Cute Celebrities (in Black & White) Read WORN

When taking a break from filming Star Trek episodes or being huge stars of 1920s silent films, some of your favourite celebrities like to wind down with issue 12 of WORN Fashion Journal.

“Wait a second,” some of you intone, “Hasn’t Louise Brooks been dead for 25 years? WORN’s only been around for six. This doesn’t make any sense. In fact, it looks like you Photoshopped this in a convoluted attempt to drum up publicity for the magazine. Come on, Anna, who do you think we are? It isn’t even good Photoshop.”

Hush, gentle readers. It turns out that a love of WORN can transcend even the strictest laws of time, space, physics and photo editing.

Send your own fan photos to webeditor @ wornjournal.com.

- Anna Fitz

Book Review: Emily Dickinson and the Labor of Clothing

Like Katherine Joslin did with Edith Wharton, Daneen Wardrop ties fashion and academia together in Emily Dickinson and the Labor of Clothing. The Dickinson that is often studied – the one portrayed within her poetry – shows her intellect and her exceptional handle on language. By analyzing often-dismissed aspects of the famous poet like her approach to clothing, Wardrop presents a more down to earth perspective on Dickinson, one that sees her not just as a talented writer but also in many ways a conventional woman living in an antebellum era.

There exist very few images of Dickinson, the best-known being a daguerreotype of her wearing a plain collared dress. Wardrop uses this representation as a starting-off point in answering the very pressing question: was Emily Dickinson fashionable? She then goes on to interpret other roles played by clothing in Dickinson’s life by studying her poetry, letters, general historical context and one famous white dress. Here her research often mirrors itself: Wardrop uses fashion as a tool to further interpret Dickinson’s life and work, then studies Dickinson’s life and work to understand the significance of fashion in this era. An impressive archive of mid-nineteenth century North Eastern fashion, including the labour practices behind textile production, is thus interwoven with biographical facts about Dickinson.


Continue reading

100 Years Later: Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire


Image: Shirtwaist factory workers preparing for a strike, from the National Women’s History Museum

On March 25, 1911, 146 garment workers working in New York City – most of them young, immigrant women – lost their lives in a deadly fire. The rights of the workers were already undervalued in favour of increased production, and the overcrowded factory, unsanitary conditions and locked exits created a literal and violent death trap. The incident created an uproar concerning the dismal conditions under which these women were forced to work, and raised issues concerning labour and union rights still relevant today.

Cornell University: The Triangle Factory Fire
For those of you wishing to learn the basic facts concerning the fire, this website is an archive containing firsthand testimonials, newspaper articles, resources for further reading, and a detailed timeline of events, from the garment industry strikes of 1909 to the legal aftermath and protests.

The New York Times Tag: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
The Times has been building an excellent database of images, videos, and modern perspectives on lessons learned in the fire’s aftermath – and how far we have to go (see also Nancy Goldstein’s writing at the American Prospect).

American Experience: Triangle Fire
PBS has an hour long documentary that you can view in its entirety on their website. For those of you with access to HBO, they will be airing a documentary of their own several times within the next few weeks.

The Price of Fashion (1910)
While you are on the PBS website, be sure to check out this gallery of images taken in the years surrounding the fire, chronicling the working conditions that went into constructing the clothing seen in fashion magazines.

-Anna Fitzpatrick