Technical Analysis, Cultural Context and Conservation of a Twentieth-Century Andean Woven Textile

Technical Analysis, Cultural Context and Conservation of a Twentieth-Century Andean Woven Textile

Diane Walker
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
An unattributed ethnographic flat woven textile in the Graduate Study Collection at the Fashion Institute of Technology was without provenance and was purported to be South American. The textile was in fair condition but could no longer be handled easily for student study due to its several major tears and losses. The goal of this paper is to document the textile's cultural context and its conservation treatment that will enable it to be returned to active use in the collection.The first chapter of this paper discusses the historical and cultural context of the textile. Comparanda are examined for similar stylistic traits, motifs and formats. The motifs and woven structure are documented and compared to the Andean tradition of textiles, and specifically to the tradition of mantles. The second chapter of this paper details the conservation treatment of the textile. In fair condition, the textile was in need of stabilization for continued use as a study object. The condition report and treatment proposal are included along with the treatment report. The textile is now stabilized and rehoused for storage in the collection.
Referencing the Past to Build a Strong Future: The Value of American Corporate Fashion Archives

Referencing the Past to Build a Strong Future: The Value of American Corporate Fashion Archives

Kristen Robinson
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
The purpose of this paper is to provide a snapshot examination of fashion archiving practices at United States corporations, as of the years 2019 – 2022, describing the history of their origination, current uses, and challenges today and in the future. The paper argues that archives are the core identity of a corporation and a valuable asset, which when invested in, can support many sectors of the business, generating revenue for the company, directly and indirectly. The argument is solidified through a range of methods including literature drawn from scholarly archival journals, publications on corporate business archive practices, case studies on corporate marketing and publication relations / communications strategies, newspaper articles highlighting trending topics, and interviews with designers, marketers, archivists, conservators, and scholars. Despite a large number of archival societies, graduate programs, and growing interest in archives at fashion brands, to date, there has been little formal scholarship on the topic. Furthermore, the scholarship available often describes the topic from one perspective, when fashion archives specifically, are multifaceted. A quick review of index pages of roughly three hundred fashion marketing, branding, and management books at the Gladys Marcus Library at FIT returned only two books that had a mention of historians, librarians, archives, or heritage. By reviewing literature and speaking with individuals across departments — marketing, public relations, design, and archives, the paper aims to codify the value of archives from all sectors. This paper is written from the perspective of a fashion and textile collection management and conservation graduate student whose former career in nonprofit marketing and database management spurred an interest in the nuances of this field. This unexplored topic along with the resurgence of archival reissuing, vintage-inspired, and nostalgia fashion, and the unprecedented event of a global pandemic, makes the topic of this paper timely and relevant.
The Analysis, Conservation, and Remounting of a Framed Jacquard Silk Illustration from Lyon, France

The Analysis, Conservation, and Remounting of a Framed Jacquard Silk Illustration from Lyon, France

Sarah Brennan-Martin
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
This qualifying paper outlines the historical context of a framed Jacquard silk illustration, as well as its conservation treatment and remounting. The large, framed Jacquard silk illustration is part of the Graduate Study Collection at the Fashion Institute of Technology. This paper will outline the significance of Lyon, France, as a silk industry and weaving center, as well as Jacquard's contribution to the textile and weaving industries. This paper explores the challenges of treating a framed object only the front part of which was partially visible during the initial examination. The conservation treatment's goals were constantly reevaluated and shifted as the needs of the textile changed. The conservation treatment of this woven silk illustration included conservation methods, including removing adhesives, custom dyeing, applying a new adhesive support, and rehousing.
Nail Polish for Men: Transformation of Gender Norms in Postmodern Society

Nail Polish for Men: Transformation of Gender Norms in Postmodern Society

Ellen Greene
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
Over the past couple of years there has been a noticeable increase in men wearing nail polish. While men wearing nail polish is not exactly new, it has never been so prevalent in mainstream Western fashion. Since the Great Masculine Renunciation, men's fashion has lost much of its frivolity. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries men in Western society relied on cosmetics to enhance their appearance. During this time wearing cosmetics was associated more with one's place in society rather than one's gender. Wearing cosmetics by men identified their social superiority and political standing. But this changed in the late-eighteenth century with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. This qualifying paper takes a closer look at what is causing more and more men to paint their nails using a deductive approach, starting with the hypothesis that men have become increasingly comfortable with embracing practices that were once thought of as being strictly feminine. The research methods used in the analysis include interviews with males who wear nail polish as well as online ethnography which includes analyzing images and videos posted to social media apps like Instagram and TikTok. Secondary analysis by scholars who have used qualitative research such as Ted Polhemus, Dunja Brill and Ross Haenfler are also used to contextualize my findings.
Emo: Spectrum of Subcultural Style: Exhibition Project

