Not Only Dressed but Dressing: Clothing, Childhood, Creativity Advisory Board (External organisation)

Activity: External boards and professional/academic bodiesPersonal board membership of professional/academic bodies


Not Only Dressed but Dressing: Clothing, Childhood, Creativity is an AHRC-funded international network, led by Prof Kiera Vaclavik (Queen Mary) and Dr Hannah Field (University of Sussex) to bring together academics, curators and practitioners with interests in children's dress practices in museum contexts.
A vibrant and lucrative part of the global fashion industry, children’s dress is also harnessed extensively in museums, schools and heritage sites to bring histories, ideas and artefacts to life. The vociferous popular debates which regularly erupt in relation to specific outfits, practices, occasions, or marketing decisions indicate that children’s dress today is being taken more seriously than ever before. What children wear reveals fundamental adult assumptions about what children need or deserve, as well as key insights into children’s own lived experiences and attitudes.
Despite this, scholars and museum practitioners to date have given little sustained attention to children’s dress and to how dress is used to communicate with children in museum settings. By bringing together academics, curators and creative practitioners at a series of three workshops, this network will galvanise understanding of both clothing and childhood. The workshops will explore:
Agency and Intergenerational Control: Across time, what have been the power dynamics between children and adults in relation to dress?
Creativity and Play: How can different dress-based practices enable children’s self-expression and individuation?
Communication and Usage: How can children’s dress be interpreted in innovative ways and used to stimulate creativity in museum and heritage settings?
This network seeks to revitalise the study of childhood and dress by exploring the relationship between children’s clothing, design, agency and creativity in addition to the socio-historical evidence provided by children’s clothes. It not only brings together international scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds with expertise in childhood and/or dress (including literary studies, history, theatre and performance, art and design, law, and sociology) but also seeks to foster dialogue between researchers and museum practitioners, artists, and other creative professionals in order to forge new methodologies within academia and beyond.
Degree of RecognitionInternational