Signs of wear: encountering memory in the worn materiality of a museum fashion collection

Article


Bide, B. 2017. Signs of wear: encountering memory in the worn materiality of a museum fashion collection. Fashion Theory. 21 (4), pp. 449-476. https://doi.org/10.1080/1362704X.2017.1290204
TypeArticle
TitleSigns of wear: encountering memory in the worn materiality of a museum fashion collection
AuthorsBide, B.
Abstract

Historical clothes are more than just examples of how past societies dressed—they are imbued with small details of individual lives in their marks of wear. In this article I explore how these marks evoke memories, and how setting up interactions between personal memories and the materiality of fashion objects creates opportunities for new perspectives in the field of fashion history. I open this article by considering how historians might draw on the methodologies of material culture and archival co-authorship to bring memories into collections research. In order to illustrate these ideas, I then present objects from the Museum of London’s fashion collection alongside my own family photographs and stories to show how integrating my grandmother’s memories into my material culture research disrupted the conventional narratives of 1940s austerity fashion. I conclude by considering how the application of memory to collections research might inform the way that fashion objects are displayed in museums. I suggest that, by focusing on the relationship between visitor memories and the small details of how a garment has been worn and used, museums could create displays which disrupt historical orthodoxies and reveal how echoes of the past continue to shape contemporary fashion cultures.

Research GroupFashion and Interiors
LanguageEnglish
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
JournalFashion Theory
ISSN1362-704X
Publication dates
Online21 Feb 2017
Print04 Jul 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Nov 2017
Accepted08 Jan 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Fashion Theory on 21/02/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/1362704X.2017.1290204

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/1362704X.2017.1290204
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