Emo: Spectrum of Subcultural Style: Exhibition Project

Summer Anne Lee
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
This paper contains multiple aspects of a theoretical exhibition titled Emo: Spectrum of Subcultural Style. Grounded in subcultural and post-subcultural theory, the exhibition contains ensembles, objects, media, and accompanying didactic texts pertaining to the development and popularity of emo music and style. An exhibition checklist lays out the objects significant in telling this story, which are grouped into three thematic sections: "The Invention of Emo," "Post- Subculture & Style Fluidity," and "From Ridicule To Runway." The first section highlights the reasons why melancholy emo music and style resonated with Millennials during the 2000s. The second seeks to define emo style with comparisons to related subcultural styles, while using post- subcultural theory to problematize the notion of an authentic subculture during the age of the internet. The third and final section tracks the international perception of emo from dangerous and ridiculous to non-threatening and fashionable, incorporating many examples from media and runway fashion. Additional elements such as related past exhibitions, exhibition design, public outreach, and a print catalog are also discussed.
Sustainable Manners: Practical Advice on Dress for Women in American Etiquette Books from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries

Sustainable Manners: Practical Advice on Dress for Women in American Etiquette Books from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries

Alina Osokina
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
This paper is dedicated to the exploration of clothing etiquette as an alternative narrative to fashion—particularly fast fashion with its quick change of trends and poor quality commonly linked with harmful consequences to the environment and people. New theoretical and practical developments on the topic of sustainability emphasize the importance of consumer behavior. The survey of twenty-four American etiquette manuals from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will demonstrate that some values and practical recommendations regarding clothes are similar to the ones commonly brought up in the contemporary sustainable or slow fashion discourse. Moderation in clothing choices and purchases, the priority of personal style, comfort and health, quality and functionality of material, emphasis on making and repurposing, as well as the proper caring of garments—such a practical approach to clothes developed by the etiquette authors of the past was dictated by the principles of propriety, rationality, and economy. Today, these ideas are also associated with conscious consumption and sustainability. This connection could potentially allow the authors of contemporary etiquette manuals to organically embrace and expand the traditional practical advice on clothes in an eco-friendly and ethical manner to cultivate consumer attitudes. Their input could assist a long-term industry shift from the poorly-made, trendy, and throw-away fashions towards beautiful, comfortable, cherished, and have-forever clothes.
From the Kitchen Floor to the Gallery Wall: A Study of Atlantic Canadian Hooked Rugs and Their Makers

From the Kitchen Floor to the Gallery Wall: A Study of Atlantic Canadian Hooked Rugs and Their Makers

Rebecca Carr
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
Since their genesis as a utilitarian method of helping heat the home using fabric scraps and burlap, hooked rugs have been an ever-present part of Atlantic Canadian culture. Throughout Atlantic Canada's four provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, the history of this craft is evident in museums, art galleries, historic houses, and other cultural institutions. As with so many textile arts, the tradition of rug hooking has been passed down through generations and has evolved as a cultural object along the way. To understand the history and modern presence of rug hooking is to begin to understand the profound impact of the textile arts on Atlantic Canada's culture. Rug hooking has been a domestic task, a paid labor, a joyful pastime, and a contemporary art form. While the techniques of contemporary rug hookers have remained similar to those of past generations, the reason for creating hooked rugs has changed drastically—just as the rugs themselves have moved from the kitchen floor to the gallery wall. This paper presents both the history of rug hooking in Atlantic Canada as well as the contemporary landscape using a multidisciplinary approach that includes field research and interviews with local craftspeople. The institutions that house hooked rugs are also examined, with particular interest in how museums, historic houses, and galleries choose to display the rugs. This paper presents a multilayered study of Atlantic Canada vernacular and craft culture through its resilient community of rug hooking craftspeople.
The Conservation of a c.1890 Evening Bodice

