24 Nov 2016

Article The Perfect Dress and its Making presented at ICDHS conference in Taipei

The Perfect Dress and its Making: A Comparative Study of the Sartorial Habits of Amsterdam Women (1950s-2010s)

Authors: Irene Maldini and Ragna Luciana Manz


The shift from home and custom-made clothing to mass-produced ready-mades in 20th-century Europe has been the subject of studies from multiple disciplines and across various locations. Contributing to this field of studies, and extending the analysis until the present day, a group of female consumers living in Amsterdam in the 1950s and 2010s were interviewed about their sartorial habits. The study identifies a discrepancy between common manufacturing processes and values related to identity as a central cause of this shift. Furthermore it explores how such a discrepancy can be found again today, arguing that this divergence is leading to the re-emergence of customized production.


dressmaking, mass production, customization, craftsmanship, identity

This article was presented last October at the 10th ICDHS conference in Taipei and published in the conference proceedings. In this edition, the topic of the conference was Making Trans/National Design Histories. In this context, a variety of articles on fashion history were presented in the conference. The intercultural connections among East Asian countries and between Asia and Europe in relation to dress were central for most of these articles. See article here.