Call for articles for Costume 2020

Call for articles for Costume 2020

We are looking to produce a specially themed issue of Costume, for 2020, exploring new and innovative ways of working with surviving dress objects.

At the heart of the formation of the Costume Society, in the 1960s, was the desire to ‘to promote the study and preservation of significant examples of historic and contemporary dress’.

In the intervening years the interest in dress and fashion history has exploded; academic courses exploring dress history have multiplied, fashion exhibitions at museums are big business and hundreds of books about dress history are published each year. As the popularity of dress history has increased, so curatorial ingenuity has worked to find new ways of presenting surviving garments and to engage visitors in an interpretative dialogue. They adopt innovative uses of objects in museum collections, bringing them to life and exploring their often complex and compelling narratives.

We are looking for articles which illuminate this theme of working creatively with dress objects, both in and outside the world of museums. In doing so we hope to honour the approach of our late chair Deirdre Murphy (1975-2018), whose curatorial practice sought to shed new light on items of dress and the stories which they had to tell. She would often engage evocative oral histories, powerful video and sound installations, and arresting exhibition design elements as a way of looking afresh at dress and fashion.

Subjects could include, but are not limited to: • Dress objects and new technologies • Dress objects outside the museum • New uses for dress objects • New approaches to studying dress objects • The role of the reproduction in understanding dress narratives • Dress and innovative exhibition design • Dress and connections with communities Those interested in submitting an article should read carefully the guidelines for preparing Costume articles (these can be found, together with the journal contact email, at Only full articles should be submitted. Costume is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal. Articles of between 4,000 and 9,000 words (inclusive of endnotes), along with indicative images for illustrating the articles, must be submitted by 31 December 2019.

The editors are happy for authors to contact them to discuss potential projects either for this issue or others in the future. Co-editors: Alexandra Kim and Christine Stevens