The Conservation of a c.1890 Evening Bodice

Rachel Gumbrecht
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
This qualifying paper situates a circa 1890 evening bodice in fashion history and documents the conservation efforts performed on the garment. The bodice is an object in the Graduate Study Collection at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The paper begins with a thorough object description and historical analysis. Although there is little information about the object's original provenance, designer, or maker, this paper utilizes objects of comparison that are similar in silhouette and materials to draw conclusions about the garment's potential role in late nineteenth century evening wear. Following the contextualization of the garment in history, the paper continues to describe the process of developing a treatment for the bodice. The goal of treatment was to sufficiently stabilize the garment so it could reenter the study collection as a valuable tool for students in conservation courses to take fibers samples and perform fabric analysis. The finalized treatment required a variety of conservation techniques, such as surface cleaning, stain removal by rigid agarose gels, stabilization of silk fabrics by encasements and overlays, and surface decoration treatment. The paper includes an appendix with a detailed condition report, treatment proposal, and treatment report for this object.
Fat by the Wayside: Size Exclusion in Exhibitions and Collections of Dress

Fat by the Wayside: Size Exclusion in Exhibitions and Collections of Dress

Kenna Elizabeth Mulroney Libes
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
In recent years there has been increased interest in populations historically under-represented in museum collections, including those of diverse color, gender, and class. This paper seeks to add size—specifically fatness—to that list, and advocates for museums to uncover and exhibit their larger pieces of women's dress. It discusses the interconnection of the fashion industry with the museum to understand the forces that maintain an anti-fat bias in acquisitions and exhibition. It emphasizes the need for change in the museum, not just on the catwalk. It asks museum staff and scholars to acknowledge that fat people existed in history and deserve to be represented through their fashionable dress. It seeks out existing collections of larger clothing and asks why and how they were collected, and it searches for solutions to the difficulties of finding and displaying such garments. This paper relies upon news articles, historical sources, theses and dissertations, and lastly, a series of interviews with museum, auctions, and sales staff who work with historic and contemporary collections of dress across the US.
Continuity, Revival, and Transformation in Dress from the Greek Diapontian Islands to the Diaspora

Continuity, Revival, and Transformation in Dress from the Greek Diapontian Islands to the Diaspora

Angela Catechis-Lolos
  • 2021
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
This paper introduces the dress of the Diapontian Islands in Greece located in the Ionian Sea. It further outlines the history of these islands and discusses all of the external influences involved in the development and evolution of this dress. Each individual garment representing the everyday, ceremonial, and bridal ensembles is named and described in terms of its construction, appearance and use. These components are portrayed with images of extant garments from various collectors. The traditional dress of the Diapontian Islands has stopped being worn for decades and its history was at risk of being lost. Interviews and oral histories were conducted to record the knowledge of its existence and the provenance of the collected pieces. The transformation of this dress and how it exists in reimagined forms in the Greek diaspora is also documented.
Conservation of a Twentieth-Century Tapestry Treated with a Flame Retardant: Two Panels from Ina Golub’s The Spiritual Journey

Conservation of a Twentieth-Century Tapestry Treated with a Flame Retardant: Two Panels from Ina Golub’s The Spiritual Journey

Anna Andreeva
  • 2021
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
This qualifying paper is an account of the conservation of two out of seven panels comprising a twentieth-century tapestry The Spiritual Journey. The artwork was created by Ina Golub, a fiber artist whose largest collection of works is housed at the Yeshiva University Museum (YUM). At the time of acquisition, the tapestry was found to be in poor condition with severe deterioration of its warp structure, especially where the linen warp yarn was exposed. Along with many years of exposure, it is probable that the tapestry's present deteriorated condition was in part caused by a flame retardant treatment in the early seventies when the tapestry was installed in a public space. A conservation treatment plan was proposed to treat those two specific panels because their condition issues were representative of problems shared by the whole tapestry.The goal of this project was to develop a set of protocols that could be implemented by future conservators for the remaining five panels. The research for this project added to current understanding and treatment of flame retardant deterioration in fiber art. The project was enriched by the object's archived documentation held by YUM which traces the process of its creation.The paper begins with the placement of The Spiritual Journey tapestry within its art historical context as well as its place within the collection at YUM. Following that is a detailed description of the artwork and its condition. The chapter that follows contains a development of the conservation treatment plan based on testing and a researched analysis of the flame retardant degradation of the linen fiber. The planned process is reported, based on the physical assessment of the object's condition as well as results from the pre-testing and analysis. Re-warping was the main treatment for the deteriorated warp structure, and samples were developed to explore appropriate methodologies. Next is the treatment report that includes a full description of steps, the evolution of the methodology and new discoveries. The paper concludes with recommendations for storage and care of the tapestry in its post-treatment condition.
Hypebeast Fashion: Why Streetwear Is the New Luxury Fashion

