Peter McNeil FAHA is a major figure in art, fashion and design history with an extensive record of publishing and public speaking. His global research has been recognized by the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2013) and the Academy of Finland: Distinguished Professor award (2014). He has been nominated to the International Committee of the History of Art, the ‘Olympics’ of Art History.
Described as the world’s greatest expert on 18th-century men’s dress, his reach extends to design culture generally from 1700 to the present day, combining a sophisticated theoretical approach alongside a very pragmatic, empirical understanding of objects themselves. His work has been praised in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Observer. He is popular speaker in Australia and overseas, having delivered the AGNSW Learning Curve lectures as well as being an ADFAS Australian lecturer. He is regularly sought after for interview, including ABC/Margaret Throsby.
At UTS, Peter lectures in inter-disciplinary design. His focus is PhD supervision: many of his candidates have won post-doctoral prizes and awards. Topics range from rethinking maternity dress to the politics of work in the digital age.
He Is a regular collaborator with cultural organisations: National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum (Australia), AGNSW, National Library of Australia and museums in the USA, UK and Sweden. Partnerships include the Sydney Jewish Museum and Reigning Men at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Editorial Board, Journal of Design History (OUP)
International Editorial Committee, Fashion Theory (Bloomsbury)
Book Reviews Editor, Fashion Theory
Editorial Board, craft+design enquiry, ANU e-press
Editorial Board, AAANZ Journal
Past President, Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (Art History)
Can supervise: YES
Design History; inter-relationships between visual and literary forms
Popular prints and communication practices
20th-century interior design, popular media and commerce
Fashion history and comparative perspectives
18th-century Print culture
18th-century West European visual culture
Material Culture and the Domestic Environment
McNeil, P & Pantouvaki, S 2019, Performing Costume-New Perspectives on Performance, 1, Bloomsbury, London and New York.
Costume is an active agent for performance-making; it is a material object that embodies ideas shaped through collaborative creative/artistic work. A new focus in recent years on research in the area of costume has connected this practice in vital and new ways with theories of the body and embodiment, design practices, artistic and other forms of collaboration. Costume, like fashion and dress, is now viewed as an area of dynamic social significance and not simply as passive reflector of a pre-conceived social state or practice. This book offers new approaches to the study of costume, as well as fresh insights into the better-understood frames of historical, theoretical, practice-based and archival research into costume for performance.
This anthology draws on the experience of a global group of established researchers as well as emerging voices. It will:
1. Introduce diverse perspectives, innovative new research methods and approaches for researching design and the costumed body in performance.
2. Contribute towards a new understanding of how costume actually 'performs' in time and space.
3. Offer new insights into existing practices, as well as creating a space of connection between practitioners and researchers from design, the humanities and social sciences.
120, 000 words, 35 chapters.
McNeil, PK 2018, Pretty Gentlemen: Macaroni Men and the Eighteenth-Century Fashion World, 1st, Yale University Press, London and New Haven.
The term 'macaroni' was once as familiar a label as 'punk' or 'hipster' is today. In this handsomely illustrated book devoted to notable 18th-century British male fashion, award-winning author and fashion historian Peter McNeil brings together dress, biography, and historical events with the broader visual and material culture of the late 18th century. For thirty years, macaroni was a highly topical word, yielding a complex set of social, sexual, and cultural associations. Pretty Gentlemen is grounded in surviving dress, archival documents, and art spanning hierarchies and genres, from scurrilous caricature to respectful portrait painting. Celebrities hailed and mocked as macaroni include politician Charles James Fox, painter Richard Cosway, freed slave Julius "Soubise," and criminal parson Reverend Dodd. The style also rapidly spread to neighboring countries in cross-cultural exchange, while Horace Walpole, George III, and Queen Charlotte were active critics and observers of these foppish men.
Miller, S & McNeil, PK 2018, Fashion Journalism: History, Theory, and Practice, 1st, Bloomsbury Academic, London.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2017, Historia Luksusu, 1, Bellona, Warsaw, Poland (Polish translation of Luxury: a Rich History, 2016, OUP).
Polish translation of Oxford University Press monograph by the author(s)
This is the first book to connect shifts in critical writing and approaches to fashion over a long span of time, from the seventeenth century to the present day. Beginning with the power of Aristotles Poetics, it explains that the plot which is the most important of the six constituent parts of the `tragedy is, after all, story telling, but story telling to be compelling must have drama and embody insights. Why did evaluative thinking emerge at all? What does criticism mean? How did criticism expand beyond the fine arts to the camera and other new media? How did the great critics reflect on the social, artistic and aesthetic changes that revolutionized fashion since the first texts about sartorial dress were published in the first fashion magazines of the late-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? The role of taste in eighteenth-century philosophical aesthetics will be directly related to assessments of fashion in that period. How did a judicial (evaluative) vocabulary for fashion journalism emerge in the nineteenth century and where did it lead?
McNeil, PK 2007, Scarpe: Dal Sandalo Antico alla Calzatura d'Alta Moda, 1st Italian edition, with new essay, Angelo Colla Editore, Venice.
