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ALESSIO FRANCESCO PALMIERI-MARINONI

Clothing Identity. The Costumes of the Historical Parade of the Palio di Legnano as an Expression of Artistic and Community Performance.

ABSTRACT

Could a historical reenactment be considered as an artistic performance? In which ways can historical costumes be understood as a tool in the identity-making and meaning-making processes of a local community? 

According to a historical perspective, reenactments have characterised Italian history since the second half of the 19th century. Since the 2000s, their number has increased by 150% (Boldrini, 2015). This sudden increase is an expression of a growing need to search for identity and to communicate and embody new meanings and values through an “in-style” costume.

Through this presentation, the author will introduce the case study of the Historical Parade of the Palio di Legnano (Milan). Considered as one of the most ancient Italian medieval reenactments (13th century), the historical costumes in the Palio di Legnano – which have been created in tailoring workshops inside the Contrade (districts) since 1876 – have contributed to communicating new social meanings. From its origins until WWII, they contributed to creating a very new Italian historical identity. Until the 1990s, historical costumes had been used by new industrialists as a tool to communicate the new economic recovery. Today, historical costumes express additional meanings, such as the sense of belonging and identity; to these are added additional aspects that are not properly evident and not yet perceived by our contemporary sensibility. Both parade and costumes should actually be understood as a cultural performance. They are the bearer of a sense of belonging and cultural sharing through its costumes. 

What emerges from the Palio di Legnano case  is that we cannot understand this reenactment as a simple historical reconstruction. It expresses local identity and cultural co-creation, in which artists and artisans create values in a cultural performance.

BIOGRAPHY

Alessio Francesco Palmieri-Marinoni is a PhD student at the School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex. His research investigates the relationship between historicism and stage costume in Wagner’s Operas, and the role of stage costume in staging. In the last ten years, Alessio has been collaborating as a fashion historian with various Italian museums. Currently, he is Director of the Costume Collection of the Palio di Legnano (Milano). He is Adjunct Professor of History of Stage Costume and Fashion History at Fondazione Lisio in Florence, Accademia Cappiello in Florence and Politecnico in Milan. He is a member of ICOM and of ICOM COSTUME COMMITTEE.

6a. The Body Tells a Story

Description
Looking at two projects, including ‘freak shows with their dehumanization practices’, this session will explore work of Czech costume designer Simona Rybáková and how she creates through collaboration with directors, chorographers, performers and the stage designers. 

Presentations
● Simona Rybáková: This Body Tells a Story: Two Different Approaches to Designing Costumes for Characters with ‘Othered’ Bodies (#107)

Keywords body, dance, collaboration

38. Ethics

Moderator Nadia Malik

Description

This working group will explore how costume design might be approached through the application of personal ethics to the development process.

Presentations

● Anat Mesner: Ethical Thinking Through Costume Design (#106)

Keywords ethics

37. Power of Costume

Moderator Rachel Hann

Description
This working group examines the power of costume to shift, change or provoke new readings of performance, both historically and in the contemporary moment. With papers on Ellen Terry’s crimson costume and the postcolonial construction of the wedding dress, this session will ask what agency costume has as a fabric for remembering and speculating renewed looks at history and the abject in the Anthropocene.

Presentations
● Veronica Isaac: ‘Masquerading as Portia’: Examining the History, and Highlighting the ‘Agency’, of Ellen Terry’s Red Silk ‘Legal Robes’ (#5)
● Dorita Hannah: ISLAND BRIDE: Costume and the ‘Abjectile’ in the Anthropo(s)cene (#64)

Keywords historical – contemporary, agency, anthropocene

36. Iconic Characters Indwelling in Body and Materia

Moderator Aby Cohen

Description
Contemporary costume practices that combine design and execution based on the reciprocal relationship between body, materials and objects.

This panel explores the scenic intentions of the Costume in Performance, from the analysis of creative processes that shape iconic historical characters of Ester (Hadassah) and Salomé. Costumes that incorporate the protagonists’ social, political and psychological behaviours, also, their powers – one to save lives and the other to kill …

The costumes for Salomé’s Opera are conceived from the fusion of the singers’ bodies with the psychological aspects of the characters. While, to re-present and re-imagine The Ascension of Esther, the paintings by local artist Robert Lenkiewicz are used as a referential starting point for the creative process, since the performance took place on a specific site – the artist’s studio, and a former Anglican church.

