Ryerson University

We are extremely excited to celebrate MLC Research Associate and associate professor in the Ryerson School of Fashion Dr. Alison Matthews David and her work Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present for being chosen as the book of the week at Times Higher Education. A rave review by Shahidha Bari pours closely over the text and concludes that David’s book is an important recapturing of history’s fashion horrors that warns of “a future that remains immensely troubling.”

The shocking description of Isadora Duncan’s trademark red shawl wrapped around her neck and flowing over her shoulder as its fringe suddenly catches the rear axle of an Amilcar automobile driving her away as her neck is fatally pulled in the opposite direction in 1927 is the first of several frightful episodes Bari pulls from David’s book that shows that even the most banal everyday garments can be deadly. It is not surprising then that one, as Bari does, “may well suddenly feel a little suspicious of your own innocently striped nightwear” reading David’s work.

Surrounding the accounts of flammable 19th-century dancers, elegant Victorian gowns dragging in dog faeces, and mercury poisoned French hatters is a realization that fashion’s serious victims were often poor and female. David and Bari point to the persistence of this troubling inequality by remembering the Rana Plaza disaster of 2013 that left more than 1,000 garment workers dead and thousands more injured in Bangladesh—a country where approximately 80 per cent of garment workers are women. In an increasingly globalized world where “disposable fashion” is demanded and exploitative trade practices still remain, David’s history is a key step in addressing the problems fashion poses and halting its dangerous consequences.

You can read the review and a profile of Dr. Alison Matthews David at Times Higher Education here: 
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/books/review-fashion-victims-alison-matthews-david-bloomsbury

See Dr. Alison Matthews David's research in action at Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum in the Fashion Victims: The Pleasures & Perils of Dress in the 19th Century exhibition until July 2016: http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/fashion-victims/


Read also Dr. Alison Matthews David's MLC bio.

Recent News

Announcing the Modernism Studies Association Conference in Toronto in 2019: Upheaval and Reconstruction

Announcing the Modernism Studies Association Conference...

Hosted by the MLC Research Centre and Ryerson University in collaboration with University of Toronto, York University, and OCAD University.

Re-Locating the Canadian North Reception

Re-Locating the Canadian North Reception

Photos from the opening reception of Re-Locating the Canadian North on October 18, 2018.

Congratulations Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau

Congratulations Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau

Research Associate Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau becomes Mount Allison University's President and Vice-Chancellor

Research Associate Bruce Elder announces book launch

Research Associate Bruce Elder announces book launch

R. Bruce Elder’s Cubism and Futurism: Spiritual Machines and the Cinematic Effect book launch at Ryerson University on Friday, Nov. 2, 201

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

MLC Themes

The Great War in Literature and Visual Culture

Amid the unprecedented social change of World War I, women renegotiated their identities by dramatically changing the way they engaged with the arts. But how did they do so? And how did everyday citizens engage with the war?

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

MLC Themes

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, considered by many to be the mother of Dada, was a daringly innovative poet and an early creator of junk sculpture. “The Baroness” was best known for her sexually charged, often controversial performances.

Modernism in the World

MLC Themes

Modernism in the World

Recent research has departed from the Euro-centric and national view of Modernism to include approaches and methods studying Modernism across national boundaries and across different art forms to include fashion, dance, performance, technology, and visual culture.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

MLC Themes

Lucy Maud Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery is perhaps Canada's most important literary export. She was prolific writer of over 500 short stories and poems, and twenty novels, including the beloved Anne of Green Gables.

Canadian Modernism

MLC Themes

Canadian Modernism

The works of numerous Canadian authors who lived during the modernist era may well constitute the most central and experimental articulation of Canadian modernism in prose, allowing authors to stage cross-cultural, controversial, and even conflicted identities.

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

MLC Themes

Modernist Biography and Life Writing

Life writing, including autobiographical accounts, diaries, letters and testimonials written or told by women and men whose political, literary or philosophical purposes are central to their lives, has become a standard tool for communication and the dissemination of information.