MAFS Faculty, Hazel Clark, Joins Columbia’s Panel for Kilomet109: Women, Modernity, & Sustainable Fashion in Contemporary Vietnam

Thao experimenting with natural dyes in her studio, photo, Julie Vola via


Columbia University Weatherhead East Asian Institute
420 West 118th Street 9th Floor, New York, NY 10027
Thursday October 10, 2019 4:30  – 8:00 pm

Join Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute for Kilomet109: Women, Modernity & Sustainable Fashion in Contemporary Vietnam held in conjunction with the 70th Anniversary celebration of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.

A Panel discussion at 4:30 pm, moderated by John Phan, Assistant Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University, will include, Vũ Thảo, Founder, Kilomet109 Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of the Museum of Fashion Institute of Technology, Hazel Clark, Professor of Design Studies and Fashion Studies, in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons and  Dorothy Ko, Professor of History, Barnard College.

From 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM a catered trunk show will feature Vũ Thảo’s work for Kilomet109. Using organic fibers and traditional techniques of vegetable dying,Thảo works with her team of local artisans to grow, spin, weave, color and print Kilomet109 fabrics. After that the garments are hand-stitched in her studio in Hanoi. This is fashion from the ground up, and it defines a new type of ready-to-wear couture: hand-made, hand-stitched garments from a designer who works directly with local artisans on every element that goes into them. And since these practical, affordable garments are made by human artisans rather than mass-produced by machines, each is like a work of art — hand-crafted, visionary, unique.

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she has personally organized more than 25 exhibitions since 1997, including The Corset: Fashioning the BodyGothic: Dark GlamourA Queer History of FashionPink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, and Paris, Capital of Fashion. She is also founder and editor in chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, the first peer-reviewed, scholarly journal in Fashion Studies.

Hazel Clark holds a PhD in design history, and a first degree in Fine Arts. Her scholarship has focused on uncovering new perspectives, cultures and geographies for the study of fashion and design, in Europe, the United States, and China. Her scholarly articles and books include: The Cheongsam (Oxford UP, 2000), the co-edited Old Clothes, New Looks: Second Hand Fashion (Bloomsbury, 2005), The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion, Identity, and Globalization (Routledge, 2009), Design Studies: A Reader (Bloomsbury, 2009), the article: ‘SLOW + FASHION – an Oxymoron, or a Promise for the Future..?’, (Fashion Theory, December 2008); the co-authored Fashion and Everyday Life: Britain and America (Bloomsbury, 2017) and a co-edited anthology Fashion Curating: In the Museum and Beyond (Bloomsbury, 2017).

Dorothy Ko’s research interest is the everyday lives of women in China – along with the domestic objects they made by hand – as a significant part of country’s cultural, economic and political development. She works at the intersections of anthropology, history, and women’s studies. Ko’s 2005 book, Cinderella Sisters: A Revisionist History of Footbinding, won the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize of the American Historical Association. Recently, she has been turning her attention to the skills of women’s artisans such as embroiderers, stone carvers, and ceramic artists. She is also co-editor of Women and Confucian Cultures in Pre-modern China, Korea, and Japan. Ko’s courses include Chinese cultural history, body histories, women and culture in 17th century China, and Confucian cultures.



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