Producing Fashion is the theme of the October 28 and 29 (Friday and Saturday) conference sponsored by the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware. The conference includes fourteen papers that consider how fashion is produced on the level of ideas, style and materials. The panel “National Identity and the Problem of Paris” opens the conference with papers assessing the reaction against French fashion that led to the development of distinctive national styles in the United States, Austria, and Belgium. The papers in the “Early Transnational Fashion” session look at the impact of new textiles and an invigorated fashion press on clothing styles before 1900. The influence of nostalgia on “modern” fashions in clothing, home furnishings, and personal toiletries is the subject of the “Old-Fashioned Fashion” panel that concludes Friday’s proceedings. Saturday begins with three provocative papers on the influence of gender, ranging from the “manly” advertising campaign that remade Marlboro cigarettes, the development of men’s leisurewear, and the influence of feminism on the marketing of beauty products to women. The conference closes, appropriately, with a panel Remaking Contemporary Fashion with papers on style in Communist Hungary and postwar France, and the dramatic impact of Lycra on clothing worldwide.
Regular registration is $30, $20 for Hagley Associates and free for graduate students. Lunches are $15 and Friday dinner $35. To register or obtain more information (including the full program) contact Carol Lockman at 302-658-2400, ext. 243, or clockman@Hagley.org.
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