On Threaded, the Smithsonian Institutions nascent-yet-fascinating fashion blog, editor Emily Spivack unearths You dont say! facts about some of the collections most notable clothing and costume artifacts (Blogs.smithsonianmag.com/threaded).
Unlike some fashion bloggers who tease you with trendy ensembles far out of your price range, the New York vintage-hound takes an anthropological approach to apparel and examines how the fashions of yore influence how we get dressed today.
Q. Where did the idea for Threaded come from?
A. We have to wear clothing every day, and the blog is about examining it from a cultural and historical perspective. Im drawn to seeing our history through the lens of clothing.
Q. Whats the most interesting thing youve learned about the Smithsonians collection so far?
A. During my research on Mr. (Fred) Rogers sweater, I learned that every single cardigan he wore on Mister Rogers Neighborhood was hand-knit by his mother. I love that the Smithsonian has the inaugural dresses, but I also love that they have this pop culture object we are so familiar with.
Q. Is there a trend youre happy to see go?
A. Im not really looking at trends. Im trying to tie it into things that are relevant and happening in the world around us. Im doing a whole bathing suit series because its summer and were all sitting around in our bathing suits and Im thinking, How did this thing that Im putting on evolve? What did it used to look like? Oh my gosh, people used to wear wool bathing suits and, what? They used to weigh 9 pounds? Its bringing attention to things that we overlook.
Q. When did your love of clothing develop?
A. Ever since a friend took me into a Salvation Army when I was 13 or 14. There were all of these one-of-a-kind pieces as opposed to going to a department store and seeing a million of the same thing. I had kind of crazy style, but I had this interest in clothing more so than traditional fashion.
Q. What is your favorite article of clothing that you own?
A. I still have a T-shirt from the first concert I went to. Embarrassingly, it was Milli Vanilli. I hold onto things that have meaning to them. Those are the things that are most loved and we have the strongest attachment to.