Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Sydney / La Trobe Melbourne
Website URL
dress, clothing, fashion, material culture, archaeological textiles, fashion theory, fashion history, dress history, Regency, early modern, medieval, museum studies, shoes, embodied knowledge, sewing history, dressmaking history, historic dress reconstruction
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Personal Info

About Me

Clothing matters. Everyone, everywhere adorns their bodies somehow every single day. People in the past did too, and examining historic dress is an excellent way to understand their lives and cultures. Everything about clothing, from the stitches made by anonymous women that hold it together to the grandest national ceremonial regalia, speaks of time, place, beliefs, society, politics, technology and economics.

I’m a dress and textile historian with an exceptionally broad knowledge of my field, gained through museum curation, clothing reconstruction, archaeological in addition to academic research. My main areas of expertise are Regency and early nineteenth century dress (book forthcoming 2019), dress and textiles in the early modern and medieval periods, fashion history up to 1950, and shoes and shoemaking, especially their cultural and mythical aspects. With a strong grounding in the material culture of historic clothing, I am equally proficient in its interpretation, theory and socio-cultural aspects. I can both make a nineteenth century corset and explain exactly why they weren’t instruments of patriarchal oppression.

Recent Publications

2019       Dress in Regency Britain (Yale University Press, forthcoming)

2018      ‘Holding the Sole: Shoes, Emotions and the Supernatural’ in Sally Holloway, S. Downes and S. Randles (eds), Feeling Things: Objects and Emotions through History (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

2017      ‘Jane Austen’s Pelisse Coat’ in Kathryn Sutherland (ed.) Jane Austen, Writer in the World (Oxford: Bodleian Library Press)

‘Jane Austen’s Muslin Shawl’, Jane Austen in 41 Objects: 6, Jane Austen’s House Museum,

2016      ‘Grave Emotions: Clothing and Textiles from Nineteenth-Century London Cemeteries’ in Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, special issue on Emotional Textiles, June. DOI:

Spanish Fashion in Early Modern Europe: The Prevalence and Prestige of Spanish Attire in the Courts of the 16th and 17th Centuries’, book review, Textile History, Vol. 46, No. 2.

2015      ‘Shoes as Magical Objects, in Helen Persson (ed.), Shoes: Pain and Pleasure London: V&A Publications), 26-35.

Jane Malcolm-Davies, Hilary Davidson, Rachel Frost, ‘”He is of no account… if he have not a velvet or taffeta hat”: A survey of excavated sixteenth-century knitted caps’, in K. Grömer and F. Pritchard (ed.) 2015: Aspects of the Design, Production and Use of Textiles and Clothing from the Bronze Age to the Early Modern Era. NESAT XII. The North European Symposium of Archaeological Textiles, 21st – 24th May 2014 in Hallstatt, Austria. Archaeolingua Main Series 33. Budapest 2015.

‘Reconstructing Jane Austen’s Silk Pelisse Coat, c. 1812-14’ in Costume, Volume 49, Issue 2, 198-223. DOI:

Fantasy, fetish and the red shoe’, The Financial Times Life & Arts, 5 June 2015,

2013      ‘Textiles’ in Michael Henderson, Adrian Miles, Don Walker, with Brian Connell, Robin Wroe-Brown, ‘He being dead yet speaketh’: excavations at three post-medieval burial grounds in Tower Hamlets, east London, 200410 (MOLA Archaeology Studies 64), (London: Museum of London Archaeology Service)

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Great Britain, Australian, Western Cultures
Expertise by Geography
Australia, British Isles, Eastern Europe, England, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Medieval, Pre-17th century, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, Early Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Material Culture, Museums, Women