The Dress Detective

Thursday 7 December | 6–8pm

Fancy combining a passion for fashion with Sherlock Holmes detective skills? Fashion is now being used as a key tool for reading historical evidence and dating photographs. Learn how to spot the clues and uncover hidden stories in garments at this smart and accessible talk with dress historian and curator Ingrid Mida.

The Dress Detective is the first practical handbook for analysing fashion objects. Published by Bloomsbury Fashion, authors Ingrid Mida and Alexandra Kim have set out a carefully developed research methodology specific to dress, clearly demonstrating how close analysis of clothes can enhance and enrich interdisciplinary research. This insightful event highlights a skillset that has, until now, typically been passed on informally. Beautifully illustrated, the talk will highlight a number of case studies analysing fashionable Western garments – including a Christian Dior jacket photographed by Louise Dahl-Wolfe – that articulate the methodological framework for the process and show how evidence from the garment itself can be used to corroborate theories of dress or fashion.

This is an unmissable opportunity to learn more about The Slow Approach to Seeing and the checklists in the book that will give any budding fashion historian, curator, or researcher the knowledge and confidence to analyse the material in front of them effectively.

Ingrid Mida is a dress historian and curator, and the lead author of The Dress Detective with Alexandra Kim (Bloomsbury, 2015). Responsible for the revival of the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection in Canada, Ingrid has published scholarly articles and book chapters on object-based research, on fashion in the museum, and on drawing as a research tool.

The event starts at 6pm with a glass of wine in the Museum foyer and opportunity to view the current exhibition Louise Dahl-Wolfe – A Style of Her Own. The talk follows at 6.15pm for 6.20pm in the Fashion Studio and lasts for approximately one hour including an opportunity to ask questions. It is followed by a book signing. Ticket includes admission to the exhibition and guests are welcome to view this before or after the talk.

Price £15 / £12 students includes a complimentary drink and exhibition entry.

Book online
Numbers are limited for this event, please book early to avoid disappointment. If you have any questions about this event please complete our enquiry form.

Images: [left] The Dress Detective cover image; Detail of inside lining from the Case Study of a Ruby Red Velvet Jacket by Christian Dior f/w 1949. Anonymous gift. Photographs by Ingrid Mida

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