Dr. Lydia Edwards, author of How to Read a Dress (2017), has accepted the invitation to deliver the keynote address at the joint Costume Society of America Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regional symposium to be held at Shippensburg University from October 11-14, 2018. Dr. Edwards’ keynote address is made possible from a generous grant from the estate of Pamela L. Kopp.
Dr. Edwards is a fashion historian with a special interest in women’s dress from the sixteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Her Ph.D. research focused on historical costuming in late nineteenth-century theatre, and this interest continues into her current research to consider notions of “accuracy,” historical interpretation and interpolation in extant garments, theatrical costume and works of art. She is passionate about making the study of dress history accessible to a wide audience and her book How to Read a Dress was described by The Fashion Studies Journal as “a welcome contribution to the literature, especially at a time when theoretical interpretations in fashion studies risk obscuring the garment itself.” Dr. Edwards lectures at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, and teaches Costume History at the world acclaimed Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). She is currently completing her second book, How to Read a Suit: A Guide to Changing Men’s Fashion from the 17th to the 20th Century, and is undertaking research into the representation of clothing in the works of expressionist painter, Chaim Soutine.
Co-chairs, Dr. Karin Bohleke and Colleen Callahan, look forward to Dr. Edwards’ contribution to the symposium’s theme, “Costume Across the Curriculum & into the Community.” Dr. Bohleke commented, “Both of Dr. Edwards’ books feature garments from the collection of the Fashion Archives & Museum of Shippensburg University, and bringing her to the campus is a natural outcome of long-time exchanges as her research progressed. It is also a special opportunity to share her work with her costume colleagues and the university community. The Mid-Atlantic region of the Costume Society of America has emphasized nurturing emerging scholars as its professional development theme for the past few years, and thus inviting a fresh voice in the early stages of her career can serve as an inspiration.” Ms. Callahan further added “The Costume Society of America is a global organization with an international outlook. Shippensburg University fosters awareness of world cultures, and Dr. Edwards’ work the Fashion Archives collection illustrates the university’s own international profile.”
The symposium will be held October 11-14, 2018 and is in conjunction with the Fashion Archive & Museum’s exhibit, “The Fashions of Fiction: From Pamela to Gatsby.” Information regarding schedule and registration, for both Costume Society of America member and non-members, will be forthcoming in early August. A block of rooms has already been reserved at a special conference rate of $88 per night, breakfast included, at the Courtyard Marriott in Shippensburg. The symposium hotel is immediately adjacent to campus and located at 503 Newburg Road, Shippensburg, PA 17257. Rooms are already available for reservations at (717) 477-0680 or online at Book your group rate for Costume Society of America.