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Speaker Biographies

Heidi Brevik-Zender is an associate professor of French and comparative literature at the University of California, Riverside. She is author of Fashioning Spaces: Mode and Modernity in Late-Nineteenth-Century Paris and other studies on fashion in French literature and art, including a catalog essay for the 2012-13 exhibition Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity.

Laurent Cotta is head of the graphic arts department at the Palais Galliera, where he worked with Olivier Saillard on La Mode retrouvée: Les robes trésors de la comtesse Greffulhe. Previously the curator for contemporary creation, Cotta has contributed to exhibitions that honor the great names in fashion, such Madame Grès, and that focus on emerging designers, contemporary couturiers, and the wardrobe of pop star Sylvie Vartan. Cotta also contributes to catalogs published for the Palais Galliera.

Mary E. Davis is dean of the School of Graduate Studies at FIT. She has served as Case Western Reserve University liaison to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. Her books include Ballets Russes Style: Diaghilev's Dancers and Paris Fashion, Erik Satie, and Classic Chic: Music Fashion, and Modernism.

Justine De Young is an assistant professor in the history of art at FIT and editor of the forthcoming Fashion in European Art: Dress and Identity, Politics and the Body, 1775-1925. She has contributed essays to many volumes, including Women, Femininity, and Public Space in European Visual Culture, 1780-1914.

Laurie Hillerin is a journalist, historian, and literature enthusiast interested in the 19th century. Her biography, La comtesse Greffulhe: L'ombre des Guermantes, won multiple awards and offers new insights into the characters of Proust's great novel. Hillerin recently published the essay Proust pour Rire—Bréviaire jubilatoire de À la recherche du temps perdu.

Susan Hiner is a professor of French and Francophone studies at Vassar College. Her first book, Accessories to Modernity: Fashion and the Feminine in Nineteenth-Century France, won the 2011 national publication award of the Costume Society of America. She is currently working on a new book entitled Behind the Seams: Women, Work and Fashion in Nineteenth-Century France.

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

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator at The Museum at FIT. Her current exhibition is Proust's Muse, the Countess Greffulhe. She contributed an essay, "L'artitocrate comme oeuvre d'art," to the catalog for, La Mode retrouvée: Les robes trésors de la Comtesse Greffulhe. A revised edition of her book Paris Fashion will be released next year.

François Tétart-Vittu is former head of the graphic arts department and curator at the Galliera Museum in Paris. She was author and chief curator of exhibitions on 18th-and 19th-century fashion and costume, such as Au Paradis des Dames, Le Dessin de mode sous toutes ses coutures, and Sous l'Empire des crinolines.

Philippe Thiebaut is the general curator of patrimony with the Musée d'Orsay, where he was appointed in 1980 to form the Art Nouveau Collections. He has commissioned many exhibitions including 1900 at the Galeries nationales duGrand Palais. In 2013, the Institut national d’histoire de l’art recruited him asscientific advisor in the domain of decorative arts, design, and material culture.

Caroline Weber is a professor of French and comparative literature at Barnard College. Her last book, Queen of Fashion: What Marie-Antoinette Wore to the Revolution, was a New York Times Best Book of the Year. She is currently completing Swan Song: In Search of Proust’s Duchess, to be published next year.