Dressed: The History of Fashion

HowStuffWorks

5 FANS

Fashion history is about more than pretty clothes. Dressed explores the incredibly rich and complex history behind the clothes we wear.

Best
Newest
Looking for recently uploaded episodes
Fashion History Mystery: How To Become a Fashion Historian

17:00 | Feb 14th

We answer your questions in our Thursday Fashion History Mystery minisodes! This week we answer the question several of you have posed: 'how do you become a fashion historian?' 

Dior: From Paris to the World, an interview with Florence Müller

51:05 | Feb 12th

Just in time for Fashion Week, Dressed is back for Season 2 with a behind-the-scenes look at Denver Art Museum's exhibition Dior: From Paris to the World. We are joined by the exhibition's curator and foremost Dior expert Florence Müller.

What the Tux?: a History of the Tuxedo, an interview with Chloe Chapin

54:52 | Jan 1st

Ever wonder why "acceptable" forms of dress for men are so prescriptive? So formulaic? In this episode we speak to Chloe Chapin about the origins of men's suits and the tuxedo specifically.

Black Dandyism: a Cultural History, an interview with Monica L. Miller, Part II

35:47 | Dec 25th, 2018

In part two of this two part series, we continue to explore the history of the black dandy into the 20th and 21st centuries with Monica L. Miller, author of the book Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity. 

Black Dandyism: a Cultural History, an interview with Monica L. Miller, Part I

50:14 | Dec 18th, 2018

In this illuminating two-part series, we explore the cultural history of black dandyism with Monica L. Miller, author of the book Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity. 

Fashion Lovers: Dorothy Todd & Madge Garland

44:37 | Dec 11th, 2018

From 1922 to 1926, lovers Dorothy Todd and Madge Garland transformed British Vogue into a forum for artists, writers and other luminaries of the modernist--and queer--avant-garde.

Balenciaga: The Master of Us All, an interview with Miren Arzalluz

45:05 | Dec 4th, 2018

This week Miren Arzalluz, Director of the Palais Galliera in Paris, joins us to discuss the "master of us all," Cristóbal Balenciaga.

The Battle of Versailles, an interview with Robin Givhan

55:25 | Nov 27th, 2018

This week marks the 45th anniversary of one of American fashion's greatest moments. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robin Givhan joins us to discuss a legendary fashion face-off between French haute couture and American design.

Bloomerism and Feminism, in Conversation with Stuff Mom Never Told You

51:02 | Nov 20th, 2018

Ladies in pants, oh my! We recently had the pleasure of joining Anney Reese on Stuff Mom Never Told You to discuss the history of the short-lived "Bloomerism" movement of the 19th century and its continued importance to feminism today.

Rebel Threads, an interview with Roger Burton, part II **Bonus Episode**

29:44 | Nov 15th, 2018

In 1979, Roger Burton worked with punk style innovators Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren to design their boutique World's End. The couple soon went their separate ways but were reunited at Burton's 1993 exhibition of their work Vive le Punk.

Rebel Threads, an interview with Roger Burton, part I

42:34 | Nov 13th, 2018

This week we explore the clothing of rebellious youth sub-cultures from the 1940s to the 1960s with vintage collector, costume designer--and original Mod--Roger Burton.

Fashionable Filipinas, an interview with Gino Gonzales

42:50 | Nov 6th, 2018

This week, we explore the fashion origins and evolution of the Philippino terno with guest Gino Gonzales, co-author of the book Fashionable Filipinas.

Dissecting the Flapper (Bonus Episode)

18:17 | Nov 1st, 2018

For a bonus minisode in honor of Halloween, we "dissect" the iconic flapper look from head to toe.

When Fashion Kills, an interview with Dr. Alison Matthews David

56:01 | Oct 30th, 2018

Sometimes fashion can kill--literally. From combustible crinolines to strangling scarves, this week we explore fashion's deadly history with Dr. Alison Matthews David, author of the book Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present.

Fierce: A History of Leopard Print, an interview with Jo Weldon

43:09 | Oct 23rd, 2018

We get puurrrfectly WILD this week with author, activist and burlesque superstar Jo Weldon!

Pink, an interview with Dr. Valerie Steele

28:01 | Oct 16th, 2018

Today we speak with Dr. Valerie Steele, Director of The Museum at FIT, about her exhibition Pink: A Pretty, Punk, Powerful Color. 

