Fashion is a way to discuss social change

My latest interview is with The Art of Making.

Do you have a personal definition of fashion?

I would define fashion as the creation of the embodied identity. When you talk about fashion,you always have to think at the body. Never forget to link body, communication, art and decoration. The body is the center of fashion and it reflects the individual’s physical, personal and societal identity.

Read more of the interview here.

Add commentIn Blog Press September 10th, 2014

Interview: Reconstructing the Meaning of Fashion

Back in March, I was interviewed by Renata M. Black for a series on Paradigm Shifters published on The Huffington Post.

Renata: Among the extremely successful exhibitions you have curated is Love & War: The Weaponized Woman. What was your inspiration for the Weaponized Woman and what legacy do you want her to leave behind?

Valerie:The Weaponized Woman was a way of looking at both armor as well as clothing and lingerie as being a kind of chic armor that make women feel empowered. This was part of a longer analysis of fashion and not intended to oppressed women, but to be an experience that women engaged with on their own terms and that helped them create a changing embodied identity and that was what that show dealt with. At first nobody understood it. People kept saying “are you doing this show about uniforms?” But then one day Prada gave an interview and she said, you know “women have to be stronger and present themselves in stronger ways,” and I thought, “That’s really more what I’m talking about.”

Read the full interview here.

Add commentIn Blog Press September 10th, 2014

A talk with Ulinka Rublack

In April I discussed Matthäus Schwarz, male dress, and the changing nature of fashion with Ulinka Rublack. Part of that conversation is documented on the Tumblr blog The First Book of Fashion.

Matthäus Schwarz

Image from Matthäus Schwarz, Book of Clothes, 67 from the 1704 copy in The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek, Hannover

I have a friend who asks, “Why can’t something just look good forever, if it looks good now?” And I answer, “But it just can’t. It looks good in a certain moment.” And maybe it’ll look good at another moment. But in between there will just be plenty of moments where it just looks wrong. That is just built into the changing nature of fashion.

Add commentIn Blog September 8th, 2014

The Inimitable Halston

I will be giving a lecture at the Des Moines Art Center, October 9, 2014 | 6:30 pm


“The Inimitable Halston” examines Halston’s revolutionary designs from the Ultrasuede shirtdress to the jumpsuit, as well as look at his significant contribution to today’s culture of fashion. The Museum at FIT has a significant repository of Halston garments and is a lender to the exhibition Halston and Warhol: Silver and Suede at the Des Moines Art Center (September 19 – Janaury 18). The lecture is based on an essay featured in the exhibition catalogue.

For more information, click here

Add commentIn Appearances Blog September 8th, 2014

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