OFFICE: KHS 159C
PHONE: 416.979.5000 ext. 4696
Dr. Alison Matthews David is an Assistant Professor in the School of Fashion, Ryerson University. She received her doctorate from Stanford University in 2002 for a thesis on tailoring in nineteenth-century Paris. Her research deals with material culture, class and gender. She has published in a variety of journals and books, including Fashion Theory, The Journal of Victorian Literature and Culture and Shoes: From Sandals to Sneakers. Her publications include pieces on WWI camouflage and fashion, synthetic dyes and the British aesthetic movement, Victorian riding habits and the fashionable horsewoman, tailoring and the standardized male body, military uniforms and footwear and the founding of Vogue magazine in Gilded Age America. In 2004 she was awarded the Veronika Gervers Fellowship in Costume and Textile History for ‘Troubling Vision: Camouflage, Colour and Fashionable Dress, 1912-25’, held at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada. She regularly gives conference papers, most recently on a panel she chaired at the 2010 Costume Society of America Conference entitled ‘The Graveyard of Fashion: Toward an Archaeology of the Wardrobe.’ In 2010 she was awarded a Standard Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada for her book project entitled Fashion Victims: Clothing and Health in Historical Perspective (Berg Publishers). The book examines the intersections between dress and medical histories and explores the theme of clothing causing bodily harm to both its makers and wearers. As part of this project she will co-curate an exhibition with Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator at the Bata Shoe Museum. The exhibit, entitled Chemical Dependency, explores toxins used to tan, dye, and maintain leather footwear in the nineteenth century.
‘Mercurial Styles, Persistent Toxins: Materiality, ‘Mad’ Hatters, and Mercury Poisoning in the Felt Hatting Trade,’ Russian Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, 21: (Autumn 2011): 13-38.
‘Fashion’s Chameleons: Camouflage, “Conspicuousness,” and Gendered Display during WWI,’ in The Spaces and Places of Fashion, ed. John Potvin, (Routledge, 2009), 89-107.
‘Made to Measure? Tailoring and the ‘normal’ body in nineteenth-century France’, in Histories of the Normal and the Abnormal : Social and cultural histories of norms and normativity, Routledge Studies in the Social History of Medicine, ed. Waltraud Ernst (London: Routledge, 2007), 142-164.Back