Alison Matthews David

Alison Matthews David photo










Alison Matthews David is an Associate Professor in the School of Fashion, Ryerson University. She received her doctorate from Stanford University in 2002 for a thesis on tailoring in nineteenth-century Paris. Dr. Matthews David’s research deals with material culture, medical humanities, class and gender. She has published in a variety of journals and books, including Fashion Theory, The Journal of Victorian Literature and Culture and Shoes: From Sandals to Sneakers. Her publications include pieces on WWI camouflage and fashion, synthetic dyes and the British aesthetic movement, Victorian riding habits and the fashionable horsewoman, tailoring and the standardized male body, mercury poisoning and ‘Mad’ Hatters, military uniforms and footwear and the founding of Vogue magazine in Gilded Age America. In 2004 she was a Veronika Gervers Fellow in Costume and Textile History at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada. In 2010 she was awarded a Standard Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada for her book project Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present (Bloomsbury, September 2015.) The book examines the intersections between dress and medical histories and explores the theme of clothing causing bodily harm to both its makers and wearers by leaching chemical toxins, transmitting contagious disease, and causing accidents, including fire and entanglement. She co-curated a related exhibition with Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator at the Bata Shoe Museum. The exhibit, entitled Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century Century, opened in June 2015 and will be up until 2016.


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