Worn: A conversation about the history of clothing

January 26th

McNally Jackson Virtual Event

In Worn, Sofi Thanhauser’s dazzling social history of clothing, she brilliantly tells five stories —Linen, Cotton, Silk, Synthetics, Wool—about the clothes we wear and where they come from, illuminating our world in unexpected ways. She exposes how the clothing industry has become one of the planet's worst polluters, and how it relies on chronically underpaid and exploited laborers. But she also shows us how micro-communities, textile companies, and clothing makers in every corner of the world are rediscovering ancestral and ethical methods for making what we wear.

For the launch event, Sofi will be joined by some of our most exciting fashion critics, historians, and archivists to discuss her book in the larger context of the clothing industry: past, present and future. Our panelists will discuss the history of textiles, the way in which the modern Western garment industry has refashioned our attire into the homogenous and disposable uniforms of fast fashion brands, the ethical challenges the fashion industry faces, as well as the beauty and community it can offer.

About the panelists

Sofi Thanhauser teaches in the writing department at Pratt Institute. She has received fellowships and residencies at MacDowell, Ucross Foundation, and the Millay Colony for the Arts, and has contributed to The Establishment, Essay Daily, Wag’s Revue, The Spectator, whitehot magazine of contemporary art, The Conversant, Entropy, Dilettante Army, andEdible Vineyard, among other publications.

Amanda Garfinkel is an assistant curator at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She specializes in contemporary fashion. Since joining the department in 2007, she has assisted on several exhibitions, including Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology (2016), and Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between (2017),  Camp: Notes on Fashion (2019),  About Time: Fashion and Duration (2020-21), and In America: A Lexicon of Fashion (2021-22). She holds an MA in decorative arts, design, and culture from Bard Graduate Center and a BFA in crafts and art history from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Antoine Gregory is a fashion consultant and editorial stylist based in New York. He is a graduate from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology with a background in fashion and art history. His dedication to the preservation and documentation of Black fashion, style, and culture, led him to found Black Fashion Fair in 2020. Black Fashion Fair is a platform dedicated to uplifting Black designers through commerce and education and Blackness in fashion through photography, editorial and film; highlighting Black designers as a meaningful part of the historical narrative and within context. Black Fashion Fair continues to advocate for greater access and visibility while making space for Black designers to contribute to the cannon of fashion. Gregory has worked on special projects for brands such as Pyer Moss and Telfar and continues to collaborate with emerging designers of colour. Gregory currently serves as Brand Director for Theophilio.

Rachel Syme is a staff writer at the New Yorker, where she covers culture, style, city life, and entertainment. Her work has also appeared in New York Times Magazine, Elle, Vogue, Bookforum, the New Republic, GQ, and Vanity Fair. Rachel is currently writing a forthcoming nonfiction book, entitled Magpie, for Alfred A. Knopf.

Rachel Tashjian is the Fashion Critic at GQ, where she covers the runway, streetwear, and the luxury business. Previously, Tashjian was deputy editor at GARAGE magazine, and she has written for Artforum, New York, and Vanity Fair. She is also the author of Opulent Tips, an invite-only newsletter about shopping. Tashjian is based in New York City.