The Suit: Form, Function & Style

Cover of "The Suit" by Christopher Breward

There is something frenetic and exciting about the publication of a book. Especially when it’s been a long time in the writing. And there’s also something a bit sad about delivering the last words on a project before moving on to the next.

These past couple of weeks have been focused on celebrating the launch of my monograph The Suit: Form, Function & Style published (very handsomely) by Reaktion Books. It brings together almost two decades worth of thinking about the design, cut, wearing and representation of this classic wardrobe item, all of which began when I was engaged on my PhD about men as consumers of fashion in late nineteenth-century London (submitted in 1998). Continue reading

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Time for research

"British Design: Tradition and Modernity after 1948" cover

“British Design” cover

A number of personal research projects of mine have culminated in publication this autumn.

British Design: Tradition and Modernity after 1948 marks the end of a project that began with my co-curation of the British Design: Innovation in the Modern Age exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2012.

The exhibition raised many questions about the particular relationship between place, time and space that characterises much of the UK’s design culture, and a conference during the exhibition’s run produced the chapters in this book. Continue reading

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Masculinity and fashion: An interview with Professor Ulinka Rublack

Ulinka Rublack. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (http://bit.ly/1DCP2ED)

Professor Ulinka Rublack. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (http://bit.ly/1DCP2ED)

I was recently honoured to be interviewed by Professor Ulinka Rublack, Fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge and author of the excellent OUP book ‘Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe’.

Ulinka is just preparing a fascinating facsimile of the autobiographical ‘Book of Clothes’ produced by the merchant Matthaus Shwartz in Augsburg during the 1520s. Contemporary artists Maisie Broadhead and Isabella Newell have been commissioned to produce a series of works updating Schwartz’s sartorial reflections to the present and Ulinka asked me to respond to this project and the synergies between masculinity and fashion in the Renaissance and now.

Read the full interview on The First Book of Fashion >

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Visiting Shanghai

Shanghai Fashion Week, 2014

If I was a much younger man looking for metropolitan thrills and a glimpse of a future self, I think that Shanghai might be my choice of escape. New York and Berlin (the destinations for my generation) seem so twentieth-century by comparison. Continue reading

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Masters Festival 2014

Masters Festival 2014

© Gareth Easton Photography

The Edinburgh College of Art Masters Festival is currently happening in the Sculpture Court and surrounding studios at Lauriston Place, as part of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival. Continue reading

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Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Image by Damian Cugley, used under a Creative Commons license

Once semester is over and the usual tide of emails and meetings subsides, I am able to focus for a while on some writing. Continue reading

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