Hypebeast Fashion: Why Streetwear Is the New Luxury Fashion

Andrea Marie Moreno
  • 2020
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
ABSTRACTThere is a current and ongoing influence of hypebeast culture (fashionable streetwear) on luxury and contemporary fashion. I am defining this movement as the dissemination of street fashion (skater culture and '90s references) into mass media and popular ideals of what is fashionable. Examining hypebeast culture and its impact on fashion is relevant to studies on contemporary fashion and the sociological impact of fashion. As there is limited academia on streetwear and specifically on hypebeasts, interviewing self-proclaimed hypebeasts, i.e., self-proclaimed fashionable streetwear fanatics, I relied on the work of fashion historians, archivists and journalists to help build my research on the influence of the hypebeast movement. During my research, I used sociology and fashion theory to further explain my ideas on hypebeast. According to sociologists Patrick Aspers and Frederic Godart, "Hardly any area of contemporary social life is not subject to fashion, and it is a topic in which all classical sociological questions reappear, from the culture/structure conundrum to the micro/macro debate. We argue that the increased interest in fashion…should be acknowledged as a sign of both its importance and its generality." Using Aspers and Godart to discuss hypebeast fashion as a social phenomenon in social and cultural life aids my search in understanding how hypebeast culture has spread in influence in all sectors of fashion. This topic is relevant to contemporary society and will engage a conversation between fashion historians about street fashion and culture and how it has inspired luxury fashion to become relevant to a younger generation. With limited academic writing and understanding of hypebeast fashion and culture, I will begin a conversation on studying this fashion phenomenon through fashion history and sociology.
Rose Marie Reid: Swimsuit Visionary

Rose Marie Reid: Swimsuit Visionary

Molly Elizabeth Hartvigsen
  • 2021
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
Rose Marie Reid (1906–1978) revolutionized the swimsuit industry when she designed her first lace-up swimsuit in 1936. The lace-up swimsuit design launched Reid into a twenty-seven-year career, in which she rose to the top of the swimsuit industry in Canada and the United States, among other countries around the world. Reid's contribution to the swimsuit industry is evident in the endurance of the construction techniques she helped to launch, such as, tummy tuck panels and stay down legs that are still being used in swimsuits today. Reid was among a pioneering group of designers such as Louella Ballerino, Margit Fegelli, Lea Gottlieb and Rudi Gernreich that transformed the bathing suit from a relatively utilitarian garment into a fashionable item of clothing in a new category of resort wardrobe. The extent of the recognition of Reid's work shows the success of her designs and her company. Rose Marie Reid bathing suits appeared in films and were worn by Hollywood starlets of the time, such as Rita Hayworth. In 1958 a few short years before she retired, Reid received the prestigious American Designer Sportswear Award for her "significant contribution to American sportswear through a specific collection, idea or innovation." This paper highlights Reid's legacy and how her contributions impacted the swimsuit industry. Beginning with how Reid first came to design swimsuits, the paper moves into an analysis of her design practice of creating suits for six different body types. The following chapter explores how Reid was able to create the ideal figure by using innovative structural undergarments, in addition to her use of functional fibers and fabrics. The paper concludes by delving into the creative marketing techniques Reid and her company used to promote her swimsuits.
The New York Dress Institute: Marketing “That New York Look”

The New York Dress Institute: Marketing “That New York Look”