Presentations
● Veridiana Piovezan: Scenic Intentions and Costumes at the Opera Salome  (#35)
● Natalie Raven & Dagmar Schwitzgebel: Art History, Adornment, and Agency in The Ascension of Esther (#57)

Keywords body, material, social, agency

35. Rhetorical Costume

Moderator Jane Collins

Description
The two papers in this panel discuss the ‘rhetorical’ capacity of costume as performance and its ability to challenge the status quo.  Though the types of performance described differ formally, one re-purposing traditional narratives and the other examining abstraction, both emphasise costume’s potential for subversion and its infinite scope for play.

Presentations
● Susan Marshall: Insubordinate Costume (#70)
● Fruzsina Nagy: The Issue (#14)

Keywords play, abstraction, rhetorical, tradition

34. Masking and meaning

Moderator Aoife Monks

Description
This working group examines the varying histories and practices of masking. Considering how the mask reorganises the meanings of the human face, this working group will examine both the ritual and cultural practices and traditions of masking, alongside the more recent meanings of the mask during the Covid 19 pandemic for political and public performance.

Presentations
● Mateja Fajt: Masking as a Political Performance in Times of Covid-19 Pandemic (#41)
● Fausto Viana: The Costumes of the Afoxé Filhos de Gandhy from Bahia, Salvador, Brazil (#191)

Keywords mask, corona virus, public space, politics, identity

33. Black Dance Heritage: Body-costume Agency

Moderator Jessica Bugg

Description
This working group explores how ‘coloured costume ecologies’ can help to expose and understand the complexity and impact of black dance heritage on dancing white costumed bodies and audiences in a European context. It unpacks the significance of  body-costumes as active agents in the crafting of felt and experienced, multi-sensory relations and atmospheres during performance, as well as before and after it.

Presentations
● Astrid von Rosen: Coloured Costume Ecologies: Black Dances, White Bodies, Swedish Settings (#44)
● Caroline O’Brien: Symbiosis in Costume: Two Bodies Make One (#48)

Keywords ecology, dance, identity, multi-sensory

32. Costuming Non-normative Bodies

Moderator Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink

Description
This panel examines how costumes act upon non-normative bodies and how these bodies in turn invite a closer understanding of the intimate relationships between bodies, materials, prostheses and physical objects. We will explore material and visual tropes of the non-normative, and ways in which costume allows for rethinking and resensibilizing diversity.

Presentations
● Suzanne Osmond: Costuming Diversity (#71)

Keywords body, material, non-normative

31. Guided by Material

Moderator Sally Dean

Description
In this working group we will discuss how the agency of material informs the costume making, designing and performance process.  How does the material inform the relationship between the costume and the performer and the movement, narratives, characters it generates? We will consider choices between fabric versus non-fabric materials, the affect of context (if the costume is designed for stage, gallery, public spaces, etc.) and collaboration strategies.

Presentations
● Katarzyna Ogidel: Stage Costume. Between Fabric and Movement (#49)
● Daphne Karstens & Lorraine Smith: ‘The Material Directs’, a Reflection on the Visual Costume Research Project ‘SESSIONS’ (#6)

Keywords material, agency, collaboration

30. Processes of Costume Creation

Moderator Sofia Pantouvaki

Description
This session brings to discussion creative processes of designing costume and ways of collaboration between costume and stage designers as well as the ways in which research can be incorporated into a creative process. The presentations address the agency of costume in creating communication between the stage and the audience, through bodies carrying complex (hi)stories or becoming a portrait of a whole city on stage.

Presentations
● Tasos Protopsaltou: Blossom Peach Trees: Costume as a City Portrait (#31)

Keywords collaboration, agency, audience, body

29. Character

Moderator Christina Lindgren

Description
In tradition Chinese opera, the masks and costumes are used to symbolize a character’s role, fate, and illustrate the character’s emotional state and general character, and the characters are given previous to each story. The characters are the fixed point, so costume expands the potential of text and the text expands the potential of costume.

