Readdressing Passivity : Protest Dress in 1960s Civil Rights Photography

On August 9, 2014, one day after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson, civil unrest ignited in Ferguson, Missouri. Many of the photographs published during the riots imagine Ferguson as a city on the verge of apocalypse, showing cars and civic buildings on fire as black bodies run through the streets crying and chanting that their lives matter.

The Red Shirt

I don’t know how I felt when I first tried the shirt on, but presumably, beyond the obvious fact that it was the right size, even at that tender age, there was a good fit between us, the unspoken sense of a partnership in the making, the magical realization that this will work, waiting to be confirmed and reinforced with each successive wearing.

Adventures in Superheroic Style

Looking just a little bit like Captain Marvel helped me feel a bit like her, which in turn helped me feel like my favorite version of myself—the one that finds in superheroes the courage to be critical, even of things I love, and that finds in superheroic style the courage to be seen while I do it.

Carlo Casini: We Invented Bell Bottoms

“You know what we did one time? I can’t believe it… we invented bell-bottoms,” the innkeeper admitted, shaking his head and laughing. It was startling to hear, even from Carlo Casini, a natural raconteur with a long career as a serial entrepreneur in the storied Monte Argentario peninsula of Tuscany.

Love, Loss, and What David Bowie Wore

It’s rare for an exhibition to outlive its subject, but the record-breaking show would continue on, reaching twelve cities and drawing over two million visitors. The ability for the show to continue without much change—even keeping the title in present tense—stems from how the curators focused on Bowie’s creative influences.

On the "Black Designer"

In an industry that doesn’t like to talk about race (let alone blackness), it’s rare for designers, who identify as black, to readily insert identity politics into their brands. The fear, perhaps, emerges from the fact that doing so could pigeonhole them into a singular narrative of blackness – one that could result in them being unattractive to customers, investors, and the media. 

Alex Katz and American Fashion

Painter Alex Katz is so closely attuned to the fashion scene, specifically to the New York fashion scene, that it could be said that he has at times created or at least anticipated major shifts in it. Even his "sweet, unassuming" paintings have a predictive quality to them. Indeed, Katz and fashion form a kind of symbiosis. 

What's so Fashionable About HIV?

Unpacking how masculinity is embodied in images from HIV prevention material targeting a gay male audience, this essay explores how, through their streaming and modulation with the viewer’s body, such images become affective, thereby potentially informing our ideas of and identifications with the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The Ruth Finley Collection

As a fashion and textile historian who works closely with the Fashion Calendar archive, I am exceedingly privileged to not only have access to a previously un-investigated source that is so rich with information, but to be able to interact with the maker of the archive herself. This enables the archive to be continuously dynamic, since Finley’s knowledge about American fashion history is vast and mostly based on experience.