This December Dr Valerie Steele, the director The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, is visiting Wellington. Valerie will be in the capital to present a keynote address at The End of Fashion conference which is taking place at Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, 8-9 December, and to chair a designers’ forum at the City Gallery, Wellington. Valerie will also be giving a public lecture at Te Papa entitled ‘Museum quality: The rise of the fashion exhibition’.
Museum quality: The rise of the fashion exhibition – Saturday 10 December 11am
In her public lecture at Te Papa, Dr Steele will discuss the history of collecting and exhibiting fashion, from the first (imaginary) fashion museum in the 18th century through to the first great temporary ‘museums’ like the one at the Exposition Universelle of 1900, a world’s fair held in Paris, and the present where fashion is exhibited in various dedicated fashion museums, as well as in art, history, and design museums.
Author, curator, editor and one of ‘fashion’s brainiest women’
As an author, curator, editor and public intellectual Valerie Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising public awareness of the cultural and social significance of fashion. She has organised more than 20 exhibitions since 1997, including The Corset, London Fashion, Gothic: Dark Glamour; Shoe Obsession, Daphne Guinness, A Queer History of Fashion, and Dance and Fashion. She is also founder and editor in chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, the first peer-reviewed, scholarly journal in Fashion Studies.
Steele combines serious scholarship with the rare ability to communicate with general audiences. She is author or co-author of more than 20 books, including Fashion and Eroticism, Paris Fashion, Women of Fashion, Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power, The Corset: A Cultural History, Gothic: Dark Glamour, Japan Fashion Now, The Impossible Collection of Fashion, The Berg Companion to Fashion, and. Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT, as well as contributing essays to publications, such as Fashion and Art and Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity.
She has appeared on many television programmes, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Undressed: The Story of Fashion. Described in The Washington Post as one of ‘fashion’s brainiest women’ and by Suzy Menkes as ‘The Freud of Fashion’, she was listed as one of ‘The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry’ in the Business of Fashion 500: (2014 and 2015).