Carol McLennan
  • 2021
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
In 1941 The New York Dress Institute was founded as a response to the Occupation of Paris, and subsequently, the loss of Parisian fashion design exports during the Second World War. With its establishment, it created a massive marketing campaign for the garment industry in New York City. Sewn into garments were labels with the phrase, "New York Creation" and advertising campaigns highlighted the term "That New York Look." Before the New York Dress Institute was established, this phrase appeared across the country repeatedly promoted with full page articles in the trade publication Women's Wear Daily. Marketing promotion by the J. Walter Thompson Agency was implemented to instill the notion that New York City was a fashion Mecca on par with Paris. What exactly was "That New York Look"? Was this the spark that helped make New York City a style center to rival Paris? Who were the people involved that made this happen and how did it contribute to American style? This paper answers these questions with a particular focus on civic engagement through the efforts of politicians like Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Eleanor Roosevelt, along with entities like, The Fashion Group, garment manufacturers, fashion editors, and the International Ladies Garment Industry, who worked together to make New York City the center of fashion in America.
Glamour, Incorporating Charm: Two Fashion Magazines for Working Women 1939-1959

Glamour, Incorporating Charm: Two Fashion Magazines for Working Women 1939-1959

Chelsea L Payne
  • 2021
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
Attitudes about women in the workforce shifted drastically after the Second World War. During the War, women were encouraged to work as a patriotic duty. Afterward, there was a renewed emphasis on home life; however, millions of women continued working to pursue their careers. In the 1940s and 1950s, Glamour and Charm were two American publications that took working women seriously at a time when there was an expectation for women to embrace domesticity. Magazines are shaped by their editors in charge. While both magazines initially struggled to strike the right tone with their readers, eventually with Elizabeth Penrose at the helm of Glamour and Helen Valentine at Charm, the two made strides in addressing some of the issues unique to modern working women while presenting stylish yet affordable clothes. Often using the same photographers, artists, and models as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, the magazines' editors elevated fashion for the masses and fueled the American fashion industry's increasing postwar success. Glamour and Charm have a unique place in fashion history. With their widespread audiences, democratic pricing, and the progressive topics covered, they are relevant primary sources for understanding how fashion and women's evolving roles were presented to the average American woman. Eventually, through mergers and acquisitions, the two magazines would become Glamour, Incorporating Charm in 1959.
The Appearance and Reappearance of the Leg-of-Mutton Sleeve: An Analysis of the Power of the Fashion Press

The Appearance and Reappearance of the Leg-of-Mutton Sleeve: An Analysis of the Power of the Fashion Press

Brynnea Irvine
  • 2021
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
Fashions of the past are so evocative of their time that it is fairly easy for a fashion historian to look at an extant garment and determine its date. Certain elements of fashion, however, come back into style over and over again, year after year. One such element is the leg-of-mutton, or gigot, sleeve. First worn by women during the Romantic era of the 1820s and '30s who were inspired by Renaissance paintings, the voluminous sleeve would go on to reappear throughout the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. The leg-of-mutton sleeve defined the fashionable silhouette of the 1890s, only to return in the 1930s, during the immediate postwar period in the mid-1940s and into the early '50s, the 1980s, and 2010s as one of many options. Each time the extravagant sleeves came back into fashion, they were re-imagined to appeal to the woman of that era. Even though every time they returned they were slightly different, and even though fashion change certainly isn't logical, every reappearance of the sleeve was marked by strikingly similar conditions. This research suggests that the leg-of-mutton sleeve has appeared repeatedly for three main reasons: nostalgia for the past, reaction against the present, and its effect on the silhouette.During the periods of their popularity, writing about gigot sleeves changed. Nineteenth-century fashion periodicals were often judgmental and disapproving of the prevailing modes, whereas twentieth and twenty-first-century magazines encouraged readers to try new styles. This research elucidates the role of the fashion press as disseminators rather than instigators of fashion. As time went on, the press recognized that its true purpose was to circulate changes decided upon by those in charge of the fashion cycle. It was fashionable society and fashion designers, rather than the press, who brought about the appearance and reappearance of the leg-of-mutton sleeve.
Babani: Life and Legacy of a Forgotten Designer, 1894–1935

