Friday File

I can’t believe we’re already more than halfway through January. This month is rushing past. If you follow my Instagram account, you saw that I was in Southern California for the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, and then promptly came down with influenza when I got home. It was a bad flu, the kind with a fever and hallucinating dreams, and I was housebound throughout the so-called polar vortex. I missed a few days of work, so this was my first full week back to work.

Here are the links for the past couple weeks:


I love stories about apartments or offices that have remained untouched for decades. AnOther Magazine recently ran a post on Madame de Florian’s Paris apartment that wasn’t disturbed for 68 years and held secrets about the painter Giovanni Boldini’s lover, Marthe de Florian.

Have you read the “Do What You Love” column on Jacobin that’s been circulating social media? It’s an excellent take down of the DWYL myth — how it can be used to exploit workers and the fact that it is a very classist concept. A must read.

The current state of the American textile industry is recorded in photos and an essay, with a personal look at the factories still in production, in this NY Times piece.

Michelle Obama’s 2013 inauguration gown will be on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History for one year. No word yet if the gown will become part of the museum’s First Ladies collection permanently.

I rarely buy Vogue anymore, but I’m psyched about Lena Dunham’s cover. I might just go out and pick it up for myself.

Friday File – Mid-Semester

Another busy Friday ends another busy week. The fashion study collection I manage is getting a much better workout this semester than it did in the fall, which is great, but also a bit tiring.

I’m spending this morning prepping for a lecture on how fashion theory and history can be applied in interdisciplinary ways for a freshman intro course next week. I’m kind of excited about it. If you’ve been reading here for any length of time, you’ll know that I value fashion far above fashion just for fashion’s sake. It is a product of its time and culture, and I really enjoying exposing students in other disciplines to the collection. You can see their minds working as they find connections amongst their own fields and the garments in my collection.

Now let’s get to the links:

The very smart Raquel Laneri directed me to a fashion shoot by Eugenio Recuenco — it’s an homage to Picasso. Look at the series of images in the second row from the top. Which is timely, because there is a Picasso exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago right now, so I’ve got Picasso on the brain. Eugenio’s photos are rather clever, and whoever did the styling, the makeup, and the hair did a fantastic job capturing the essence of Picasso’s paintings.

Did you know the nuclear bomb has helped experts identify forgeries more easily? It has to do with the creation of isotopes that didn’t exist before 1945 when the first nuclear bomb was detonated. Scientists can test the paint of a work to determine if those isotopes were present in the paint when a painting was created, and, if they are, then scientists know the painting had to be created after 1945. Not so easy to pass off a new painting as an old master’s now.

The First Bangs will grace the cover of Vogue next month. I’m picking up my copy as soon as it hits the shelves.

Two Nerdy Girls had a most fantastic piece this week on “How Many Tradespeople Does It Take to Dress an 18th C. Lady?” With the help of the Janea Whitacre, mistress of millinery and mantua maker at Colonial Williamsburg, they compiled a list of every person involved in making the items that an upperclass woman wore — those who made her dress and its embellishments to her hair to her accouterments.

Have a great weekend!