Drop Dead Gorgeous: Harmful Fashions and the Dangers of Dress, Past and Present

The Northrop Frye Centre Presents:

Drop Dead Gorgeous Poster

Monday, March 7, 2016 at 1:00PM

Drop Dead Gorgeous

Harmful Fashions and the Dangers of Dress, Past and Present

Alison Matthews David, Ryerson University
Northrop Frye Centre (VC102), Old Victoria College Building
(91 Charles Street West)

From insidious murder weapons to blaze-igniting crinolines, clothing has been the cause of death, disease and madness throughout history, by accident and design. Clothing is designed to protect, shield and comfort us, yet lurking amongst seemingly innocuous garments we find hats laced with mercury, frocks laden with arsenic and literally 'drop-dead gorgeous' gowns. This talk pulls from Prof. Matthews David's recent publication, Fashion Victims:The Dangers of Dress Past and Present (Bloomsbury, 2015), a project funded through the Standard Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC). 

Alison Matthews David is Associate Professor at the Ryerson School of Fashion. A scholar of textiles and dress, her work examines the dress, gender, material culture, medicine, occupational health, technology, and the democratization of elite fashions during the 19th and early 20th centuries.