Exoticism in Fashion
Saturday 29 April 2017, 11am - 12pm
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This illustrated talk explores the taste for the romance of exoticism and how it continues to influence fashion today, exploring how the quest for novelty and lure of exoticism can create a cultural connection that transcends romance.
“Exoticism” as it applies to fashion might be defined as viewing “the other” in a romantic light, resulting in mining other cultures for styles, motifs, techniques, silhouettes, colors, patterns – all the elements of design – in order to create a marketable design novelty.
Madelyn Shaw is the Curator of Textiles at the National Museum of American history, Smithsonian Institution. She specializes in the exploration of American culture and history through textiles and dress. Recent projects include an award-winning Civil War sesquicentennial book and traveling exhibition, Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War, the exhibition Color Revolution: Science Meets Style in the 1960s; and the book Clothing through American History: The British Colonial Era. Ms. Shaw has previously held curatorial and administrative positions at the Museum at FIT, the Textile Museum, the RISD Museum, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and the Heritage Museums and Gardens.