Post Date: November 30, 2018
Earlier this semester, textile artist and lace expert Elena Kanagy-Loux (@erenanaomi) visited Sara Idacavage’s (@historyalamode) “Fashion Textile Survey” classes to teach our AAS marketing and design students about the social impacts of lace throughout history. Over the centuries, lace has been connected to a number of aspects related to wealth, power, and politics, making it one of the most significant (and expensive!) textiles in the history of fashion. After providing an overview of the numerous ways that lace has impacted fashion design and sociopolitical divides, from sumptuary laws to the democratization of fashion made possible through the industrial revolution, Elena treated our students to an in-class demonstration of the complex art of making bobbin lace. The process requires an incredible amount of specialized training and time, which gave the students a greater understanding of the value of these handmade textiles and how they would have been connected to changes in consumer demand throughout history. Elena is a Collections Specialist at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Ratti Textile Center, as well as a co-founder of the Brooklyn Lace Guild (@brooklynlaceguild) and a teacher at the Textile Arts Center (@textileartscenter).