'Garment Stories and Sustainability: Past, Present and Future'

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'Garment Stories and Sustainability: Past, Present and Future'

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The University of York Annual Fashion Symposium is now in its fourth year and aims to represent developing interdisciplinary interest in all areas of fashion studies throughout the University, and particularly within the History of Art Department. This year’s symposium is titled: ‘Garment Stories and Sustainability: Past, Present and Future.’

A garment story is an assembly of people, places and practices, through which a patchwork of industrial, material, personal, historical and cultural chapters can be communicated. It is through these collections of stories that we can learn lessons from existing and extant clothes, whether those hanging in our wardrobes or housed in museum collections, to find a way to a more environmentally, ethically and emotionally sustainable fashion future.

The University of York annual fashion symposium 2021 will focus broadly on the themes of garment stories and sustainability by spanning a range of periods, practices and places to share the stories behind clothes past and present with the aim of asking both what we can learn from the practices of our predecessors and how we can put these lessons into action today.

Meet our speakers:

Dr Danielle Dove

Dr Danielle Dove is a Visiting Research Fellow and Associate Tutor at the University of Surrey. She completed her PhD, entitled ‘Sartorial Spectres’, in 2020 and is currently adapting it into a monograph. She has published on ‘Ghostly Gloves’ in Victoriographies and is co-editor of a forthcoming collection of essays on Neo-Victorian Things: Re-Imagining Nineteenth-Century Material Cultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).

‘Cast-off skins’ and Second Selves: Garment Stories in Second-Hand Clothes Markets

Vanessa Jones

Vanessa Jones is assistant curator of dress and textiles at Leeds Museums and Galleries. She is lead curator of the Fast x Slow Fashion exhibition, which explored the consumption of clothes in Leeds from 1720 to 2020. Vanessa is the conference organiser for the Dress and Textile Specialists (DATS) network as well as being a freelance historic dress and textile consultant.

Reinterpreting Eighteenth-century Dress Within the Museum: Sustainable Consumption

Liz Tregenza

Liz Tregenza is a fashion and business historian. She currently works as a Collections and Learning Curator for Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service and runs her own vintage business. She completed her Design Star funded PhD on Frederick Starke and London Wholesale Couture at the University of Brighton in 2018. She has previously worked as a lecturer, teaching at a number of British universities.

'So Miraculously right!' Dorville and London Wholesale Couture in the 1930s

Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd

Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd is a designer, maker, researcher and writer who has explored the emerging field of fashion and sustainability since 2004. Her work has been featured in various exhibitions, books and publications, from Vogue to Fashion Theory. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University. Current initiatives include Crafting the Commons, a network interrogating intersections between craft practices and emergent academic research on the commons; Stitching Together, a network fostering critical dialogue around participatory textile making methods in research and practice; and Fashion Fictions, a project that brings people together to imagine and explore alternative fashion Worlds.

Fashion Fictions: What do We Wish For?

Worn Workshop

Founded by fashion practitioners Abigail Jubb and Morag Seaton, Worn Workshop was created to change perspectives on worn clothes. Inspired by people’s relationships with their wardrobes, Worn collects and shares the stories of our clothes, using these to produce their own programme of workshops alongside commissions for industry, heritage and higher education, including recent projects for the Bernat Klein Foundation and the Glasgow School of Art. Created to challenge negative fashion cultures through new approaches, Worn’s portfolio of projects celebrates the significance of the clothes we already own so that more of them will become truly worn.

Worn Workshop: What Can we Learn from Garment Stories?


This virtual event is free and welcome to all.

A full programme and zoom link will be sent out by email shortly before the event.

We want this event to be an accessible and inclusive space for all. Please contact Abigail Jubb by email in advance of the event with any accessibility requirements:

About us:

Convened by Abigail Jubb and Dr Cordula Van Wyhe with the assistance of Emily Yates, Rosalind Seabrook and Milly Ames and sponsored by: York Art History Collaborations (YAHCs).

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