Medieval Dress,Identity and Fashion

with Professor Gale Owen-Crocker

(University of Manchester)

at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 6th June, 2015.


Provisional Programme

09.50 – 10.15:                Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:                Medieval dress, identity and fashion – Our opening session will include a rapid chronological survey from Anglo-Saxon to late medieval dress, consider how dress functioned as an indicator of gender, status, ethnicity and discuss the concept of ‘fashion’ and when it began.

11.15 – 11.40:                Coffee break

11.40 – 12.40:                Fibres and techniques – We shall consider the materials from which medieval textiles were made and discuss the evolution of technology and processes throughout the Middle Ages.

12.40 – 13.45:                Lunch break

13.45 – 14.35:                 Dress in the Bayeux Tapestry – We shall see how costume is used as a signifier in this most famous of medieval artworks and discuss how far it can be trusted as evidence of ‘real’ eleventh-century clothing.

14.35 – 14.55:               Tea break

14.55 – 15.45:                Sartorial splendour – We will focus on the use of gold and silk in dress, homing in on individual examples which still survive.

c.15.45:                            Thanks and Close

About Gale Owen-Crocker

Gale R. Owen-Crocker BA, PhD, FSA was Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture at The University of Manchester, and Director of MANCASS, (the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies) until her recent retirement. She specialises in interdisciplinary Anglo-Saxon research, and medieval dress/textiles.

She was Director of a 5-year AHRC-funded Research Project ‘The lexis of cloth and clothing in Britain c. 700-1450: origins, identification, contexts and change’ producing a searchable database of medieval dress/textile terms in all languages of the British Isles, a subject-related multilingual dictionary; and Co-Investigator of a 3-year Leverhulme-funded Project  ‘Medieval dress and textile vocabulary in unpublished sources’. As chief editor of An Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c.450-1450 she led a team of distinguished scholars towards a substantial publication in 2012. She co-founded and co-edits the international, cross-disciplinary journal

Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading:

Crowfoot, Elizabeth, Prichard, Frances and Staniland, Kay, Textiles and Clothing c.1150-c.1450, Medieval Finds from Excavations in London, 4, London, HMSO, 1992.

Heller, Sarah-Grace, Fashion in Medieval France, Cambridge, D. S. Brewer, 2007.

Newton, Stella Mary, Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince: a study of the years 1340-1365, Woodbridge, Boydell, 1980.

Owen-Crocker, Gale R., Dress in Anglo-Saxon England:  revised and enlarged edition, Woodbridge, Boydell and Brewer, 2004.

Owen-Crocker, Gale R., The Bayeux Tapestry: Collected Papers, Variorum Collected Studies Series, Farnham, Ashgate, 2012.

Piponnier, Françoise and Mane, Perrine, Dress in the Middle Ages, trans. Caroline Beamish, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1997.

Richardson, Catherine, ed., Clothing Culture, 1350-1650, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2004.

Scott, Margaret, A Visual History of Costume: the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, London, Batsford, 1986.

Scott, Margaret, Medieval Dress and Fashion, London, British Library 2007.

Walton Rogers, Penelope, Cloth and Clothing in Early Anglo-Saxon England, AD 450-700, York, Council for British Archaeology, 2007.

Wilson, David M. The Bayeux Tapestry, London, Thames and Hudson, 1985 (or any other facsimile of the Bayeux Tapestry)