FASHION STUDIES: Alumnae of The New School’s Parsons School of Design’s fashion studies masters program held a dinner in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, on Friday evening with the intent of creating an independent New York collective of young fashion sociologists, historians and academics. The hosts — fashion academics and former schoolmates Laura Snelgrove, Lauren Downing Peters, Anya Kurennaya, Kim Jenkins and Rachel Kinnard — self-publish The Fashion Studies Journal and feel that while these types of fashion-centric circles exist elsewhere in the world, the concept has yet to permeate the New York social-scholastic landscape.
Like the evening’s hosts, many of the dinner’s 21 attendees were alumnae of the Parsons M.A. fashion studies program. Others attended New York University’s costume studies M.A. program and The Graduate Center, City University of New York’s relatively new fashion studies program – the latter of which represents fashion studies’ quickly expanding footprint (CUNY launched the program in 2012).
As the dinner’s attendees demonstrated, fashion studies — an academic discipline that combines fashion sociology, anthropology, history and sometimes museum studies — can take many forms. The various attendees’ research concentrations range from body-size and fashion to the link between music and fashion. Another diner, an archivist for Parsons’ fashion department, focuses on history and uncovering aesthetic links between “All-American” fashions and their clandestine European predecessors.
FSJ, as they refer to themselves, plans to run events on a quarterly or bimonthly schedule — with book clubs, meals and discussions forthcoming.