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It's Academic


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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
  • Chris Willis via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
  • The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
In my next life, I'd like to be a fashion historian. Equal parts anthropologist, archaeologist, and sociologist, a scholar in this field seeks to answer not only "what are you wearing?" but also "why?"

While there are a few official courses of study, fashion history is apparently not exactly a field of academia brimming with opportunity. Maybe that's why there are so many interesting blogs out there on the subject. If so, their underemployment is our gain:

Worn Through focuses on "the academic and museum worlds of dress studies." Posts range from commentary and photos from a holiday fair where attendees dress in their Dickensian finest to rundowns on academic conferences and symposia (where the speakers may include not just nervous PhDs anxious to "publish or perish" but Danger Mouse).

Tove Hermanson, one of the contributors to Worn Through, has her own blog, Thread for Thought, where there are currently some amazing photos of avant-garde work by knitwear designer Sandra Backlund. (I'd like to see more stuff like that at craft fairs.)

From Sandra Backlunds Body Skin and Hair collection
  • Calle Stoltz, Lundlund
  • From Sandra Backlund's "Body Skin and Hair" collection

At Threadbared, two academics cover hot-button issues like the application of Western fashion norms to non-Western societies and what it means, as an Asian woman, to love and wear vintage clothes from an era and culture not known for its inclusion of women and minorities.

A dress, it seems, is rarely just a dress.