Our past talks will be available here after the live event. They will only be available for one month, so make sure you don't miss out!

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At a time of great disruption and uncertainty, many of us are having to rethink and re-plan research projects. This series of talks aims to demonstrate the dynamic ways in which dress history is a discipline at the forefront of research innovation. Even before the challenges imposed by COVID, dress historians have striven to find ingenious and inventive new ways to approach their discipline.


Week One: Picturing Dress

1st October 2020


Ingrid Mida

Drawing as a Creative Approach to Dress and Art History


Zara Kesterton

Photoshopping Ephemera: reconstructing late eighteenth-century dress through digital image manipulation

Week Two: Innovative and Innovating Textiles

15th October 2020


Alexandra Makin

Re-Sensorialising Embroidery through Recreation


Courtney Wilder

Hiding in Plain Sight: Chasing ‘Rainbow’ Printed Dress Fabrics in 1840s Visual Representation

Week Three: Spanish Dress in Spain and Beyond

29th October 2020


Laura Beltrán-Rubio

Redressing Colonial Spanish America: New Paths for Dress History


Nicholas Wolters

The Gentleman’s Paradise: Rebranding Men’s Fashion and Masculinity in Nineteenth-Century Barcelona

Week Four: Material Culture of Dress

12th November 2020


Kelsey Power

Dress and Agency, the Case of British Prisoners of War in France, 1803-1815


Kit Maxwell

Glass, identity and the polite body

Week Five: Missing Objects

26th November 2020

Anna Jamieson

Materialising Madness, Missing Objects and the Crazy Jane Hat


Jenny Richardson

Fading from view – collecting photographic evidence of vanished workwear

Week Six: Making and Remaking Dress

10th December 2020


Hilary Davidson

The Making Turn as Radical Practice: Decolonisation, Feminism and Other Voices in Dress History


Carolyn Dowdell

‘1 Nightgown new made’: A Practical Investigation of Eighteenth-Century Clothing Alteration


Rebecca Morrison

(Re)making Mantuas: From Seamstresses to Mantua-Makers



Dress can tell diverse stories of human life. Its materiality has preserved and privileged different lives to those recorded in print, pen and paint. Dress breaks through the barriers often imposed in written and visual sources, and can be used to understand and explore the lives of those who may have been excluded from the written record. 


The field of dress history has championed the representation of women’s stories, but that history is primarily white and wealthy. In this season we want to explore varied stories of human life, and to particularly highlight research where dress is used to access underrepresented stories. 


Dress encompasses both shared experience and deeply personal stories. It allows people to tell stories about themselves within their lifetime, while the afterlives of dress enable dress scholars to reassemble and share stories about the past. 


Week One: Life Fragments

21st January 2021


Alison Matthews David & Kate Strasdin (20-minute paper)

Missing Friends: Stitching Together Stories from Nineteenth-century Textile Swatches

Alden O’Brien (20-minute paper)

Dress and Dressmaking as Seen in a Connecticut Diary, 1801-21 ​



Week Two: Subversions & Traditions

28th January 2021


Katie May Anderson (10-minute paper)

Evolving heritage: Queer interactions with Dutch folk dress

​Li-Xuan Teo (10-minute paper)

The Kebaya in 20th Century Malaysia and Singapore


Ilya Parkins (20-minute paper)

Feeling Cool, Feeling Powerful: Wedding Apparel Experiences of Queer and Trans People​

Week Three: Recontextualised Lives

11th February 2021


Isabella Rosner (20-minute paper)

Sampling Samplers: Sartorial Experiments in the 20th and 21st Centuries


Faith Cooper (20-minute paper)

A Fashionable Fetish: Examining the Qipao in the Eyes of the West

Book Launch

25th February 2021

Serena Dyer

Material Lives: Women Makers and Consumer Culture in the 18th Century

Week Four: Re-examining Class

11th March 2021


Lucie Bea Dutton (10-minute paper)

Queens of Silk


Kristina Francescutti (10-minute paper)

“Not the Wife of a Noble”: The Sartorial Biography of an Italian Common Woman


Valerie Wilson (20-minute paper)

Cut, make and trim: Women’s work in garment manufacturing in Ulster 1880 – 1960


Week Five: Collection Stories

25th March 2021

Emily Gallagher (10-minute paper)

Uncovering Victorian and Edwardian (1850-1910) working-class dress in England’s museums


Lucie Whitmore & Bethan Bide (20-minute paper)

Lost & Found: Human stories in Jewish-made fashion objects 


Cassie Davies-Strodder (20-minute paper)

Lost Stories: Personal collections of clothing and the museum


​ Week Six: Illustrating Bodies

15th April 2021


Holly Fletcher (20-minute paper)

Fatness and Fashion: The Dressed Experience of Bodyweight in Early Modern Germany


Dolla Merrillees (20-minute paper)

From Isfahan to London


Week Seven: Self-Fashioned Youth

29th April 2021


Mariela Aguero (10-minute paper)

Post-Subcultural Groups in Costa Rica: Clothing Styles During the 1990s


Rosie Findlay (20-minute paper)

Fashion as Mood, Style as Atmosphere: Creative Fashion Writing in London Review of Looks


Jo Jenkinson (20-minute paper)

Portrait Youth: Documenting narratives of youth through styling and dress