Salvage 3.1: Fashion

3CT_logoSalvage3.1 fashion png.pngIn Salvage 3.1: Fashion, the Object Cultures Project continues its exploration of the art and practice of salvage by asking how and whether the ubiquity of the vintage, the retro, and the cyclically recurrent in fashion reanimates or revises regimes of value. We also consider how those reanimated styles impact the meanings attached to salvaged materials themselves and what they might teach us about the wider promise and peril of salvaging.

In partnership with the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT), UChicago Arts, the Adelyn Russell Bogert Fund of the Franke Institute for the Humanities, the Art History Department, the Office for Civic Engagement, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and MODA at Chicago.


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Caroline Evans (Central Saint Martins, Fashion History & Theory). Her work focuses on the intellectual and critical framing of contemporary fashion design, and most recently she has been exploring a paradox of fashion: on the one hand, its evanescence and immateriality, in perfume, gesture, and pose, and on the other the capacity of archived couture to serve as a material mnemonic. She is the author of Women and Fashion (1989), Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity and Deathliness (2003), The Mechanical Smile (2013) and is currently working on a short book entitled: Evocation: the Material and Immaterial Practices of Fashion. She lectures internationally and since 2010 she has been a visiting professor at the Centre for Fashion Studies at Stockholm University.

Jessamyn Hatcher (NYU, Global Liberal Studies) has conducted ethnographic work on the labor of fast fashion throughout the supply chain—from production to retail to consumption to disposal and reuse. She is the co-editor, with Cathy N. Davidson, of No More Separate Spheres!: A Next Wave American Studies Reader (Duke University Press, 2003) and more recently a heavily downloaded New Yorker essay about the rediscovery of a number of Callot Souers couture gowns (early twentieth century, mostly—and incredible rarities) in several old trunks in a Florentine villa. This essay forms part of an ongoing project to write a biography of the owner of these dresses based solely on [the] dresses and the ongoing chemical reactions taking place inside them.” Hatcher is also working on a book called Deep Wearing about the least-examined parts of the life cycle of clothing—wear, storage, discard practices, and informal clothing economies. In addition she conducts a research lab project called the Human Textile Wellness Initiative, which has involved pop-up events where people bring articles of clothing to repair, alter, and transform.

Faculty Curator

Tim Campbell (UChicago, English). His work focuses on the literature of eighteenth-century Romantic Britain and the visual-cultural and consumer-material practices that shaped this period’s literary forms. His current project examines the distinct implications of fashion for aesthetics from the eighteenth century to the present, including recent essays on the conceptual dress art of Christian Boltanski and on fashion in the aesthetic theory of Jacques Rancière. His forthcoming book, Historical Style (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), offers a new account of the rise of historicism during the long eighteenth century in Britain.


Presenters and Moderators

Leora Auslander (UChicago, History)

Caroline Bellios (SAIC, Fashion Design)

David Bermingham (Artist)

Jack Cave (Designer)

Jen Cohen (UChicago, Art History)

Conrad Hamather (SAIC, Fashion Design)

Cydney M. Lewis (Artist, Architect)

Kristin Mariani (Artist, Designer)

Mario Pinto (Designer)

Norman Teague (Artist, Designer)

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