Fashion and clothing surround us and affect every aspect of our lives. From the moment we wake and get dressed in the morning until we get undressed again in the evening, fashion is a central medium through which we experience the world and negotiate our place within it. Because of this, the way supposedly ‘ordinary’ and ‘everyday’ fashion objects have been designed, stitched, worn, mended, and remembered matters deeply to our historical understanding. Yet for many years the focus of academic and curatorial attention on the subject of fashion has largely revolved around the spectacular and the luxurious. Thus, the history of fashion has often been that of the celebrity designers who dressed social elites, while the histories of everyday fashion and those who produced and consumed it have been neglected.
Everyday Fashion: Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Clothes aims to correct this imbalance by celebrating the extraordinary stories of ordinary clothes. It will bring to the fore the neglected histories of everyday dress and textiles and provide a forum for academic and curatorial voices to speak in support of their importance to our historical understanding of dress and textile history more generally. Across two days at the Universities of Huddersfield and Leeds we aim to draw together research into the business, economic, social, cultural, material, and emotional histories of everyday fashion, and scratch below the glossy surface of the industry to expose the mechanics of fashion business, the hidden world of the workroom and the role of makers, and the experiences of consuming, wearing, and caring for ordinary clothes throughout history.
Dr Jade Halbert
Dr Bethan Bide
Dr Liz Tregenza