fashion focused oral histories

Dr. Alexis Romano, Gerald and Mary Ellen Ritter Memorial Fund Fellow in the Costume Institute (Metropolitan Museum of Art), is currently working on a research project entitled, ‘Dialectics of Making and Wearing: Exploring Sportswear, Image and Women in the 1970s.’ It reappraises women’s visual and material experience of dress during the 1970s through the cross-analysis of archive garment, image and oral history via a dialectical lens of design and wear. 


Alexis is seeking female participants to give oral testimony of their experience of fashion and life in the 1970s in the U.S., with the aim to connect everyday, embodied experiences to wider historical narratives, and to expand and diversify fashion authorship, and dress history. 


Respondents will be asked to reflect on memories of their wardrobes, act of dressing, and engagement with fashion culture. This includes, but is not limited to, those with experience of American sportswear, and the designers Bonnie Cashin, Anne Klein, Betsey Johnson, Norma Kamali, Carol Horn, Adele Simpson, Cathy Hardwick, Laura Szots, Mary McFadden, Jo Copeland, Vera Maxwell, Pauline Trigère, Diane von Furstenberg, Bonnie August, Holly Harp, Evelyn de Jonge, Kay Unger, Hazel Haire, Patti Cappalli, or Harriet Selwyn. Interviews may extend beyond the scope of 1970s fashion, into other periods, and personal biographical areas. Alexis is also interested in speaking with professionals who worked in any role in the industry during the 1970s. 


Interviews can be conducted remotely, and can take place in one or more sessions of an hour. At the discretion of respondants, information drawn from the interviews may be used in publications and promotional communication relating to the fellowship project. 


To take part, please send an email to listing your age and a few words about your fashion story.

© 2020 Alexis Romano