Fashion Librarian Spotlight: Lauren Bradley

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Lauren Bradley

Technical Services/Reference Librarian, LIM College & Vice Moderator of FTC SIG

What’s your Go-To Resource to Recommend for FTC Students?

I love showing students WGSN both for their marketing reports and fashion forecasts.  Not only is the information unique and fascinating, the reports are beautiful to look at and students really enjoy them.  “Gen X Men: Style Tribes” is one of my favorite reports to demonstrate the power of their research.  Our Fashion Merch students also really love the Design Resources tools like Colour Play and the Image & Design Library.


Tell me about a project you’re working on!

This is my first year organizing our annual Fashion: Now & Then conference, which is in it’s ninth year running (please come!).  This specialized conference focuses on fashion information professional and scholars and this year will have talks on everything from fashion of sex workers to gender presentation.  I attended this conference as an LIS student interning at the Met back in 2010 so it’s wild to me that I’m organizing it now!


Are you seeing any trends in FTC student projects/topics/etc?

Our students are nuts for sustainability.  They are very concerned about the environment and climate change.   They have big ambitions to enter the fashion industry and institute change that will lead to a healthier planet for all.  I hope they can hold on to their optimism for change as they enter the industry!


What are you currently reading?

I’m a fantasy/sci-fi nut and am now reading The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.  “Professionally” I am also reading Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual (For A Sexist Workplace) by Jessica Bennett.

Costume Institute — New Accruals

The Museum Archives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has opened for research additions to The Costume Institute records, which were previously processed with a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation and opened for research in 2015.

The boxes containing these newly processed records (approx. 60 linear feet), which are
numbered 295-428, include materials added to all of the existing series, especially the following:
 Series II. Curators’ and Administrators’ files: Subseries II.B. Stella Blum, Subseries II.D.
Diana Vreeland, and Subseries II.G. Richard Martin
 Series III. Exhibition records: III.GGG. “American Women of Style” (December 13, 1975-
August 31, 1976), III.JJJ. “Vanity Fair: A Treasure Trove of The Costume Institute”
(1977), and Subseries III.WWWW. “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years –
Selections from the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum” (May 1-July 29, 2000)
 Series IV. Loans: to other museum and organizations from the 1930s-1960s
 Series VII. Operations: Activities of The Costume Institute’s precursor, the Museum of
Costume Art, in the late 1930s
 Series VIII. Party of the Year: events in the 1940s and 1950s.

The original 10 series were in alphabetical order. A new series Series XI. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection Acquisition, has been added at the end, and includes the following materials:
 The Brooklyn Museum’s accession files for costume and textile items from 1903-2003
 Photographs from Brooklyn Museum’s files of costumes and accessories included in the 2009 accession
 Research materials supporting the Brooklyn Museum’s 1982 exhibition “The Genius of
Charles James”
 Records on Charles James originating at The Brooklyn Museum that complement the
Charles James papers in the Costume Institute Library.

The Costume Institute records are currently stored offsite, and reference access to them is provided by Museum Archives. To access folders from the collection for your research:
 Consult the online finding aid
 Determine the boxes/folders you would like to access
 Contact the Archives staff by email (archives@metmuseum) or phone (570-3937) to
schedule a reference visit in the 4 th floor Archives reading room to view the materials
 In planning your research visit, please note that since materials are offsite and it will take 48-72 hours to recall them

Job Posting: Full Time Archivist/Librarian at LIM College

LIM College – Where Business Meets Fashion is currently seeking candidates for the position of Archivist/Librarian.

Founded in 1939, LIM College educates students for success in the global business of fashion and its many related industries. As a pioneer in experiential education, LIM fosters a unique connection between real-world experience and academic study in business principles, offering master’s, bachelor’s and associate degree programs in a variety of fashion-focused majors. Located in the heart of New York City — the nation’s fashion and business capital — LIM provides students with innumerable opportunities for firsthand experience and professional development.


The Archivist/Librarian is responsible for maintaining the College’s archive and library related duties as determined by the Director of Library Services.  This position includes working evenings and weekends.



