Sunday, February 16, 2014

What is a pervasive fashion trend?

A pervasive fashion trend is an element of popular fashion that transcends product lines and categories. It may be details, colors, prints or patterns, textures, lines or shapes, or any other characteristic. A pervasive fashion trend is found in many products, including clothing, accessories and home fashions. Recent examples of pervasive fashion trends include animal prints, geometric patterns (such as chevrons), specific color or palettes, such as bright colors (a la Skittles). Past pervasive fashion trends have included lacing, neon colors, polka dots, and tie-dye.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Why Would Anyone Wear That? Fascinating Fashion Facts by Celia Stall-Meadows, illustrated by Leslie Stall Widener. Published by Intellect Books, 2013. A second volume is in the works.

Recent book presentations and signings:
92Y-Tribeca in NYC on July 10, 2013
Diggin It in McKinney, TX on May 11, 2013
Saks 5th Avenue, Tulsa, OK, Spring 2013

Below are links to an excerpt from the book (pp. 4-5) and a television interview with the author.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Available Now: Nonfiction book, "Why Would Anyone Wear That?"

I've authored a new nonfiction book entitled "Why Would Anyone Wear That? Fascinating Fashion Facts" published by Intellect Press (2013). The beautifully illustrated book explores extreme fashions from head to toe, including the high pointed hennin hat, the codpiece, a corset, and chopine shoes. The fashion's popularity is discussed in terms of the social, political, and economic characteristics of the time (the Zeitgeist). I've attached the URL for a local television interview about the book on Fox 23 Good Day Green Country show:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hemline Theory: An editorial myth

Media writers often refer to a supposed hemline theory. They may cite economist Paul Nystrom or Professor George W. Taylor as the developers of this theory. These reports lack verification and historical accuracy and have continued to occur because once--a long time ago--somewhere, someone noted a phenomenon and deduced a hypothesis that was incorrectly coined a theory.

The inaccurate information is as follows:
Stock prices move in the same direction as women's hemlines; ie: when the economy is healthy, women's hemlines shorten in a reflection of the good times. When the economy is in a recession, women's hemlines lengthen to reflect the depressed attitudes. Media writers have given credit to Paul Nystrom and George W. Taylor for this concept. In reality, neither this researcher, nor the librarian at Professor Taylor's former university (Lippincott Library, Wharton School of Business) can locate the original source of this erroneous transcription. Moreover, Paul Nystrom's Economics of Fashion book was published in 1928, before the big stock market crash in 1929. Hemlines had only been above floor length for less than two decades, so there were insufficient data and testing to theorize on the topic. While both of these brilliant scholars can claim many important contributions, the stock market/hemline theory is not among them.

An inquisitive master's student at the University of Tennessee created research to test this proposition in 1971. M.A. Mabry wrote her thesis on "The Relationship Between Fluctuations in Hemlines and Stock Market Averages from 1921 to 1971." Her thesis presented instances in which the two moved hand in hand and instances in which the two did not move hand in hand (just relationships, but not cause and effect).

The burning research question is: Is there a significant relationship between hemline lengths and stock market averages since 1971? More than four decades have passed. It is time for another master's student to test the hypothesis and put this very dated and inaccurate assumption to rest, OR affirm the relationship and provide updated and accurate information for media writers to cite.

It would also be an interesting study to trace all the references to this supposed theory and work backwards in time until locating the original source of the error.

You may read more about the hemline theory myth in my textbook:
Stall-Meadows, Celia (2011). Fashion Now: A Global Perspective. NJ: Pearson.