Babani: Life and Legacy of a Forgotten Designer, 1894–1935

Linsey Labson
  • 2020
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
This paper serves as the first comprehensive overview of the House of Babani, an important but largely overlooked design firm based in Paris during the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. The names Fortuny and Gallenga are well-known within the history of fashion; however, these designers tend to be overanalyzed, whereas scant attention has been paid by scholars to contemporaries who shared their aesthetic of avant-garde Modernism suffused with Asian and other non-western influences. From the opening of the house of Babani in Paris in 1894, Vitali Babani (1858-c.1942) and later his son Maurice (1891-1974) played an interesting part in the ubiquitous appropriation of non-western design in modern fashion in Europe and America during this period. For nearly five decades, Babani served as a luxury textile retailer as well as a purveyor of couture and ready-to-wear fashions, featuring products influenced by Middle Eastern, African, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese design. Despite this, the name seems to disappear by the 1930s with few mentions by fashion scholars. This paper is organized to include biographical research, historical significance within the scope of fashion history, and an expansive compilation of garments attributed to Babani, found in collections worldwide. Conclusions are drawn about the designer's origins, personal history, and influence on fashion history, as well as determining areas of further research. This paper is also a case study for the reconstruction, in written form, of the life and work of a designer who has drifted into obscurity. It is an example of how to research a subject that is unknown or has left few traces in the scholarly literature of fashion history.
The Everfast Fabrics Collection, 1921-1967: A Case Study of Archives Arrangement, Description, and Preservation in the Special Collections and College Archives Unit of the Gladys Marcus Library at the Fashion Institute of Technology

The Everfast Fabrics Collection, 1921-1967: A Case Study of Archives Arrangement, Description, and Preservation in the Special Collections and College Archives Unit of the Gladys Marcus Library at the Fashion Institute of Technology

Emily Werner
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
The focus of this paper is the Everfast Fabrics collection housed in the unit of Special Collections and College Archives (SPARC) within the library at the Fashion Institute of Technology-SUNY in New York City. Everfast Fabrics, Inc. was a New York City-based textile company known for designing and manufacturing colorfast fabrics for women's wear, men's wear, children's wear, and home furnishing. Prior to this project, the exact size and contents of the Everfast Fabrics collection were unknown, as it had never been fully processed by SPARC. The original catalog information was incomplete, listing only four scrapbooks from 1931-1939. In reality, the collection includes 190 scrapbooks and three folders of loose fabric swatch cards and label samples, all created between 1921 and 1967.This paper records the steps taken to fully process the collection, breaking it down into four main steps: surveying the contents of the collection; developing and implementing a rehousing and arrangement plan; creating a names index and finding aid with contextual and structural information about the collection; and providing recommendations for future use and care of the collection. The final part of the project establishes the collection's importance to the field of fashion and textile studies through a historical analysis of the company and its place in the mid-century American textile industry.
Conservation of a c. 1900 Women's Ensemble

Conservation of a c. 1900 Women's Ensemble

Geena Roth
  • 2022
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
This qualifying paper sets forth the historical context and conservation treatment of a circa 1900 women's ensemble within the Graduate Studies Collection of the Fashion Institute of Technology. The first section details the materials and construction of the bodice and skirt, contextualizing the ensemble according to historical trends in fashion. With very little information known regarding its provenance, object-based research and examination of extant comparative garments and textiles were employed to more precisely date the ensemble and the results of this research are detailed here. This section is followed by an in-depth description of the condition of the ensemble derived from extensive visual examination. Because the bodice is missing significant components, the condition details are succeeded by a discussion of ethical issues related to ideas of conservation versus restoration regarding areas of loss. This line of thinking is explored in relation to the treatment goals and informs the approach to treatment. The final portion of the paper is devoted to a description of the conservation treatment of the ensemble. The majority of the treatments involved stabilization via stitching, but a range of other methods were used including mechanical cleaning, adhesive treatments, and aesthetic compensation.
Late Nineteenth Century Chinese Ceremonial Armor: Context, Conservation, and Mounting for Display

Late Nineteenth Century Chinese Ceremonial Armor: Context, Conservation, and Mounting for Display

