Personal profile

Research interests

Alex Nora Esculapio is a lecturer in Historical and Critical Studies for the BA (Hons) Fashion Business, BA (Hons) Textiles and Business and BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Business. Her research interests include historical and contemporary cultures of sustainability, affect theory, environmental humanities, queer ecologies and the intersections of queer theory, trans studies and fashion studies.

Supervisory Interests

Alex's supervisory interests include historical and contemporary work on fashion and sustainability, and particularly research that seeks to create alternative knowledge to dominant Western-centric, technology-driven understandings of sustainability; fashion, dress and wellbeing; environmental humanities approaches to visual and material culture; historical and practice-based work at the intersection of gender studies and queer theory; queer textile art and crafts; wardrobe studies and everyday dress practices.

Scholarly biography

Alex holds a BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures from University of Milan, Italy, and Uppsala University, Sweden, an MA in Fashion Studies from Parsons the New School for Design and a PhD from University of Brighton. She is a member of the Centre for Design History (CDH) at University of Brighton and a member of the Union for Concerned Researchers in Fashion (UCRF).

Her interests in cultures of sustainability and critical approaches to sustainability in fashion began with an interest in slow fashion and clothing libraries as spaces of alternative fashion consumption. While studying at Parsons in New York, she also worked as an editorial assistant on the storytelling project and book Worn Stories (2014) by Emily Spivack, which was later developed into a Netflix documentary series, and assisted Spivack on a number of art projects including Sentimental Value, How To Dress Like and cultural programming for the 2015 Björk retrospective at MoMa. Her interests led her to pursuing a PhD at University of Brighton, which examined the relationship between structures of feeling and clothing durability in contemporary fashion design, design activism and visual culture. Her chapter for the edited volume Slowness in Fashion (2020) was based off of her PhD methodology and conceptual framework. In January 2021 she also co-organised with Professor Annebella Pollen and Dani Trew a one-day international conference entitled "Fashioning Sustainment" which explored histories of resourcefulness, reuse, creative ingenuity, remaking, repair, durability, mending and sharing in twentieth century fashion and dress, with an emphasis on critical accounts that span cultural and historical contexts and intersect with histories of modernity, urban development, globalisation, craft, race, colonialism, popular culture as well as gender, disability, sexual and body politics. She is currently co-editing a special issue of the journal Fashion Studies based on the conference with Professor Annebella Pollen. 

Alex has also lectured and researched extensively on queer theory, history and trans studies in relation to fashion and dress. Her research in the area has focused on dress and style advice as community-making practice in 1990s zines, DIY and resourceful dress practices as well as histories of trans modelling and transmisogyny in the British press between the 1960s and early 1970s. She also served as guest editor for the 2023 issue of Viscose journal dedicated to fashion as a form of trans cultural production, the first critical publication to unearth and interrogate a vast array of histories and archives of global trans cultures, fashion and dress. 

Building on her previous scholarship, Alex's current research looks at environmental humanities approaches to visual and material cultural histories, waste colonialism as well as queer ecologies in fashion. 

Parallel to her work in academia, Alex has also contributed as a writer and editor to a number of publications, including BIAS, Vestoj: The Journal of Sartorial Matters, Fashion Projects, The Fashion Studies Journal and Viscose.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Emotionally Durable Fashion: Theory, Practice, Process, University of Brighton

5 Oct 20152 Feb 2021

Award Date: 2 Feb 2021

Master, MA Fashion Studies, New School for Design

26 Aug 201226 May 2014

Award Date: 26 May 2014

External positions

Visiting Lecturer

10 Jan 20211 Sept 2022

Visiting Lecturer, Central Saint Martins, UAL

1 Oct 20201 Jun 2021

Lecturer

15 Jan 201930 Mar 2021

Teaching Assistant, New School for Design

1 Aug 201330 Jun 2015

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