Query about Thai headdress

I am working with a researcher who would like to identify the material and construction of the Thai (Siam) topknot-cutting ceremony circlet, as seen here:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/369928556865577148/?d=t&mt=login


Has anyone seen / touched something like this, or know how it is made?  Any help appreciated.


I’m just getting started looking. Checking museum catalogs, costume encyclopedias, etc.

Sherri Saines

Ohio University

Seeking info about Product Lifecycle Management software

Faculty in our fashion retail program are interested in Product LifeCycle Management software.  They mentioned Gerber Tech PLM and Lectra; I have also found Bamboo Rose, NGC Andromeda, and Infor Fashion.  None of these let me get a good look at how they work without alerting a sales rep; and none have pricing available, either.

Do any of your schools subscribe to one of these or a similar service? If so, can you tell me what you think of the service you use?

Is there such a thing as an academic version or price?  Or perhaps single seats?

Or perhaps you have seen an article that compares services?

Any information would help me!

Sherri Saines

Ohio University



Open Access Textbooks

I am helping a professor discover an open access textbook for Retail 1100: Fashion and Culture.  This is our intro course, and covers topics such as dress and culture, sustainable fashion, consumerism, etc.  We don’t have a design school.  Here are the places we have already looked:  (from our page of OA resources, here:  https://www.library.ohio.edu/services/for-faculty/scholarly-communication/open-access/)  Are there other places to search, or texts you are aware of that might fit the bill here?

  • Open Professionals Education Network – links to discovery tools for open textbooks, photos, video, audio, and more.
  • Open Textbook Library –  a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks.
  • MERLOT II – tens of thousands of  discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder web pages, together with associated comments, and bookmark collections, all intended to enhance the teaching experience of using a learning material.
  • Open Stax College – open textbooks for high enrollment college courses using the Connexions platform.
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons – open teaching and learning materials including full university courses, interactive mini-lessons, simulations, and electronic textbooks.
  • Open Course Library – Textbooks, syllabi, assessments, in 81 high-enrollment college courses created by a Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC) grant.
  • Teaching Commons – Curated by librarians and their institutions, the Teaching Commons includes high-quality open educational resources such as textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, and more. Discover content by type of work or subject.
  • Open Book Publishers – Award-winning enterprise run by scholars who are committed to making high-quality research available to readers around the world. Includes a growing collection of monographs and textbooks in all areas.
  • College Open Text Books Collaborative  A collection of twenty-nine education organizations focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks to more than 2000 community and other two-year colleges. This includes providing training for instructors adopting open resources, peer reviews of open textbooks, and mentoring online professional networks that support for authors opening their resources, and other services.



Two Job Openings

Two Jobs open at Ohio University, Athens, OH. Come join us.

Special Collections Librarian: The Ohio University Libraries seek a Special Collections Librarian with primary responsibility for manuscripts collections. http://www.ohiouniversityjobs.com/postings/22229


Art Librarian: The Ohio University Libraries seeks an engaged and forward-thinking Art Librarian to advance digital arts and humanities efforts within the Libraries and work with stakeholder communities in the visual arts.  https://www.ohiouniversityjobs.com/postings/22226


Sherri Saines

Exhibit: 18th C Caps

My exhibit of reproductions of 18th C caps has been extended to the end of the semester (end of April). Here’s the original news story from our library website:.

The exhibit has been moved to the Archives display area, which is open m-f 9-5 and sat noon-5.  If you come to see the exhibit, let me know so I can meet you and answer your questions!


Sherri Saines

Design, Retail, Theater: the Many Fields of Fashion

A primer of the fields of fashion.

Please help us to make this a useful page.  Please contribute! We’d like to create a list of jobs / titles / majors / programs that would be useful for both faculty and students planning careers. As the list becomes more complete, we will make a static page, much like our style tribes section.  

When I talk about the “fashion students” at my institution, outsiders often assume they are aspiring designers — but there’s a lot more to fashion than that.  My university has a program in retail but not in design; a new certificate in museum studies broadens our scope, even thought it isn’t in the same school.  It can all be a little confusing, so perhaps a primer on fields of the field might help.These programs overlap and cross-pollinate, of course. Also, these stubs are intented to be simple, jargon-free summaries, not detailed explanations.

Links go out to the Occupational Outlook Handbook and other career resources.

Fashion Design is the creative endeavor to make new clothing styles.  Fashion designers can work for high fashion or box stores or anywhere in between.  Like any kind of designer, they must learn about the properties of the stuff they use to create, as well as considering cost, market, materials, etc.