Presentations
● Alex Tam: Theatre Ronin – Children’s Literature Theatre Project (#86)

Keywords character, text, visual dramaturgy

28. Resistance / Pop

Moderator Madeline Taylor

Description
‘As an act of civil and social disobedience, the wearing of scents can make powerful statements about identity and bodily presence’ while ‘costuming the foot, shoes have the potential to deliver a psychological autonomy as well as a political status in performance’: following presentations of Viveka Kjellmer and Dr. Alexandra Murray-Leslie this session will explore how non-clothes part of the costume design use their performative agency politically.

Presentations
● Viveka Kjellmer: Smelling Violet Chachki: Olfactory Costuming and the Act of Perfuming as Resistance (#30)
● Alexandra Murray-Leslie: Expressions of Shoes in Pop Music Performance, Mediated Through Humanistic Abstractions of Technology (#90)

Keywords political, scent, shoes, agency, performativity

26. Performance Concepts

Moderator Nadia Malik

Description 
This working group will explore the different ways in which costume designers interpret concepts for contemporary performance, from how a designer’s personal interpretation allows contemporary and historical social issues to connect through costume, to material-body / costume-performer interaction.

Presentations
● Chryssa Mantaka: Aspects of Tragedy in Stage Costume Design and the True Story of the Designer-performer (#32)
● Olga Ntenta: Greek Precarious Body: Designing and Performing Through the Materials (#76)

Keywords historical – contemporary, material – body

27. Folk Costume As Performance

Description 
The role of Folk Costume will be explored in defining it as and creating boundaries within artistic performance.  The Milanese historical parade Palio di Legano is explored in an investigation seeking to define historical re-enactments as artistic performance.

While, through the lens of Brazilian popular theatre, the boundaries of folk costume in performance will be examined alongside the contemporary idea of costume design as a scenic signifier.

Presentations
● Alessio Francesco Palmieri-Marinoni: Clothing Identity. The Costumes of the Historical Parade of the Palio di Legnano as an Expression of Artistic and Community Performance (#79)
● Tainá Macêdo Vasconcelos: Boundaries of Costume in Brazilian Popular Theatre (#39)

Keywords historical, public space, popular

25. Body Inheritance

Moderator Aby Cohen

Description 
A playful subversion of the body and materials, through the creation of costumes, to reveal the influence of normativity in relation to external and visible aspects of identification. Seeking a sense of belongingness, reformulating objects and materials, creating reimagined narratives to explore possibilities of multicultural nationality, community and coexistence.

The case studies on this panel (WG) are inspired by the collective creative process in the context of the Caribbean Carnival of Toronto and Circus; exploring how a lived or reinvented experience manifest visually and materially through the costume.

Caribbean Carnival costumes are analysed – based on Michelle Reyes’s 2018 award-winning D’Rise of de Cherry Blossom – as a way of thinking, feeling, and existing in a world that is challenging, especially for the raced, classed, and gendered bodies. 

Circus Costumes experience, analysed by the perspective of choreographer and mise-en-scène, is focused on artists’ interactive and collaborative costume-making processes with the designer Sara Torrie, in which three abandoned parachutes were transformed into costumes, used as prompts of suspension, risk and rescue; allowing the emergence of  reimagined narratives.

Presentations
● Jacquey Taucar: The Beautiful and ‘Sweaty Concepts’ of Caribbean Carnival Costumes (#28)
● Michelle Man: Fraying Parachutes: Costume Agency and ‘Convivencia’ in Contemporary Circus Performance Making (#80)

Keywords body, material, normativity, politics, identity

24. The Monsters

oderator Sigrid Merx

Description 
Based on a project called the Shadow Tender, this session will explore the creation of monster via costume design and the ‘psychological mechanisms of dehumanization/demonization at the root of extreme nationalistic policy through costume, mask, fantasy, emerging technologies, and performance’.

Presentations
● Natalya Kolosowsky: Haptic Tragicomedy: Contemporary Demon-tending Through Mask, Costume, and Design (#61)

Keywords mask, fantasy, politics, technology

23. Rethinking Costume Agency

Moderator Barbora Příhodová

Description 
Drawing on RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Violet Chachki’s online performance on Pinterest as a case study, this session will explore the potential of costume studies to discuss the politics of the body. We will discuss the concept of agency, as generated not by garments but by body manipulations, and its relationship to theatricality and embodiment.

