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VIRTUE and VICE: Morality in Fashion
Dec '08
The Costume Society Symposium is the forum for recent academic research into all aspects of dress history and contemporary dress. Our 2009 Symposium will be held in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, at The Abbey Hotel during July 3rd - 5th 2009.

The theme of the symposium is Virtue and Vice: Morality in Fashion which can be interpreted as how dress has functioned as an expression of sexuality, class or social status.

We would be particularly interested to receive papers from lecturers and students from relevant academic fields, museum curators, conservators, designers, garment technicians, collectors, and scholars.

Virtue and Vice: Morality in Fashion offers many possibilities for papers on the subject of costume. Papers are solicited that draw on a wide variety of approaches. No restriction is placed on period, location or nationality. Here are a few ideas to start you thinking:

Revealing clothing
Tailored garments replacing unstructured garments in the mediaeval period
Plunging necklines from the Minoan onwards
Neo-classical dress in late18th - early 19th century/merveilleuses
The mini skirt

The three-piece suit
What is appropriate for different classes of society and/ or different occasions/pursuits

Conspicuous consumption
Dagging and slashing in the Renaissance period;
Ruffs and shoe roses in the late 16th-early 17th Centuries
Frills and furbelows in the 18thC

Extremes of fashion
High hairstyles and headdresses from the Mediaeval Hennin to the 1960s Beehive Hooped skirts
The cod piece petticoat breeches; macaronis
Pointed toes, high heels and platform soles

Religious attitudes
Railing of the priesthood against fashion change
Clothing imposed by 19thC missionaries in Africa
The Islamic veil
Puritan dress

Changing attitudes to stiletto heels from 1950 to 2000
The fur and feather trades
Effect of British clothing exports on colonial industries

The Costume Society aims to encourage access to costume history, including contemporary dress in various different ways. Costume, the society's journal, is published every year and presents the latest research on all aspects of dress worldwide, from pre-history to the present day. It also reviews recent books and exhibitions. The symposium is a theme-based weekend conference with key speakers and affords an opportunity for members to present their research. It also acts as the society's social focus.

The Costume Society

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