Ruth Finley and the Fashion Calendar, an interview with Natalie Nudell

44:35 | Oct 9th, 2018

A tribute to the passing of American fashion insider, Ruth Finley, whose Fashion Calendar was and continues to be a critical element in producing Fashion Week.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

46:47 | Oct 2nd, 2018

For artist Frida Kahlo, clothing, art and identity were inextricably linked. The V & A's current exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up explores the ways Kahlo constructed her iconic image using the clothing and accessories she put on her body.

Bonus episode! Exhibiting Fashion: an Interview with Fashion Conservator Sarah Scaturro, part II

18:39 | Sep 27th, 2018

In this week's bonus episode, we continue our conversation with Sarah Scaturro, head conservator at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Exhibiting Heavenly Bodies: an Interview with Fashion Conservator Sarah Scaturro, part I

1:03:29 | Sep 25th, 2018

This week, we go behind the scenes of the exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination with Sarah Scaturro, head conservator at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

From Russia With Love: Valentina

44:33 | Sep 18th, 2018

One of American fashion's first famous designers wasn't American at all. Meet Valentina Schlee, the intoxicatingly beautiful Russian lover of Greta Garbo who lied about nearly everything.

The American Look, a chat with Dr. Rebecca Arnold (Bonus Episode)

53:44 | Sep 13th, 2018

In honor of New York Fashion Week, we speak with Dr. Rebecca Arnold about the origins of American style.

Gordon Parks: the Man of Many Hats

39:21 | Sep 11th, 2018

Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was one of the 20th and 21st centuries great luminaries, most famous for his prolific career as a photojournalist for LIFE magazine. A man of many talents, this week we explore his unlikely career as a fashion photographer. 

Dress Like an Egyptian, an interview with Egyptologist Dr. Colleen Darnell

48:22 | Sep 4th, 2018

This week we talk to Egyptologist--and vintage fashion aficionada-- Dr. Colleen Darnell about the role of clothing and artifice in the lives of the Ancient Egyptians. 

Fashion and Sustainability, an interview with Tara St. James

1:02:18 | Aug 28th, 2018

The fashion industry is the world's second largest polluter. This week we talk to fashion designer and educator Tara St. James about the intersection of fashion and sustainability in the past, present and what we can do to impact the future.

Incredible and Marvelous: Fashion's First Hipsters

39:13 | Aug 21st, 2018

Amid the French Revolution, a youth subculture became notorious for adopting styles so extreme they were dubbed 'incredible' and 'marvelous.' This week we speak about some of fashion's first hipsters: the incroyables and the merveilleuses.

Fashion and Politics: The French Revolution

51:48 | Aug 14th, 2018

Throughout the history of dress, never have fashion and politics been more entwined than during the French Revolution.

A Century of Fashion Photography, an interview with Paul Martineau

47:34 | Aug 7th, 2018

This week we talk about a century of fashion photography with Paul Martineau, curator of the new exhibition Icons of Style at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. 

The Swimsuit: a Revealing History, Part II

40:32 | Jul 31st, 2018

From the bikini to the thong, this week we explore the continued evolution of one of the most controversial garments in history: the swimsuit.

The Swimsuit: a Revealing History, Part I

52:30 | Jul 24th, 2018

In part one of this two-part series, we explore the origins of one of the most controversial garments in history: the swimsuit.

Lea Gottlieb & Gottex Swimwear, an interview with Keren Ben-Horin

1:00:00 | Jul 17th, 2018

This week we meet Israeli swimwear designer and innovater Lea Gottlieb (1918-2012), the visionary founder of the luxury swimwear brand Gottex. 

Silhouette and Leotard: a Tale of Two Men?

50:25 | Jul 10th, 2018

In this week’s episode, we meet the men behind the fashion: Étienne de Silhouette (1709-1767) and Jules Leotard (1842-1870).

The Gentleman Couturier: Hubert de Givenchy

41:11 | Jul 3rd, 2018

This week is Haute Couture Week in Paris and we bring you an in memoriam episode on one of couture's greats: Hubert de Givenchy.

She's a Fashion Plate, an interview with Antoine Bucher and Nicolas Montagne

1:25:33 | Jun 26th, 2018

In this week's episode, we speak with Antoine Bucher and Nicolas Montagne of Librarie Diktats about the history of fashion plates, prints which served as the primary source of fashion imagery before photography. 

Wonderbra, an interview with Alexis Walker

55:38 | Jun 19th, 2018

This week we speak with fashion historian Alexis Walker about the innovation and history behind Wonderbra.