Sara Luduena
  • 2020
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
This paper focuses on the research, conservation, mount-making and long-term storage for a set of late nineteenth or early twentieth century Chinese ceremonial armor held by the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA). Different from what one typically thinks of as armor, Chinese Qing dynasty (1644-1911) ceremonial armor was designed to have a strong visual impact and was worn for official events like troop inspections and parades. This type of armor, comprised of multiple component parts, is constructed largely of textiles. And although not intended for use on the battlefield, it combines elements of battle armor with those of official court costume to create a new form of dress. The paper begins by placing Qing dynasty ceremonial armor in context. The historical context for this object type revolves around the establishment of the Qing dynasty when the Manchus breached the Great Wall and invaded China in 1644. This brought about major changes in many areas of life including the implementation of new dress regulations. In addition to the historical context, the paper discusses the functional context for ceremonial armor, from its relation to battle armor to its existence in public and private collections today. The next chapter focuses on the physical condition and treatment of the CMA's ceremonial armor set. The construction of each component and their primary condition issues are discussed, followed by a detailed description of the scientific analysis and treatment undertaken to ready the armor for display. The final chapter of the paper describes the design and creation of a custom display mount as well as the long-term preservation considerations for this complex and heavy object. While this armor was slated for display at the CMA in early 2021, that timeline has been pushed back due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
A Sartorial Puzzle: Conserving a Worth & Bobergh Ensemble for Display

A Sartorial Puzzle: Conserving a Worth & Bobergh Ensemble for Display

Kirstin Purtich
  • 2021
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
This paper is a discursive expansion on a condition report and treatment proposal for an incomplete day and evening ensemble, made by the house of Worth & Bobergh circa 1866-1868 and now held by the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (2019.1602.1A-R). The first chapter provides a full description of the ensemble's components at the time of their examination in January 2020, detailing their materials and construction; this narrative summary is accompanied by scale drawings of all components. The next chapter puts these garments into historical context, triangulating the ensemble among extant fashion media and related garments in order to confirm the designer attribution, the date of manufacture, and the articulation of the garments on a body. Condition is assessed in the following chapter, informed in part by direct comparison with surviving Worth & Bobergh ensembles in several other American collections.The penultimate chapter comprises a detailed treatment proposal, including options not chosen for practical and ethical reasons. Treatment methods have been negotiated among the author and representatives of the FIDM Museum, to ensure that the proposed treatment will meet both the immediate goal of exhibition and the longer range goal of future study and display of each component. Treatment is expected to commence in the summer or fall of 2021, pending the easing of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.The paper concludes with projections for the ensemble's solo exhibition slated for the spring of 2022. Drawing upon precedents established by the FIDM Museum and by other institutions, the final chapter first anticipates mounting methods for the day ensemble and fragmentary evening bodice, then presents possible ways for the Museum to interpret the conservation process for its visitors.
Cataloging an Adirondack Clothing Collection: The Franklin County Historical and Museum Society Case Study

Cataloging an Adirondack Clothing Collection: The Franklin County Historical and Museum Society Case Study

Roberta Wall
  • 2021
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
Small museums and historical homes face myriad challenges in maintaining their historic collections. Limited resources including funding, staff and proper training concerning object handling and collection care can result in neglected museum collections. Due to their fragile nature and specific storage and conservation needs, costumes are often the most vulnerable objects in house museums and smaller institutions that lack the resources to prioritize collection management. The historically important, rare and beautiful costumes in the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society's collection are not used for research or exhibitions. Most of the women's costume collection has been collecting dust for nearly forty years in the unfinished attic of the House of History, the Victorian mansion which houses the museum and Society. This paper will document the development of proper collection management procedures including assessment, deaccessioning and rehousing while balancing the main obstacles facing smaller museums today such as lack of funds, time, training and staff. The guidelines developed and presented in this paper are intended for use by similar small institutions and museums in caring for their own costume collections. Like most smaller museums, the majority of the staff at the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society are part-time volunteers. Thus, this paper appeals to a wide audience interested in costume care, from general to academic and hobbyist to professional. While the goal of this collection management project is to ensure the longevity of the museum's costume collection, the author also hopes to empower the museum staff to properly care for their costume collection for the enjoyment of generations to come.
A Turkish kilim: Analysis, stabilization and loss compensation

A Turkish kilim: Analysis, stabilization and loss compensation

Cathleen M. Zaret
  • 2015
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
M.A. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York 2015.
Ethel Traphagen: American fashion pioneer

Ethel Traphagen: American fashion pioneer

Cassidy Zachary
  • 2013
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
M.A. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York 2013.
Unwrapped: Giorgio di Sant'Angelo (1933-1989)

Unwrapped: Giorgio di Sant'Angelo (1933-1989)

Kirsta F. Willis
  • 2009
  • Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
  • Text
  • Thesis
M.A. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York 2009.