If you’ve been reading for awhile now, you’ve heard me talk about Costume Society of America (CSA). It’s an organization for people interested in the study of dress and fashion. One does not have to be a professional to join, but it has helped my career in a whole host of ways.
CSA’s annual symposium is coming up next month, and it’s definitely one of my favorite times of the year. We go to a different city each year for four days of lecturers, workshops, and social events devoted to fashion and its history, how people dress, and costume of all types. I always come back recharged and rededicated to fashion history.
This year’s conference is going to be in Las Vegas between May 29-June 1, and the schedule looks really good. If you’ve never been but wondered if it was worth it, let me assure you that it is. You will learn a lot, meet many really interesting people, and, this year, maybe see a great Vegas show!
The theme this year is Mining the History of Costume: Fantasy and Fact. The keynote speaker will be Jack Ricks, head of wardrobe for Cirque du Soleil’s show Zumanity. Personally I’m most excited for the presentations “Irene Castle: Ragtime Dance and Fashion Icon” from Patricia Cunningham and “Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style” from Kathy Peiss. I won’t miss the professional development session on “Freelancing as a Fashion Historian” either.
My plane flight and registration is booked. If you are at all on the fence, consider this your nudge to come. If this is your first introduction to CSA and you have any questions about the organization or the symposium, please do not hesitate to ask. And if you are going, please do tell me!