Overcoming Obstacles in the Study of Historical Costume

Friday, January 6, 2017: 10:30 AM
Room 401 (Colorado Convention Center)
Patricia Dillon, New York University
Exposure to historical costume is essential to actually understanding it. To see, feel, hear and smell a garment sears every aspect of its uniqueness into one’s being. Examining a garment top to bottom, side to side, inside and out will teach details of construction that no photograph can convey.

Most universities employ highly educated and accomplished persons to teach these classes but when their work is not complimented by hands on access, it is a palpable loss to the student. Access to examples of Historical Costume is easy at major universities with their own collections or schools located in larger urban centers near major museums. However, it can be very challenging for smaller schools, schools with nascent Fashion/Costume departments, or those located in remote geographic locations.

It can also be in the manner in which the class is presented. Increasingly, schools are offering distance learning classes, many of which are required for degrees or certificates. Distance Learning categorically prevents in class presentation of extant examples of historic costume.

Accordingly, distance or the lack of access to historical garments is a detriment to a meaningful education in historic costume. With some creative effort, the classroom can be extended to allow every student hands on access to costume.

Previous Presentation | Next Presentation >>