·         Developing policies and procedures regarding the archives

·         Processing and describing LIM College’s archives

·         Identifying materials relevant to the college’s history

·         Placing materials in appropriate archival housing

·         Writing and updating finding aids

·         Identifying items in need of conservation

·         Performing or overseeing the conservation processes

·         Assisting patrons with research that relates to the archives

·         Planning and implementing digitization of archive materials

·         Collaborating with other departments, particularly Institutional Advancement, by using archival materials to create LIM College-themed presentations

·         Staying abreast of archive and library trends through participation in local and national associations

·         Supervising work of library student workers

·         Analyzing patron requests to determine needed information and assisting in locating that information

·         Teaching patrons to search for information using research databases and other information sources

·         Teaching library information classes

·         Keeping statistics related to teaching information literacy classes

·         Checking books in and out of the library using the SIRSI library system

·         Explaining the use of library facilities, equipment and services

·         Offering and relating information about library policies

·         Assembling and arranging materials for displays

·         Keeping records of all library transactions

·         Assisting students with copy machines and printers

·         Weeding books, magazines and newspapers as needed

·         Responding to patron complaints and taking action as necessary

·         Compiling lists of new materials, such as books, periodicals and DVDs as needed

·         Assisting in Open House programs as needed




·         A master’s degree in Library Science with a concentration in archive studies is required.

·         Candidates must have knowledge of all archive requirements and standards.

·         At least two (2) years archive and general library experience.

·         Basic computer and spread sheet application skills.

·         Basic ability to perform conservation repairs on materials as needed.

·         Good communication and marketing skills.

·         Familiarity with best practices in digitization of archival materials.

Call for Papers: Fashion in the Library

Manuscript Submission Deadline: December 1, 2019
Publication date: August 2021

Nature and Scope of the Issue
Certain fields are viewed as “for girls”–decorative arts, textiles, interior design, anyone?–and fashion is one of them. These “girl zones”  have traditionally not been considered worthy or serious fields of inquiry and practice like film, the fine arts, architecture, or music.“Girl zones” are not buttressed and validated by a discourse of mythic salvation and transcendence like the ones that benefit, for example, hip-hop or punk (i.e. music) or film. Academic inquiry into fashion and adjacent fields (and consideration for inclusion within Special Collections and archival environments) are very often ignored or belittled because they dare favor the feminine-coded body in opposition to the often masculine-coded mindset of what constitutes a valid subject of research and study.
Indeed, libraries and fashion, as both professions and fields of research, have more in common than might seem immediately apparent. Both fields are gendered spaces, typically coded feminine/female/femme. Because of their association with women and femme qualities, both libraries and fashion must justify their continued existence in ways the film industry, for example, never does. Both the fashion industry and the library field depend upon the passion and labor of women, yet have historically tended to reward male/masculine involvement and agency to a much greater degree. Though it is a given that the work of, for example, Alexander McQueen is of genius and worth saving, the work of the many seamstresses, pattern-makers, and “hands” within the industry is barely acknowledged; nor has the importance of women fashion journalists or editors been as documented and enshrined as that of men.

Starting in the 1990s, fashion studies began to emerge (in the wake of home economics’ name change) as an academic subject in its own right. Increasingly, attention is being paid to the importance of fashion history and practice in the study of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and class.
In the early 21st century, fashion is a multibillion-dollar global industry and cultural force. Popular culture idioms like fast fashion outlets and reality shows bring fashion to a vast audience.
It is clear that the study of fashion and its role in shaping self and society will not go away, and the intersection of fashion and libraries will increasingly offer an increasingly productive vector for inquiry.
Questions this issue will consider include (but will not be limited to): what role does fashion play in library collections, outreach programs, and programming? Where does fashion belong in the library? In Special Collections? In the archives? Are three-dimensional objects allowed? Should or can libraries collaborate with museums? How do we ensure that spontaneous yet relevant intricacies of “vernacular style” and self-presentation are documented, studied, and given the respect that other less loaded forms of artistic and self-expression are given? We hope this issue will be highly interactive, exploratory, revelatory…and revealing.

List of Potential Topics

● Librarian Fashion Tropes
● Where Does Fashion Reside in the Library?
● Home Economics Collections
● “Women’s Work”
● Disappearance of Clothing Design/Textile/Apparel Programs at Land-Grant Universities
● The Bureau of Home Economics
● Documenting “Hand Work” (Seamstresses, Milliners, Pattern Designers) and Fashion-
Related Small Businesses
● Fashion Studies
● Fashion Bibliographies
● Fashion Librarians/hip
● Fashion (In) Special Collections
● Who Has Access to  Fashion Collections?
● Importance of Library Collections to Fashion Studies
● Researching Fashion (for Exhibits, Collections, Shows, Etc.)
● Fashion Histories
This list is by no means exhaustive! The editors are excited to consider and enthusiastically encourage the submission of perspectives and topics that haven’t occurred to them.

