Toller Cranston in San Miguel de Allende

    Normally I travel a great deal. For research, for pleasure, for the opportunity to meet new people, see new things. Not now. Since traveling is not currently an option, well not a good option anyway, I have taken the opportunity to travel back through my own journeys and to revisit some of the places I’ve been and things that I’ve seen. I’m living vicariously through myself (how meta).   This has actually proven to be surprisingly rewarding. OnRead more

Modular Menswear

Highlights from my fashion label: Modular Menswear, a brand that focused on handworked knitwear, artisanal (local) tailored production, using gorgeous fabrics imported form Europe. active at the turn of the century!Read more

Recent Publications

Dr. Mark Joseph O’Connell (PhD Communication and Culture, Ryerson University: “Mors Naviculam: The Globalization of Canadian Fashion through Trade, Policy and Regulation”; MA Fashion, Ryerson University; BA, OCADU) is a an award-winning professor of fashion studies at Seneca College, Toronto, Canada. His essays have been published in Fashion Theory; Textile the Journal of Cloth and Culture;Fashion, Style & Popular Culture and Fashion Studies. He has lectured on fashion, material culture and craft-based social justice movements in the U.S., Mexico and Canada (in English and Spanish). His chapter “CoverRead more

Sweetarts: The Politics of Exclusion, and Camping Out with Susan Sontag at the Met

“Sweetarts: The Politics of Exclusion, and Camping Out with Susan Sontag at the Met” (2019) Mark O’Connell “I have a confession to make, here, lean in a little closer, I’ll whisper it: I went to the Camp exhibition at the Met, fully expecting not to like it…”   Abstract:   Camp, historically a coded communication of queer identity has been recently dragged out of the closet and into the limelight with the exhibition “Camp, Notes on Fashion” (2019) at theRead more

“Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture” by Dr. Cheryl Thompson (Book Review)

Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture by Cheryl Thompson (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2019) Abstract With her recent publication Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture, Dr. Cheryl Thompson provides an in-depth exploration of the history and evolution of the Canadian beauty industry, in particular focusing on hair products for black consumers, but within this analysis has also brought in relevant and timely discussions concerning: politics of representation, accessRead more

Sine Qua Non: An Exploration of a “Catholic Imagination” at the Met

“Sine Qua Non: An Exploration of a ‘Catholic Imagination’ at the Met” (2019) Mark O’Connell   Abstract: Recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a hallowed cultural institution, was transformed into an ecclesiastical couture extravaganza through the installation of the Anna Wintour Costume Institute’s latest exhibition, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. This exhibition showcased papal finery as well as gorgeous couture gowns juxtapositioned with icons from the Met’s collection in various galleries, some even installed withinRead more

Lux Perpetua: Future Pioneers Utilizing Historical Precedent as Design Innovation Within Fashion

“Lux Perpetua: Future Pioneers Utilizing Historical Precedent as Design Innovation Within Fashion” Mark O’Connell (2019) Abstract: Could the future of fashion be found in the past? As a result of the cumulative negative effects of over-consumption of fashion globally and the commensurate resource depletion this requires, as well as the sometimes catastrophic impacts on the laborers who make them, the accelerated pace of current fast fashion systems are now fundamentally unsustainable. There are however fashion producers who are putting sustainabilityRead more

“Items: Is Fashion Modern?” at the MOMA

Visited the “Items: Is Fashion Modern” Exhibition at MOMA which is described on the museum website as an exhibit that “explores the present, past—and sometimes the future—of 111 items of clothing and accessories that have had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries—and continue to hold currency today”. Some of these items are of modern vintage like Levi’s 501s, the Breton shirt, and “the Little Black Dress”, and there also ancient and “culturally charged” items likeRead more