Do we need to get dressed during lockdown?

As I think most of my blog’s readers know by now, in addition to having a full-time job and updating this site in my spare time, I also help to run The Underpinnings Museum and undertake a bit of academic research into fashion history. I had originally been scheduled to deliver a talk on my research at the end of April, as part of The Courtauld Institute of Art’s research festival RES|FEST, but current global events meant that all of Research Forum events had to to be moved online. This saw the development of a new series of events called Open Courtauld Hour, created especially for Zoom, and I was invited to take part in the first of these last week.

Ever since the lockdown started in the UK, I have been fascinated by what people are wearing at home and how it differs to what they would usually wear. For this new event I was inspired to combine my dress history research with some fashion psychology research in order to answer the question “do we need to get dressed during lockdown?” – the results of this brief investigation are now available on The Courtauld’s YouTube channel. I’ve started the embedded video below at 41m 57s, which is when my talk begins, but please do watch the whole thing if you are interested in the theme of Art in Isolation.

There’s a lovely write up of the event over at the Illuminations Blog, and there are three more free online events in the Open Courtauld Hour series (taking place every Thursday this month at 8pm), so please sign up in advance if you’d like a soothing bit of art history and poetry to calm the lockdown blues.

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