Articles on Clothes

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Modern debates around breastfeeding would be eerily familiar to someone from the 18th or 19th century. The Fashionable Mamma, James Gillroy, 1796. The British Museum.

A decent woman? The breastfeeding and visibility debate is nothing new

Regular controversies over breastfeeding might seem like a quirk of contemporary life. But 18th and 19th century clothing reveal that women have been handling the issue of visibility and practicality for centuries.
New York Fashion Week has grown from its humble second world war roots into a cultural juggernaut. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Friday essay: how New York Fashion Week came to be

New York Fashion week starts today and the world will watch outrageous designs strut down the runway. How did New York become one of the great fashion centres of the modern world?

Curiosities and fragments

I recently went to heaven, aka attended a week-long conference in Oxford devoted entirely to fashion theory. I presented a paper on catwalk shows, which you’ve heard me bang on about before here (and here…
Chillin’.

Summer resort wear: from boaters to bikinis

This year’s summer resort wear collections have received lukewarm press, and have seen the whole idea of resort collections thrown into question. Writing in the New York Times, Vanessa Friedman described…
It’s a physical struggle in these skirts, but we always shop in store. Haute Couture News

Chanel opts out of fashion’s love affair with online shopping

In the world of luxury fashion, Chanel stands apart from the crowd. But it’s not the designs that make it different. The French luxury brand is one of the last few major labels that does not sell its clothes…
Social conventions stemming from the marketing of washing product companies means we wash our clothes more than we need to. Jackson Boyle

The dirt on clothes: why washing less is more sustainable

If you’re worried about dressing ethically, chances are you think about sweatshop conditions in developing countries, unsustainable farming practices, convoluted global supply chains that ring up a huge…
Cotton coated with the superhydrophobic material repels a drop of water. Deakin University

Keeping clean easier with water-repellent coating

A new coating for cotton that is 1½ times more water-repellent than Teflon can survive for dozens of machine washes, say…

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