Presentations
● Jorge Sandoval: An Exploration of Agency, Embodiment and Theatricality in Violet Chachki’s Gestural Costuming (#2)

Keywords body, identity, agency

22. Kinetic Atmospheres

Moderator Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink

Description 
This panel investigates the close relations of costume, climate and bodies as expressive entanglements, in immersive dance and kinaesthetic  performance. We will look at costume as a co-existence of bodies, (upcycled) materials, spaces and affects, emerging through movement patterns of contagion and contamination.

Presentations
● Michele Danjoux: Dance, Costume, Climate and Contamination: Expressive Entangled Relations in Immersive Dance Theatre (#67)

Keywords body, dance, material

21. Costume and the Politics of Identity

Moderator Sigrid Merx

Description 
Following the paper by Viju Kannur that ‘specifically looks at two costumes, purdah and hijab as an expression of Muslim self and practice of Islam’ this session will explore how film and specifically costume not only depict a specific identity (class, religion, gender) but also influences lifestyle in specific society negotiating local and transnational elements.

Presentations
● Viju Kannur: Thattam and the Hijab: Intersections of Local and the Transnational in Muslim Women’s identities of Contemporary Malayalam Cinema (#1)

Keywords identiy, religion, film

20. Costume as Extended and Collective Bodies

Moderator Sally Dean

Description 
In this working group we will discuss how costume acts as extended and collective bodies.  Topics will include body architecture, the performative relationship between bodies and jewellery, and the affects, movement, spatial and perceptual shifts from this ‘extended’ relationship.

Presentations
● Silke Kaestner: Costume as Painted Collective Skin (#42)
● Lavinia Rossetti & Elisa Zuppini: TPROJ Shapes in Transit (#38)

Keywords body, architecture, jewellery, movement

19. The New Materialism

Moderator Sodja Lotker

Description 
Agency of material is something very well known to artists working with material (costume designers, puppeteers, sculptors…), artists working through constant dialogue with material. The New Materialism is a theoretical movement that explores agency, performativity and even creativity of material in order to understand the humans and the world in more complex and de-centralized ways. In this working group we will focus on the relationship of costume and the maker (performers, designers etc.) – how the costume and it’s material perform (move, speak, trigger, resist) but also how it creates together with the makers.

Presentations
● Katherine Gurnos-Davies: ‘That’s Me Over There!’: Corporeal Proximity and the Agency of Costume (#83) 
● Noemi Baumblatt: Costume Designing Performance (#47)

Keywords material, the making, performativity

18. Costume as Tactile Site for Communities of Sharing

Moderator Sofia Pantouvaki

Description 
This session discusses sites of community creation within performance-making, such as the fitting room and the rehearsal space. The discussion focuses on notions of gestuality and the ambiguity of the tactile dimension as a means for the designer to connect with the bodies of the performers from concept (thinking/designing) to realisation (production).

Presentations
● Charlotte Østergaard: The Fitting Room: Communities of Practice and the Ambiguity of Touch (#10)
● Filipa Malva: From Skin to Presence: Sculpting in Rehearsal as a Process of Creation in Costume Design (#51)

Keywords body, touch, fitting roum, the making

17. Technology

Moderator Nadia Malik

Description 
This working group will explore the multiple ways in which technology and costume can come together. From the physical integration of electronics to digital costume with a performative life of its own, technology reconceptualises the potential experiences of both performer and audience.

Presentations
● Katerina Athanasopoulou: Her Voice Through the Ghost Veil (#53)
● Iztok Hrga: Potential of Electronics in Costume Design (#92)

Keywords technology, digital, experience

16. The Performance of Archived and Historical Costume

Moderator Joslin McKinney

Description 
This working group will consider performance as a strategy for presenting and exploring the agency of archived and historical costume. Questions to consider will include: How does live performance offer new ways to engage the public with historical costume, and what can be learned through this approach? How might an archived performance costume have agency and perform in its own right?

Presentations
● Emily Collett: The Fourth Persona: Archaeology of Costume (an experimental exhibition) (#91) 
● Matilda Pye: Construction of an Icon (#9)

Keywords archive, historical, agency, audience engagement

14. Costume Design in Collaborative Practices within the Contemporary Dance

Moderator Synne Behrndt

Description 
Starting from a series of case studies collected by Tua Halve in her doctoral research, this session will explore contemporary dance projects in Finland in order to trace collaborative work around costume design. Making and performing costumes is always collaborative work and it is important to understand the network of thoughts, actions and connections between people that are surrounding the act. Agency here is understood as dynamics or the potential – of the material, people and the connections. 

