Podcasts

Gaby Deslys: the Modern Body, Fashion & Spectacle

Gaby Deslys was one of the most famous performers of the WWI era. Her unapologetic independence--and body-baring costumes--also made her one of the most controversial.

Cashmere with a "K": The Controversial History of a Shawl

Cultural appropriation and colonialism lie at the heart of the 19th century fashion trend for "cashmere" shawls, the anglicized version of the Kashmiri region from which these highly coveted luxury goods originally came.

Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli is one of the most unique voices fashion has ever seen. Her penchant for daring designs was often inspired by her close friendships with Surrealist artists. 

Murderous Millinery

From the 1870s to the 1920s, millions of women embraced the fashion for ornamental plumage and as a result millions of birds died for it.

Rose Bertin, Fashion and the Reign of Marie Antoinette: an Interview with Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell

If Marie Antoinette was the Queen of Fashion, Rose Bertin was her "Minister of Fashion." Find out more about Bertin and the extravagances of eighteenth century fashion in our conversation with expert Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell.

The King of Fashion: Paul Poiret

The work of avant-garde couturier Paul Poiret was shocking to some, and undeniably groundbreaking to everyone else. The fact that he radically altered the way women dressed during the 20th century was only ONE of his major innovations.

Elizabeth Keckly: “Thirty Years a Slave” to White House Dressmaker

This week we explore the incredible story of Elizabeth Keckly, an enslaved woman who bought her freedom and went on to become the premiere dressmaker in Washington D.C. during the Civil War era. Her best friend and client? Mary Todd Lincoln. 

Smuggled in the Bustle: an interview with Hind Abdul-Jabbar

In this episode we speak to Hind Abdul-Jabbar about the widespread practice of smuggling European fashion into the United States during the 19th century.

Elizabeth Hawes: Fashion Rebel

An iconoclast in every sense of the word, Elizabeth Hawes is still considered one of the greatest designers American fashion ever produced. Find out why her outspoken social activism landed her in hot water with the FBI.

The Body: Fashion & Physique, an interview with Emma McClendon

This episode explores how the body type considered ideal shifts over time, and we speak with fashion historian Emma McClendon about her current exhibition The Body: Fashion and Physique.