Queen Alexandra: Behind the Seams, an interview with Kate Strasdin

1:06:16 | Jun 12th, 2018

This week we delve behind the seams with fashion historian Kate Strasdin to rediscover the sartorial legacies--and anti-aging secrets-- of the ever youthful Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), wife of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom.

Jewelry of Sentiment pt. 2: an interview with Courtney Lane

56:05 | Jun 5th, 2018

In the second installment of Jewelry of Sentiment, we speak with Courtney Lane, a modern-day practitioner of hair work.

Jewelry of Sentiment pt. 1: The Art of Hair Work

35:40 | May 29th, 2018

For centuries, locks of human hair were cherished tokens exchanged between friends and loved ones. In this episode, we investigate the art of hair work and the fashion for wearing jewelry made from human hair.

Gaby Deslys: the Modern Body, Fashion & Spectacle

47:42 | May 22nd, 2018

Gaby Deslys was one of the most famous performers of the WWI era. Her unapologetic independence--and body-baring costumes--also made her one of the most controversial.

Cashmere with a "K": The Controversial History of a Shawl

46:26 | May 15th, 2018

Cultural appropriation and colonialism lie at the heart of the 19th century fashion trend for "cashmere" shawls, the anglicized version of the Kashmiri region from which these highly coveted luxury goods originally came.

Elsa Schiaparelli

49:46 | May 8th, 2018

Elsa Schiaparelli is one of the most unique voices fashion has ever seen. Her penchant for daring designs was often inspired by her close friendships with Surrealist artists. 

Murderous Millinery

49:16 | May 1st, 2018

From the 1870s to the 1920s, millions of women embraced the fashion for ornamental plumage and as a result millions of birds died for it.

Rose Bertin, Fashion and the Reign of Marie Antoinette: an Interview with Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell

59:13 | Apr 24th, 2018

If Marie Antoinette was the Queen of Fashion, Rose Bertin was her "Minister of Fashion." Find out more about Bertin and the extravagances of eighteenth century fashion in our conversation with expert Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell.

The King of Fashion: Paul Poiret

46:06 | Apr 17th, 2018

The work of avant-garde couturier Paul Poiret was shocking to some, and undeniably groundbreaking to everyone else. The fact that he radically altered the way women dressed during the 20th century was only ONE of his major innovations.

Elizabeth Keckly: “Thirty Years a Slave” to White House Dressmaker

38:51 | Apr 10th, 2018

This week we explore the incredible story of Elizabeth Keckly, an enslaved woman who bought her freedom and went on to become the premiere dressmaker in Washington D.C. during the Civil War era. Her best friend and client? Mary Todd Lincoln. 

Smuggled in the Bustle: an interview with Hind Abdul-Jabbar

31:53 | Apr 3rd, 2018

In this episode we speak to Hind Abdul-Jabbar about the widespread practice of smuggling European fashion into the United States during the 19th century.

Elizabeth Hawes: Fashion Rebel

44:10 | Mar 27th, 2018

An iconoclast in every sense of the word, Elizabeth Hawes is still considered one of the greatest designers American fashion ever produced. Find out why her outspoken social activism landed her in hot water with the FBI.

The Body: Fashion & Physique, an interview with Emma McClendon

50:17 | Mar 20th, 2018

This episode explores how the body type considered ideal shifts over time, and we speak with fashion historian Emma McClendon about her current exhibition The Body: Fashion and Physique.

Branded: A History of Designer Logos

34:55 | Mar 13th, 2018

Logos and monograms are used by luxury fashion houses to brand their products. This episode investigates the origin stories of the logos used by of four of fashion's most powerful players: Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Chanel and Louboutin.

Freeing the Body: The Birth of Modern Dress

34:47 | Mar 6th, 2018

This week we explore the birth of modern dress, a revolution in fact, that occurred during a period in the early 20th century when women radically altered the way they had been dressing for centuries.

Founding Father of Haute Couture: Charles Frederick Worth

1:04:50 | Feb 27th, 2018

This episode explores the career and legacy of the man many consider to be the first true fashion designer, Charles Frederick Worth. We also speak with Hylan Booker, an American designer who sat at the helm of the house of Worth in the late 1960s.

Dressed: Episode Zero

04:48 | Feb 23rd, 2018

Fashion history is about more than pretty clothes. Dressed explores the incredibly rich and complex history behind the clothes we wear. Tune in on February 27th for the first episode.

Introducing Dressed: The History of Fashion

02:04 | Feb 20th, 2018

Every week, fashion historians April Calahan and Cassidy Zachary will take you inside the history of fashion, and explore the who, what, when of why we wear. Listen in on February 27 for the first episode.