The History of Clothing: Two Authors Discuss Style and Substance

THU, SEP 29, 2022

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Through time, clothing has defined us: everyday garments have transformed our lives, our societies, and our planet; our fancier dress and new fashions have conveyed meaning and conferred status. Now, two new captivating social histories convey the essence and aspiration of our clothing, past and present. Worn provides a sweeping history of garments and the stuff they are of made – Linen, Cotton, Silk, Synthetics, Wool. Skirts traces the shifting roles of women over the twentieth century through the era’s most iconic and influential dresses. If ever you’ve wondered about the origins of Little Black Dress or the ancestral and ethical methods for making what we wear, you will enjoy hearing from authors Sofi Thanhauser and Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, their illustrated presentations and dialogue with fashion and textiles curator Petra Slinkard.

Dr. Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell is an award-winning fashion historian and curator. She is the author of Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette; Worn on This Day: The Clothes That Made History; The Way We Wed; and Red, White, and Blue on the Runway. Her writing has appeared in, among other publications, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Politico; and she has appeared on NPR and the Biography Channel.

Sofi Thanhauser teaches in the writing department at Pratt Institute. She has received fellowships from the Fulbright Program, MacDowell, and Ucross Foundation. Her writing has appeared in Vox. Her writing has appeared in Vox, The Guardian, and other publications.

Petra Slinkard is the Director of Curatorial Affairs and The Nancy B. Putnam Curator of Fashion and Textiles at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. She oversees the museum’s Fashion and Design gallery and most recently served as the coordinating curator for the exhibition Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love, which opened June 25, 2022.

+ BIO: Petra Slinkard

Petra Slinkard is the Director of Curatorial Affairs and The Nancy B. Putnam Curator of Fashion and Textiles at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. She oversees the museum’s Fashion and Design gallery and most recently served as the coordinating curator for the exhibition Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love, which opened June 25, 2022.

+ BIO: Sofi Thanhauser

Sofi Thanhauser teaches in the writing department at Pratt Institute. She has received fellowships from the Fulbright Program, MacDowell, and Ucross Foundation. Her writing has appeared in Vox. Her writing has appeared in Vox, The Guardian, and other publications.

+ BIO: Dr. Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell

Dr. Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell is an award-winning fashion historian and curator. She is the author of Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette; Worn on This Day: The Clothes That Made History; The Way We Wed; and Red, White, and Blue on the Runway. Her writing has appeared in, among other publications, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Politico; and she has appeared on NPR and the Biography Channel.

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