threads across our work. Sessions run on Thursday evenings from 6.30pm UK time. 

Most importantly, the series will encourage collegiality and will be an open, inclusive and friendly space to meet others interested in dress history. We encourage BYO wine, tea or soft drink of choice and invite you to join the post-talk Q&A. 

The Sartorial Society Series is organised by a group of dress historians and curators with the aim of celebrating the diverse, innovative, and excellent research emerging in the field of dress history. We want to create a space that welcomes and supports dress historians from all backgrounds, and fosters positive connections within our field. 

The Sartorial Society Series is proud to be supported by the Pasold Research Fund.



The CFP is currently closed. Please check back for the next CFP later in the year








Dress is situated within place and space. On an individual level, dress is the medium through which we experience the world around us, and in turn, the way we dress shapes our cultural and social spaces.

This season, the Sartorial Society will explore the geographies of dress and style. It seeks to understand how and why certain places, such as Paris, have come to be associated with fashion, but also to look beyond the narrow group of global fashion capitals that dominate many Western-centric understandings of fashion in order to ask what we can learn from re-situating dress within space and place. The sites of fashion include both spaces of production and consumption; from the physical bricks-and-mortar of the built environment to the digital spaces of fashion and even spaces of the imagination. Often items of dress provide connections between different places and can be transformed through their movement between them.

In an increasingly global fashion system dominated by diverse and complex structures of production, dissemination and influence, it is arguably harder than ever to trace the places and spaces of fashionable production. Yet fashion systems have long histories of purposefully obscuring the realities of these geographies in order to stimulate desire. Historic networks of production, trade and consumption have long shaped both local and international geographies. In the age of the Anthropocene, the fashion industry’s environmental impact also has profound consequences on habitats and ecosystems, reshaping the future of the planet.

Fashion and style can also be tied to spaces and places in less tangible ways, and have the ability - for example - to communicate information about specific countries, cities or communities. Dress enables us to ask questions about the different lived experiences of individual localities, asking how a rural or urban life might alter the demands made of our attire, and how the unique styles of distinct places are changing as the world becomes more connected. 


All sessions are held on Thursday evenings at 6.30pm UK time (BST/GMT) 

Please note the new time of 6.30pm UK time


Week One: Placement and Displacement

10 March


Karley Thompson (20-minute paper)

Clothes as Routes: Black British Women’s Connection to ‘Home’ through ‘Style-fashion-dress’


Selene States (20-minute paper)

Delineating Bauhaus Design and Displacement through Reproduction Fashions from Beyers’ Illustrated Journal Die Neue Linie

Register Here

Week 2: Space Specific

NB: This event will be rescheduled in solidarity with the UCU strikes.

Jo Weldon (20-minute paper)

Spandex and Semiotics

Sarah Bendall (20-minute paper)

The Queen’s Dressmakers: The Wardrobe Accounts of Catherine of Braganza and the Mantua-Maker in late Seventeenth-Century London 

NB: This event will be rescheduled in solidarity with the UCU strikes.

Register Here

Week 3: Place Making

7 April

Jihane Dyer (20-minute paper)

Curating the fashion-city relationship: Some common threads since 2010


Roberto Filippello (20-minute paper)

Dressed for Dissent: The Queer Life of Clothes in Israel/Palestine


Mark O’Connell (20-minute paper)

“Techniques From the Time Before Us”: The Chilkat Dancing Blanket as a Safeguard of Canadian First Nations Culture 


Register Here

Week 4: Constructing Environments

21 April


Beatrice Behlen (20-minute paper)

‘Flowers by Constance Spry’ - The Smell of Couture

Weiqi Yap (20-minute paper)

Spatial Memories, Geographies and Dream Spaces: The Imagined Fashion Exhibition Visit 

Register Here

Week 5: Energy of the City

5 May


Charlotte Brachtendorf (20-minute paper)

Fashioning the In-Between: Everyday Aesthetics in Contemporary Tokyo Street Style

Lucie Whitmore (20-minute paper)

Collecting style & place: two years of fashion acquisitions at the Museum of London

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Week 6: Progression and Circulation

19 May


Sarah Hodge (10-minute paper)

Beyond the Ballroom: Examining the Material Journey of Queen Victoria’s 1845 Fancy-dress costume

Elly Platt (10-minute paper)

The Wandle Wardrobe: stories of a London river through textiles

Lizzy Spencer (20-minute paper)

“If you please to send me a dark gown and a small print”: The movement of clothing under the old English poor law, c. 1768-1834


Register Here


Dr Elisabeth Gernerd

Dr Lucie Whitmore

Meet the Team

Dr Bethan Bide

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Dr Serena Dyer

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Dr Liz Tregenza

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