The Culture Hustler

Musing for modern minds.

What are you wearing right now?

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown people’s lives into disarray.  From China to Europe to the Western Hemisphere, virtually no one will be unaffected by the pandemic in some way.  I sit down to write this questionnaire on a gloomy Friday afternoon in Chicago on March 20, 2020. 

Not Too Shoddy

Like so many industries struggling in the midst of the storm that is the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion suffers. 

Dusters and Dirt

As someone born in Dearborn, Michigan, home of the Ford Motor Company, I grew up keenly aware of businessman Henry Ford’s culturally transformative impact.  As a child I learned that in 1908, Ford introduced the relatively affordable Model T car to consumers.  Automobile ownership became achievable significantly altering American culture beyond expectations about how to get from point A to point B.  Among Ford’s influence was his streamlining of the mass production process.  Assembly line workers became specialized in specific tasks expediting production.  In the first half of the 20th

Teaching from the Collections: Part 3, Claire McCardell

A month ago, Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson wrote an excellent article for The Washington Post, “A Dress for Everyone” (December 12, 2018), which was forwarded to me by multiple friends and colleagues.  Outside of fashion circles, Claire McCardell (1905-1958), is an unsung hero of 20th century American sportswear design.  Evitts Dickson’s article did the designer justi

Teaching from the Collections: Part 2

Failing is what I enjoy most about the creative process.  Let me clarify lest I sound like a masochist.  Floundering and feeling frustrated are not especially pleasant but leaping without expecting a net can lead to exhilarating and informative results.

Teaching from the Collections: Part 1

Image result for bonnie cashin getty image
Bonnie Cashin in her studio (undated)

 

Curating the Joan Crawford Effect: Part 2

Recently, the Stephens College Costume Museum and Research Library had its fall exhibition The Joan Crawford Effect (October 6 – December 17, 2017).  A lot of people—students, colleagues, journalists—have asked me about my curatorial process.  In this series, I answer some of the most frequent questions I have been asked about the exhibition.

Part 2

What did you learn about Joan Crawford that you didn’t know before you curated this exhibition?

Curating The Joan Crawford Effect: Part 1

Recently, the Stephens College Costume Museum and Research Library opened its fall exhibition The Joan Crawford Effect (October 6 – December 17, 2017).  A lot of people—students, colleagues, journalists—have asked me about my curatorial process.  In this series, I answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

 

 

Of Patriotism, Creepy Clowns, and Halloween

Getty Images
Creepy clown masks/Getty Images

 

What to wear this Halloween in a cultural climate fraught with anger, anxiety, fear, and suspicion?

1970s Dress, Part II: Happy Bastille Day

 
1971 Yves Saint Laurent Liberation collection.
       

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