Instructions for Submission
The editors for the Fashion in the Library issue of Library Trends invite authors to submit full manuscripts by December 1, 2019. Manuscripts should be sent to bexlib [at] illinois [dot] edu with the subject line “Library Trends Submission.”
All submissions should follow the Library Trends formatting guidelines. Authors should use the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition author-date format for citations and bibliography.
Manuscripts should include the author’s name, affiliation, and e-mail address. Editors will communicate with the only first author of co-authored manuscripts.
Authors will be notified of their manuscript’s acceptance status in late January 2020. The double-blind peer review process begins at the same time.
The Fashion in the Library issue’s publication date is August 2021.
December 1, 2019          Manuscript Drafts Due
January 20, 2020            Peer Review Begins
April 30, 2020                  Peer Review Ends
May- August 30, 2020     Manuscript Revision Period
November 1,  2020          Final Manuscripts Due to Editors
August 2021                    Final Publication
Courtney Becks (MA, MALIS) is the Librarian for African American Studies and the Jewish Studies Bibliographer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a former blogger and sometime fashion zinester. She is co-directing the Fashion, Style, & Aesthetics Research Cluster through the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities for the 2019-2020 school year. She can be reached at bexlib [at] illinois [dot] edu.
Cristina Favretto (MLS, CAS) joined the faculty of the University of Miami libraries in 2008 as the Head of Special Collections, where she curates collections documenting the history of Miami and South Florida, the Caribbean and South America, countercultural movements, artists’ books, architecture and art, and fashion. Before joining the Special Collections Department, Cristina has held a variety of posts throughout the country, including Head of Special Collections at San Diego State University, Curator of Rare Books at UCLA’s Charles E. Young Library, and Director of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University.  She has also worked at the Boston Public Library, Harvard University Libraries, and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. She received her M.L.S. and C.A.S. (Certificate of Advanced Studies) at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in English Literature and Art History at the State University of New York at Albany. Cristina spent her formative years in Trieste, Italy, and received her Baccalaureate from the Liceo Giosuè Carducci in that city. She also has had a shadow life as a performance artist and lead singer in a post-punk cabaret band.

Welcome to the Redesigned FTC Blog!

Your eyes are not deceiving you — we have redesigned our website!

We’re hoping that this restructuring makes the blog easier to navigate. Please feel free to contact us with suggestions & comments.

If you have suggestions for a banner image, please feel free to email warschao at This image must be 1200 x 280 pixels and should be fair use!

Polyvore and the Case of the Disappearing Data

“Polyvore is Not Coming Back,” confirmed Racked less than one week after the popular platform for creating online collages and inspiration boards was shut down. After its closure in early April 2018, Polyvore’s shut down catalyzed confusion, distress, and anger throughout the “#PolyFam.”

Claiming to have the “largest style community on the web,” Polyvore allowed users to create collages of clothing & accessories from a variety of online retailers, such as Asos and Net-a-Porter. Users said that this feature allowed them to find and explore designers and trends that were either out of their comfort zone, or were too expensive for their lifestyle. Allowing users to interact with aspirational goods strengthened Polyvore’s user base; in 2016, the website attracted “more than 20 million unique users per month.”

Following its acquisition by Ssense, Polyvore users were only given one month – from April 5th through May 10th, 2018 – to download their collages representing years (for some, over a decade) of inspiration. In this time period, users also had the opportunity to opt out of a data transfer of their usernames, email addresses, and “other Polyvore data.” Yet, in their apology to the Polyvore community, Ssense declared that they do not “have the ability to bring the website or its functionalities back.”

The PolyFam – the name bestowed upon the Polyvore community – continues to question why and how Ssense could have been so careless with their community. Though each member is able to download their personal collages, Polyvore users lose the context of each creation as well as the comments and discussions surrounding them. Ssense’s dismantling of an active, longstanding community and their insistence that there is no way to get it back destroys the larger context in which each individual creation is made.

This leads me to question how we, as librarians, can support born-digital communities such as Polyvore that host creative works which are dependent on a website’s existing structures. Is it possible to offer archival support to living communities that change minute-by-minute? Especially because, in the case of Polyvore, we’d want to preserve the communities themselves in addition to the content. And, most importantly, who is going to pay for it?

We must remember that we are often hired as support systems for physical communities (public institutions, universities, museums, etc.), but we do not normally have the opportunity to operate in the same capacity for online communities. As we consider these questions – for which there may not be strict answers – I end with one more question: how can we move toward supporting online communities in the future, and what opportunities can we create for ourselves?

Further Reading:
“Online Retailer Ssense Acquires Polyvore and Immediately Shuts It Down,” Sourcing Journal
“Polyvore is Not Coming Back,” Racked.
“Polyvore Users Mourn One of Fashion’s Most Creative Online Communities,” Dazed
“SSENSE Apologizes to Polyvore Users Over Recent Acquisition,” Hypebeast.
“Some Big News for our Polyfam,” Polyvore.