“Arsenic Dress”: English or French, c. 1860s The Fashion Research Collection at Ryerson University. Gift
The Racked website, recently published a piece on toxic clothing that appears to be an unattributed reproduction of a body of work by Ryerson University fashion scholar Dr. Alison Matthews David.
The Racked post even includes a photo of the arsenic dress from the popular “Fashion Victims” exhibition at the Bata Shoe museum in Toronto that Matthews David and Bata head curator Elizabeth Semmelhack co-curated.
Fashion scholars familiar with the “Fashion Victims” body of research picked up on the unattributed content in the Racked piece immediately and are justifiably outraged:
When challenged on this alleged plagiarism the author replied on Twitter: “You don’t have a monopoly on fashion history”.
Matthews David has spent ten years on this body of work that Racked has so casually misappropriated:
The Racked author just responded with insults:
I went through the Racked piece and didn’t find any mention of Matthews David or the Fashion Victims book.
There may not be a monopoly on history, but there are certainly copyright issues around published scholarly works. Hopefully Bloomsbury the publisher of Fashion Victims will be pursuing this matter further…
In conclusion, buy Dr. Matthews David’s book, it’s wonderful!:
* Update April 5, The Racked website has now credited the work of Dr. Matthews David. But has not addressed the other plagiarism issues that this incident has brought to light:
@Mark O’Connell 2017, all rights reserved, no reproduction without authorization