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Fashion, Science, and Exploration Symposium Speaker Biographies

Prof. Christopher Breward teaches cultural history at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely on fashion and its relationship to masculinities and urban cultures.

Edwina Ehrman is a senior exhibition curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum and a specialist in nineteenth-century fashion and the history of London fashion. She is currently developing an exhibition with the title Fashioned from Nature.

Ariele Elia is the Fashion Design MFA industry/project coordinator at FIT. She curated the MFIT exhibition Faking It, co-curated Black Fashion Designers, and contributed to the exhibition and the book Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme

Dr. Jonathan Faiers is professor of Fashion Thinking at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton U.K. His research examines the interface between popular culture, textiles, and dress. He is currently preparing a new history of fur for publication in 2020.

Lacey Flint is the archivist and curator of research collections at The Explorers Club. She serves as a contributing curator on the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum and received her MA in museum studies from the University of Leicester.

Norma Kamali, an FIT graduate, started her eponymous clothing line in 1967. Among her most celebrated creations is the “sleeping bag coat.” Designed in the 1970s, it remains one of the fashion’s best appropriations of extreme environmental wear and is featured in Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme.

Melissa Marra is the associate curator of education and public programs at MFIT. She curated the exhibition Force of Nature and was a contributing
author to the books Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch and Dance & Fashion.

Patricia Mears is deputy director of The Museum at FIT and curator of Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme. She has organized a number of exhibitions and written the accompanying books, including Elegance in an Age of Crisis, Ivy Style, and YSL + Halston: Fashioning the 70s.

Lucy Norris is an independent researcher, a writer, and a contributing editor at SHOWstudio. She has lectured at the Victoria and Albert Museum on postmodernism and David Bowie’s influence on visual culture, and has delivered talks at The Royal College of Art, The British Council, and Parsons.

Sarah Pickman is a PhD student in history at Yale University. She researches the material culture of travel and exploration with a focus on polar exploration. She previously worked as an administrator for the department of textile conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dr. Valerie Steele is director and chief curator at The Museum at FIT, where she has organized more than 25 exhibitions since 1997. She is the author of numerous books, including Paris Fashion.

Elizabeth Way is assistant curator of costume at MFIT. She co-curated the exhibitions Black Fashion Designers and Global Fashion Capitals, and is a contributor to the exhibition and the book Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme.