THREAD for THOUGHT

How fashion intersects politics, economics, gender, race & pop culture.

Posts tagged "Crafts"
Subversive Knitting

Subversive Knitting

In preparation for theĀ  upcoming Textile Association of America symposium I’m presenting at later this week — “Textiles & Politics” symposium — I’ve been doing a lot of research on our country’s history of using yarn crafts — specifically knitting — as a political act rather than merely a domestic or social one. Primarily a...
APEC "Silly Shirts" - Inappropriate or Awesome?

APEC “Silly Shirts” – Inappropriate or Awesome?

I read with some interest the Times article Obama Says Forum’s Costume Photo Is Unnecessary. This refers to the tradition of the 21 members of the annual APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum participating in what has unfortunately been dubbed “the silly shirts photo.” Past photo-ops “have included ponchos and what looked like gowns for pregnant...
Collecting Clothes with a Conscience

Collecting Clothes with a Conscience

Earlier this summer I watched the tremendous documentary Herb & Dorothy (2008) which follows a ridiculously adorable, now elderly, couple (Herb and Dorothy Vogel) who started collecting art in the ’60s and amassed one of the finest and most extensive of modern and contemporary art in the world. The twist here is this: Dorothy was...
Mixing and Matching Men

Mixing and Matching Men

A couple months ago I found myself in Phillie for a family event and I was delighted, not only to spend time with my awesome extended family, but to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Always a favorite of mine (I think they’ve corned the Duchamp market), they also happened to have multiple fashion exhibits...
Shoe Factories and Lost Opportunitites

Shoe Factories and Lost Opportunitites

Though I don’t generally think of myself as a shoe fetishist, I do have a soft spot in my heart for Fluevogs. In their latest e-newsletter was a video of a Fluevog shoe being made (I must add the disclaimer that though I truly love Fluevogs, I truly hate the style in this particular vignette):...
Subversion in Trompe L'oeil, Graffiti, and Fashion

Subversion in Trompe L’oeil, Graffiti, and Fashion

Coming from an Art History background with all its unfortunate snooty and consumerist associations (fashion shares these themes, I’m afraid), I’ve recently become obsessed with its subculture offshoot, the publicly accessible graffiti (or “street art”) movement. Long fascinated by graffiti, I’ve recently gone on a binge, going out of my way to walk around Pilsen...
Flattening Fashion

Flattening Fashion

One of my favorite blogs ColourLovers brought to my attention a new cookbook. I have no idea the quality of the recipes in Homemade is Best, but what interested me was that each recipe has a double-page spread of photos of the ingredients, piles neatly arranged in graphic formation. It might make more sense...
Surreal Shoes

Surreal Shoes

Exhausted after an intense but thoroughly satisfying weekend at Drexel’s Fashion in Fiction conference, I’m all about pretty pictures today. In one of my recent perusals of the interwebs, I discovered the Virtual Shoe Museum. Though it’s not my favorite browser interface, I enjoyed how many (if not most) of the shoes in this catalog...
Fashion of the Working Man

Fashion of the Working Man

A recent NYTimes article on the latest Levi jeans ad campaign featuring not dead-eyed models in awkward sexualized positions, but real-life residents of Braddock, PA caught my eye. A continuation of last year’s “Go Forth” ad campaign, this one uses actual inhabitants of Braddock to show real workers in their natural habitat: a town that...
The Politics of Mannequins, Part III - Mannequins in Art

The Politics of Mannequins, Part III – Mannequins in Art

Until the article I recently read, mannequins in their practical form held little interest for me; however mannequins in art have always attracted me, most likely due to my obsession with fashion coupled with my fascination with unsettling representations of people (and who doesn’t love to be unsettled?). Incorporating mannequins — invented to market and...
Paper as Textile

Paper as Textile

I stumbled upon the contest Cheap-ChicWeddings.com sponsored for the most impressive wedding gowns made of — wait for it — toilet paper! Yes, this humble stuff is the focus of an annual challenge to use as the sole fabric of a wedding dress. I’m always interested to learn how technology affects textiles and by extension,...
Sandra Backlund: Knit Designer Extraordinaire

Sandra Backlund: Knit Designer Extraordinaire

I recently happened upon a photo of Tilda Swinton, that delicious quirky fashion muse to Viktor & Rolf, wearing an intense layered dress whose filigreed crocheted bodice resembled a crocheted corset, and whose skirt dissolved into something resembling bulky sweaters piled on a floor (click for closeup): A knitter and crocheter myself, it has always...
Coraline & Domestic Sewing Traditions

Coraline & Domestic Sewing Traditions

Last week I watched the movie Coraline (2009), directed by the stop-motion animator master Henry Selick who achieved recognition for his collaboration with Tim Burton in The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). I was kind of blown away by his latest effort; it succeeded on many levels, but for the sake of this blog I’ll limit...
Duct Tape as a Textile

Duct Tape as a Textile

New York Magazine brought an annual event to my attention I had no idea existed, but I wish I had in high school: namely, a Duck Tape “Stuck at Prom” contest. Costumes were judged based on workmanship (30%), originality (30%), use of colors (15%, accessories (15%), and quantity of Duck Tape used (10%). In addition...
MAD Museum Opening Event & Exhibit

MAD Museum Opening Event & Exhibit

I attended the grand re-opening of the Museum of Design (somewhat humorously abbreviated to “MAD Museum”) at it’s new location on Columbus Circle, an event I had been hotly anticipating even before I received an invitation to the party; I love all sorts of crafts, and textile arts are often included under this broad header....