Fashion and the Politics of Heritage

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London College of Fashion, Rootstein Hopkins Space East

20 John Princes Street



United Kingdom

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Focusing on European sartorial heritage in the framework of collecting, archiving methods and displaying practices, the conference Fashion and the Politics of Heritage will critically explore physical and virtual encounters between fashion, culture and history, both historically and today. By assessing the current state of theory-and practice-based research, the conference will contextualize the role of politics in these interactions, and investigate their respective fashion narratives.

The processes of framing, re-framing and de-framing fashion narratives equally engage museum institutions, fashion archives, established fashion brands and emerging fashion designers, bringing into the public arena their varied claims to ownership as well as their contrasting interpretations of value and meaning. In this context, the conference Fashion and the Politics of Heritage will address factual and invented narratives, and their role in producing symbolic and economic values in the fields of fashion production, promotion and consumption. The conference will also explore the role of the digital in the construction and de-construction of fashion narratives, specifically investigating how digitised fashion archives can participate in the current discussion on local/global economies, policies and identities.

The sartorial heritage, as indeed any other type of heritage, has recently been increasingly politicized. The rise of the grassroots movements, such as Black Lives Matter and #Me Too, has encouraged archives, museums and galleries to revaluate their collections in relation to the issues of race, gender, class, tradition and modernity, so that their physical and virtual catalogues and exhibitions could be understood and embraced by wider and more diverse audiences. By involving the world-leading academic institutions, archives and museums, thus encouraging discourse across disciplinary, institutional and national boundaries, the conference Fashion and the Politics of Heritage will contribute new insights to the ongoing discussions on the ordering of archives and fashion displays in museum and galleries, as well as in the digital realm.

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME (download the pdf version here)

FRIDAY, 8 November

14.00 - 14.30 Registration

14.30 - 14.35 Welcome and presentation of the European Fashion Heritage Association, Marco Rendina, EFHA Managing Director

14.35 - 14.40 Welcome from the host, Professor Felicity Colman, Associate Dean of Research, London College of Fashion, UAL

14.40 - 14.45 Intro to the conference Dr Djurdja Bartlett, Transnational Fashion Hub, London College of Fashion, UAL

Section I – Questioning Heritage and Fashion

14,45 - 15,05 Adelheid Rasche, Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg. Fashion or Heritage – between now and yesterday. An introduction

15,05 - 15,25 Waleria Dorogova, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. The cult of fashion heritage – a self-serving endeavour?

15,25 - 15,45 Antoine Bucher, The New School - Parsons Paris. When is Fashion Heritage?

15,45 - 16,05 Marie Riegels Melchior, University of Copenhagen. Keyword ‘Fashion’: Understanding Digital Fashion Heritagization in the Case of Europeana Fashion and the Google Cultural Institute’s We Wear Culture

16,05 – 16,30 DISCUSSION – Chair Djurdja Bartlett, London College of Fashion, UAL

16,30 - 16,50 Coffee break

Section II – Fashion, Heritage and National Identities

16,50 - 17,20 Keynote Speech: Rhonda Garelick, The New School - Parsons New York. Channelling Mademoiselle. Karl Lagerfeld, Coco Chanel, and the Ghost of History

17,20 - 17,40 Simona Segre Reinach, Università di Bologna. Biki. French Visions for Italian Fashion

17,40 - 18,00 Manuela Soldi, Università Iuav di Venezia. Fashion and Identity. Rosa Genoni and her Fight for an Italian Fashion

18,00 - 18,30 DISCUSSION – Chair Marco Pecorari, The New School - Parsons Paris

18,30 - 19,30 Drinks reception London College of Fashion

SATURDAY, 9 November

10,00 - 10,30 Registration

Section III – Working with heritage / Tales From the Fashion Archive

10,30 - 10,50 Soizic Pfaff, Christian Dior. From the Archives Department to Dior Heritage

10,50 - 11.10 Matteo Ferrario, Ermenegildo Zegna. Casa Zegna: home of the brand heritage

11.10 - 11.30 Dolce Cioffo, Vivienne Westwood. Archiving (at) Vivienne Westwood

11,30 - 11,50 Luca Missoni, Missoni. Archivio Missoni. Back to the Future

11.50 - 12.20 DISCUSSION – Chair Marta Franceschini, EFHA

12,20 - 13,20 Lunch Break

Section IV – Working with heritage / the Museum Perspective

13,20 - 13,50 Keynote Speech, Julia Petrov, Royal Alberta Museum. Dressing the Nation: Establishing and Exhibiting European Fashion Collections for Pride and Power

13,50 - 14,10 Daan van Dartel, National Museum Wereldculturen Amsterdam. On Diversity, Transcultural Dynamics…

14,10 - 14,30 Ninke Bloemberg, Centraal Museum Utrecht. ...and Cultural Dialogue

14,30 - 14,50 Bethan Bide, University of Leeds and Lucie Whitmore, Museum of London. Reframing stories of Jewish fashion makers in museum collections

14,50 - 15,20 DISCUSSION – Chair Karolien De Clippel, ModeMuseum Hasselt

15,20 - 15,40 Coffee Break

Section V – Queering Grounds / Queer Heritage between Academia and the Museum

15,40 - 16,00 Jeffrey Horsley, London College of Fashion. Exhibiting Biography: Queering the Exhibition

16,00 - 16,20 Fabio Cleto, Università degli Studi di Bergamo. Camp, Unlimited.: Heterodox Elitism and the Integrated Spectacles

16,20 - 16,40 Eleanor Jones, King’s College. Queer British Art, 1861-1967

16,40 – 17,00 DISCUSSION – Chair Gabriele Monti, Università Iuav di Venezia

17,00 – 17,20 CLOSING REMARKS by EFHA Scientific Committee, composed by Adelheid Rasche, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Djurdja Bartlett, London College of Fashion, UAL; Karolien De Clippel, Modemuseum Hasselt; Gabriele Monti, Università Iuav di Venezia; Marco Pecorari, The New School - Parsons Paris; Federica Rossi, Museo della calzatura - Villa Foscarini Rossi

17,20 - 17,30 Goodbye and closing of the conference, Marco Rendina, EFHA

The conference is organized by the European Fashion Heritage Association in collaboration with:

Logos partners

With the support of:

Logo Archivio Missoni

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London College of Fashion, Rootstein Hopkins Space East

20 John Princes Street



United Kingdom

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