Nancy Deihl (Director of the Costume Studies M.A. Program at New York University) is an historian of fashion and textiles who specializes in the mid-19th century to the present. Recent writing and editorial projects include guest editorship and numerous contributions to Grove Art Online/Oxford Art Online and an article on the fashion and costume designer Zelda Wynn Valdes for Oxford’s African American National Biography. A major new publication, The History of Modern Fashion, co-authored with Daniel James Cole, was released in September 2015. She is currently editing a book on American fashion designers.
Michele Majer (Assistant Professor of European and American Clothing and Textiles, Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture) specializes in the 18th through 20th centuries, with a focus on exploring the material object and what it can tell us about society, culture, literature, art, economics and politics. She curated the exhibition and edited the accompanying publication, Staging Fashion, 1880-1920: Jane Hading, Lily Elsie, Billie Burke, which examined the phenomenon of actresses as internationally known fashion leaders at the turn-of-the-20th century and highlighted the printed ephemera (cabinet cards, postcards, theatre magazines, and trade cards) that were instrumental in the creation of a public persona and that contributed to and reflected the rise of celebrity culture.
Sarah Scaturro (Head Conservator at the Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) is in charge of the Costume Institute’s conservation laboratory and the preservation of its fashion collection. She was previously the textile conservator and assistant curator of fashion at the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum. Combining fashion curation and conservation expertise, Sarah has curated five exhibitions, most recently “The Secret Life of Textiles: Synthetic Materials.” She has authored many exhibition catalogs, book chapters, and peer-reviewed articles, including “A Delicate Balance: Ethics and Aesthetics at The Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York” in Refashioning and Redress: Conserving and Displaying Dress (2017). An internationally recognized lecturer, she has given numerous papers and keynote speeches on fashion history, conservation, camouflage, and sustainable fashion. She received an M.A. in Fashion and Textile Studies from FIT and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Bard Graduate Center, researching the theory and history of fashion conservation.
Dr. Valerie Steele (Director and Chief Curator, The Museum at FIT) has organized more than 20 exhibitions since 1997, including “The Corset: Fashioning the Body,” “London Fashion,” “Gothic: Dark Glamour,” “Shoe Obsession,” “A Queer History of Fashion,” and “Dance and Fashion.” She is founder and editor-in-chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, the first peer-reviewed, scholarly journal in fashion studies. She is author or co-author of more than 20 books, including Fashion and Eroticism, Paris Fashion, Women of Fashion, Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power, The Corset: A Cultural History, Gothic: Dark Glamour, Japan Fashion Now, The Berg Companion to Fashion, and Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT, as well as contributing essays to publications such as Fashion and Art and Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion.
Lauren Whitley (Senior Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) helps oversee a global collection of 55,000 textiles, costumes, and fashion accessories. She has curated more than two dozen exhibitions, including “Hippie Chic,” “Icons of Style: Makers, Models, and Image,” and “High Style and Hoop Skirts: 1850s Fashion.” She recently co-curated #techstyle, a hi-tech fashion exhibition that was on view at the MFA from March-July 2016. Ms. Whitley holds an M.A. in Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles from FIT, and received her B.A. in Art History from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Humanities at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island. Her recent publications include Hippie Chic and essays in Icons of Style: Fashion Makers, Models, and Images; MFA Highlights: Textile and Fashion Arts; and Fashion Show: Paris Style.