When the wonderful Judith Clark and I began talking about setting up a project together, we were keen to involve people whose work we loved and to bring together an international group of inspiring and exciting academics, artists, curators, stylists and journalists.
We were lucky – everyone we asked said ‘yes’ – just look at the Bio page of the blog to see the incredible range of super talented people we’ve been working with for the past 9 months. By bringing this diverse network together we hoped new ideas and collaborations would be sparked and we have been delighted by the results so far.
We’ve been speaking to each other regularly – in scheduled online meetings, but also informally by DM, WhatsApp and in person (when that’s allowed), developing our individual projects – as described in the Contributions page of the blog – but also importantly, starting to work together to build towards integrated projects that encompass our varied specialisms and approaches.
One exciting collaboration has been between Elisa de Wyngaert and Richard Haines. Richard visited Antwerp at the start of the year and drew mannequins dressed in contemporary fashions chosen by Elisa from MoMu’s collections.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Kutesko and Charles Tepperman have found common interests in the ways people dress when travelling, how they record their own clothing while abroad, and how they document the ways people they encounter when on holiday or business trips dress and style themselves.
Judith Clark and Olga Vainshtein have found common ground in books aimed at children – and the very different trajectories this might take their own work on – for Judith, it’s meant thinking about creating props and attributes after reading Madame de Genlis, for Olga, writing about the multiple iterations of Little Lord Fauntleroy’s elaborate outfits.
These are just some of the ways sharing our work has enriched our thinking and developed our approaches. Every meeting has been an exhilarating discussion, full of suggestions, ideas and anticipation for how this project will come to fruition …