Presentations
● Tua Helve: Interaction Invites Agency: “Costume Design Within Contemporary Dance Performance in the 21st Century Finland” (#15)

Keywords dance, collaboration

13. Costume Design at the Prague Quadrennial

Moderator Sodja Lotker

Description 
This session moderated by the artistic director of the PQ 2008-2016, and presenting the current artistic director, will look at the curatorial issues of the costume design project connected to this international exhibition of performance design. Over the course of the last decades there was a variety of attempts to approach costume design with more and less success, and in these two hours we will brainstorm about the curatorial potential of the field and ways to exhibit costume.

Presentations
● Markéta Fantová: Costume Design Curation – Beyond the Separation of the Traditional Design Fields (#26)

Keywords curation

12. Make and Move

Moderator Christina Lindgren

Description 
Through movement, the potential of the costume garment is manifested as a multisensory experience for the wearer, the ensemble, the audience and the designer. The method of designing and moving (alternating) opens up opportunities that is to be found in an embodied approach to costume design.

Presentations
● Berthe Fortin: Costume Making as Practice of Phenomenology: An Embodied Approach to Materiality and Movement in the Creation of Performance Wearable (#97)
● Donna Sgro: Morphic to BRIGHTNESS: How can Dynamic Cutting as a Costume Making Process be Explored in the Context of Dance Performance to Further Evolve the Method (#87)

Keywords material, the making, form, dance, body

15. Spectacular Failures

Moderator Madeline Taylor

Description 
Costumes performed via the body and extended to the space of the stage and to the social, cultural and economic landscapes they inhabited’, but what happens when they ‘behave badly’? this session will explore costumes agency that happened in unintended ways.

Presentations
● Emily Brayshaw: Spectacular Failures: When Costume Goes Rogue (#93)

Keywords spectacular, performativity, pop

11. Rethinking Costume Traditions

Moderator Barbora Příhodová

Description
This session will explore the significance of costumes in the traditional Yoruban Alarinjo theatre and in the transculturally and transnationally expanded form of the Japanese Noh. We will discuss how costume performs in the traditional, conventionalized theatre forms, and how it performs in their contemporary reiterations.

Presentations
● Tunde Bakare: Dialectical Importance of Costumes in Performance of Traditional Alarinjo Theatre (#21)
● Jakub Karpoluk: Japanese Noh Theatre Costume Agency (#99)

Keywords tradition, performativity 

7. Pop and Politics

Description
This session revolves around two presentations, both looking at popular formats (TV series, melodrama film), and explores the potential of a deeper cultural or even political level of pop. The first presentation looks at slavery, exploitation, and injustice towards African Americans in the film Superfly (1972). And the second explores ‘queerbaiting the audience’ through the use of costumes in the BBC Killing Eve series (2018 –  ).

Presentations
● Drake Stutesman: Melodrama, Costume and Super Fly (1972) (#62)
● Sarah Gilligan & Jacky Collins: Fashion Forward Killer: Costume, Couture and Queerbaiting Camp in Killing Eve (#11)

Keywords pop, film, TV, power, politics 

10. Embodied Time

Moderator Patrick Du Wors

Description
Two case studies will be presented, examining the essential dramaturgical role of period costume in mid-twentieth century Russia and the UK. The 1969 film Andrei Rublev, with costume design by Lidia Novi​, will be examined as evidence of a new historicism anchored in the immersive of the cinematic image that emerged in Russia during the Post-Stalin Thaw.  British post-war approaches to costumes designed for Shakespearean performance, and in particular a methodology that emerged from the Central School of Art, and the teaching of Norah Waugh, Jeannetta Cochrane, Margaret Woodward and the Motley Design group, will be will examined as the primary agent of dramaturgy in relation to communicating a period.