Fashion Retail or Merchandising, then, is the business end of the bargain. Students study  how to create profitable retail stores. They aspire to be buyers, marketers, or trend trackers for larger companies, or perhaps dream of their own boutique.

Relatedly, students of fashion might be training to Teach  or practice Human / Family and Consumer Sciences . An understanding of fashion and consumer behavior is part of their study. Hospitality, dietetics, family studies, and teacher training are often intertwined with these programs.

All this commercial activity is at a remove from the study of Costume History. While any program with its finger in fashion may require a background in how clothing has changed over time, costume history can be its own program. People who major in costume history might become academic researchers themselves, or use that background for other work…

such as Theater CostumeIn theater costume, students learn how to build garments that meet the requirements of movies, ballets, and other performing arts. Sometimes that means The Most Historically Accurate Gown…, but it often includes other criteria, such as, …That Allows the Actress to Do A Cartwheel and Will Last for Six Months of Nightly Shows.  Both fashion design houses and theater companies also need skilled artistans  to make patterns, cut and sew cloth, and tailor for fit.


An academic background in Costume History might also lead to Museum Studies, to become a qualified  curator  or conservator of a textile collection.

Two books in particular talk about jobs in fashion:  The Fashion Industry and Its Careers by Michelle Granger (2015) lists dozens of other specialties.  Bloomsbury’s  Guide to Fashion Career Planning  (2016) focuses more on job search and career strategies.

All this matters to librarians, because each program requires different resources.  For example, I probably don’t need to subscribe to Passport GMID for design students. Costume historians need books showing x-rayed garments; theater costumers could use videos about how to make a flat pattern. Designers need inspiration; business people need statistics.  As always, the work of the librarian follows the work of the departments with which they collaborate.


Photo credits:

Irene: Why didn’t I live in the 1940’s.  http://irene.ie/archives/2496

1944: Henry Poole and Co., London.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Poole_%26_Co

Fashion Librarians and the Costume Society of America Symposium

I just got back  from the Costume Society of America (CSA) 2016 Symposium.  CSA is for professionals who study dress: academics, theater costumers, textile historians, curators, design students — and yes, fashion librarians.

I think there is great value in attending conventions in one’s field. The perspective of practicing professionals beats back  naivete, if nothing else.  We weren’t talking  about how to research  fashion, but hearing papers on new discoveries in costume.  When students talk to me about the jobs they may go into after college, I have a much clearer picture of that world.

Librarians at CSA

And, there were a few librarians.  As I learned at ARLIS last year, museums have librarians, too!  Especially interesting to me was a discussion one evening about the need for an authority list for costume terms.  It seems small costume collections are where small libraries were 20 years ago:  creating digital catalogs. This is complicated by the Internety expectation that each item have high quality images and metadata to go along withit, and few small museums can do all those things.  Nor is the museum costume world settled on  metadata standards. Software platforms abound, and so do “controlled” vocabularies.  This has the potential to be a huge and important project, and librarians have skills and experience to offer.

Also, we have a small study collection here at Ohio University that is at the same stage as everyone else’s small collection, and I hope to be involved somehow in making it more accessible when it moves to a new home next year.  Between ARLIS and CSA  I have a much clearer idea what skills I can offer.


Curators Trina Gannon and Dr. Skye Cone present items form the Doxsee Collection of Historic Costume of Ohio University to a class of retail students.



The other reason CSA is useful to fashion librarians is connections.   I returned with questions and discussions ongoing through e-mail that help me in my day to day work. Notably the vocabulary project and more ideas about using collections in the classroom...

…for which I facilitated a panel. Sadly, CSA doesn’t publish proceedings, but here is a paragraph on my blog about it.  The discussion afterward was about preservation vs. use, and how we might choose to “sacrifice” some artifacts to learn from them.  The archivisits in my library have a similar idea; they keep a shelf of broken and damaged old books so students can see how they are put together.

Another unique offering is the Juried Design Exhibition. This collection of 25 new fashion pieces offers costume for art, theater, reenacting, and runway design.  We don’t have a fashion design program, so this was exhibition was a new thing for me, showing me fashion can be  many different things.

Here are Part 1 and Part 2 of my 3-part report (I learned a lot!).

So I can recommend the CSA Symposium as useful for fashion librarians – plus they hold a silent auction fund raiser with great deals on books and textiles!


Did you know “The Full Cleveland” meant white shoes and belt with my leisure suit in the 1970’s?













Sherri Saines, Ohio University