The last Pasold Conference was held in January 2008 in collaboration with University College, London, on the subject: 'Clothing childhood, fashioning society: children's clothing in the 20th century'. As always with Pasold Conferences, the aim was to facilitate critical dialogue across disciplinary boundaries and between academic and other practitioners, particularly those from archive, museum and conservation fields. Until now, studies of contemporary clothing and textiles have focussed on adults and ‘youth’, while studies of children’s wear have concentrated on the Victorian and earlier eras. This was the first conference to examine the twentieth century – a period of unprecedented social, economic and technological change – through the material culture of childhood. A major question behind the conference was: What do children’s clothes and textiles, the fortunes of the industry and companies that produced them, and the childhoods they fashioned say about society in our time?
The keynote speaker was Professor Daniel Thomas Cook (Rutgers-Camden University, USA) whose talk was entitled ' Fashion for Whom? Display, Ambiguity and the Performing Child'. Other speakers and topics were:
Dr Clare Rose (University of Brighton): Democratic Design and Edwardian Children’s Clothing
Professor Stanley Chapman (University of Nottingham): Pasolds Limited, 1930-1970: The Strategies of the Leading British Manufacturer of Children’s Wear
Professor Sandy Black (London College of Fashion): Home Knitting for Children: Fashioned with Love
Dr Mary Clare Martin (University of Greenwich), Class, Childhood and Clothing: Puritanism, Pleasure and Home Production in Professional Families, 1900-1975
Noreen Marshall (V&A Museum of Childhood): Bargains for the Kiddies: Children’s Clothing from Selfridges Bargain Basement, 1925-1935
Pennie Alfrey (University of Loughborough): Little Devils Wear Denim: Fabricating Childhood
There was also a panel discussion entiled Pointers to sources and future research in which the conference organisers (Kaori O'Connor and Pat Hudson) were joined, amongst others, by:
A fuller account of the papers and discussion at the conference, written by Kaori O'Connor, can be accessed by clicking here.