Presentations
● Alexandra Ovtchinnikova: Thaw and the Physicality of Memory: Agency of the Historical Dress in the Film Andrei Rublev (1969) (#84)
● Amy Hare: The Phenomena of Costume in Historical Performance: An Exploration of Shakespearean Costume in Post-War Britain (#24)

Keywords agency, film, historical

9. Costume in Animation

Moderator Trond Lossius

Description
Costumes in animated film are an inseparable part of the character; they make the character, but they are also ‘real-world references’. This session will explore developments in costume design for animated film by looking at the depiction of materials – textiles and textures that are crucial for this art. 

Presentations
Maarit Kalmakurki: The Agency of Materiality in the Definition of Digital Characters’ Costumes (#75)

Keywords film, animation, material, artists,  technology

8. Shared Agency

Moderator Markéta Fantová

Description
The latest writing by Donatella Barbieri points to the complex network of agencies within contemporary dance, where one cannot clearly separate what or who ‘initiates dance’ – but it is all made through a collaborative dialogue. This session will discuss the shared agency of the costume, costume designer, chorographer and dancer within the practice of contemporary dance.

Presentations
● Lorraine Smith: Who is Choreographing the Costume Performance? A Discussion on Shared Agency (#3)

Keywords dance, costume performance, collaboration, agency

6. Agency through Form

Moderator Nadia Malik

Description
This working group will explore the multiple ways in which the form of a costume can initiate, lead and shape different types of performance design, from choreography and puppetry to fine art and multimedia spaces: meaning-making through the material reality of a costume’s ‘being’.

Presentations
● Tamara Tomic-Vajagic: Colombe’s Folds and Balletic Topologies:  the Agency of Issey Miyake’s ‘one piece of cloth’ in William Forsythe’s The Loss of Small Detail (1991) (#18)
● Ivana Bakal & Martina Petranović: Costume Driven Explorations in Contemporary Croatian Performing Arts (#16)

Keywords material, form, performativity

5. Costume Thinking

Moderator Barbora Příhodová

Description
This session will develop the concept of ‘costume thinking’ as a mode of critical thinking that applies processes and strategies of costume designing beyond the stage and screen. We will discuss how costume performs by reframing it as a discursive tool and a critical practice.

Presentations
● Sofia Pantouvaki: ‘Costume Thinking’ as a Strategy for Critical Thinking (#101)

Keywords  criticality, theory

4. Performativity and Ethicality

Moderator Joslin McKinney

Description
Informed by discussions about the materiality and agency of things and the implication for costume, this working group will focus on the notion of ethicality (Barad 2007) and its relationship to the performativity of costume. Key questions to address will include: How does an ethical approach re-configure anthropocentric views of the performance of costume? And what are the implications for designers and performance theorists?

Presentations
● Donatella Barbieri: Costume as Archive of Gesture and Meaning: Its Methods and Ethics (#102)

Keywords  ethics, materiality, agency, performativity

3. Non-traditional Material

Moderator Trond Lossius

Description
From biobased materials to sound created by material, this session will investigate how the new approach to materials and new research into materials have changed how we make costumes and how they perform. Understanding the specificity of a material gives costume a uniqueness that draws attention to its particular agency within performance.

Presentations
● Ingvill Fossheim: Material Agency. Collaborating with Microbes in Contemporary Costume Design (#43)
● Rafaela Blanch Pires: Touching Sound (#7)

Keywords material, sound

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Keyphrase: KEYWORD

Moderated by MODERATOR

Presentations

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2. Decolonizing Costume

Moderator Rachel Hann

Description
This working group asks how, when, and if costume reinforces or transgresses colonial perspectives on power and appearance. With papers on the costumes of Black Panther and performing blackness in Brazil, the overall aim is to further examine the political, cultural and privileges inherent in costume as a vehicle for colonial representations and offer possible routes to decolonial perspectives.

Presentations
● Lorraine Henry: The Power of Coloured Skin: Superheroes Costume, Masks and Reading Colour in Black Panther (#56)
● Andreina Vieira: How to Perform Blackness: Creating Possibilities Through Costume Design (#95)

Keywords power, appearance, politics, identity

1. Costume Agency

 

Moderator Aoife Monks

Description
This working group examines the ways in costumes can articulate the agency and values of their makers. We will considering the ways in which the processes, values and commitments of the maker show themselves through the techniques and skill evident in the object. The group will investigate how the values of costume work emerge in the object of costume itself.

Presentations
● Louise Chapman: The Extant Costume as Emissary (#63)

Keywords agency, the making, collaboration