354 page anthology; joint editorship with Dr Giorgio Riello; includes new essay by Giovanni Luigi Fontana and Federica Rossie: 'Scarpe d'autore. Stile, tecnica e design nelle calzature d'alta mode'.
McNeil, PK 2019, 'World Luxury Destinations, Bangkok/James Cook University Singapore, 1-2 March 2018 Conference Report', Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption.
McNeil, PK 2017, 'The Economy of Dress and Textiles: Avenues of Trade, Production and Consumption in the Early Modern Period, 'Dressing the Early Modern Research Network' (Conference Report, host - University of Bologna, 15-16 September 2016.)', Fashion Theory, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 333-336.
McNeil, PK 2017, 'Report from Finland: Luxury and Museum Exhibitions in the Year '100 Years of Finland', with a focus on 'Pitsi on Pop/Lace and Luxury': Salo Art Museum/Salon taidemuseo, West Finland', Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption, vol. 4, no. 2-3, pp. 313-323.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Salo is a small southern Finnish town, an hour and half's drive
from Helsinki where you would not necessarily expect to visit a show with the word 'luxury' in the title. Once a trading hub and
ironworks in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and a steam-locomotive
stop from 1899, the area became well known in the 1970s
as the location of the headquarters of Nokia telephones. In a story redolent
of global commodity flows, the manufacturing of Nokia phones
(once a great luxury in and of themselves around the world, and very
expensive in the early 1990s) shifted to Asia. The Nokia monopoly on
the new 'mobile' technology further declined as others caught up, and
the final closure of Nokia product development by Microsoft came with
the loss of the last 1100 jobs in 2015. Salo today has halved in population
to about 25,000 and has high unemployment with rising social
challenges to match. The center of town presents a pleasant river-side
vista; metres from the rail line are to be found a small core of elaborate
nineteenth-century wooden villas that once belonged to well-to-do
merchants and professionals, as well as the market square, proud
new council chambers, one upmarket women's dress shop displaying
Marimekko, an excellent Finnish restaurant in a wooden cottage, and a
fine regional Art Gallery (Salon taidemuseo/Salo Art Museum).
Vol. 1, no. 1 - Le perimetre du luxe. This new journal replaces and absorbs 'Mode de recherche' (22 issues).
McNeil, PK 2017, 'Macaroni Men and Eighteenth-Century Fashion Culture - 'The Vulgar Tongue'', Humanities Australia - The Journal of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, vol. 1, no. 8, pp. 57-71.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In 1823 when this term was included in Pierce
Egan's new edition of Grose's Classical Dictionary
of the Vulgar Tongue (1785), 'macaroni' had been
circulating in the English language for sixty
years, denoting a species of foppish man.2
a term mainly used between 1760 and 1780, but
was still in everyday use in 1795, when a verse
described men shopping in the spa town of Bath
thus: 'booted and spur'd, the gay macaronies,
Bestride Mandell's counter, instead of their
The word continues to echo on a daily
basis within the refrain of the famous patriotic
tune Yankee Doodle (published 1767), referring to
the appearance of troops during the French and
Indian War (or the 'Seven Years War', 1754–63)
McNeil, PK 2017, 'Star makers - behind the scenes: The Golden Age of Finnish Cinema, Logomo Arts Centre, Turku, Finland, curated by Joanna Weckmann, 6 April-13 August 2017', Studies in Costume and Performance, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 180-183.
Borkopp-Restle, B, Martinetti, S, Riello, G & Miller, L 2016, 'Museums and the Making of Textile Histories: Past, Present, and Future', Perspective: actualité en histoire de l'art, vol. 1, pp. 43-60.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Many different types of museums collect, document, and preserve textiles, interpreting them through temporary and semi-permanent exhibitions, publications, and web- site interventions – sometimes independently, sometimes as part of a broader histo- ry of art and design, science and technology, social history and anthropology, local history or world cultures (for example, see the range and approaches in major fash- ion capitals such as London, Paris, Milan, New York with a long tradition of textile production as well as consumption, and in manufacturing cities such as Krefeld, Lyon, Manchester).
Nonetheless, textile-focused events seldom receive great public attention or crit- ical acclaim, with the possible exceptions of innovative temporary exhibitions such as Jean-Paul Leclercq, 'Jouer la Lumière' (Paris, Les Arts Décoratifs, 2001); Thomas P. Campbell, 'Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence' (New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002); Amelia Peck et al., 'Interwoven Globe. The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800' (New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013-2014); John Styles, 'Threads of Feeling' (London, The Foundling Hospital, 2010-2011; Colonial Williamsburg, 2014).1 The aims of this debate are to draw on the different cultural experiences and disciplinary backgrounds of participants:
– To generate discussion over the role of museums in making and representing tex- tile histories. Museums are not only depositories of textile objects, but also write or make both public and academic history through displays and publications. But how does their work relate to university research and dissemination, feed such research, or react to it? How might interactions between museums and universities in different regions and cultures be developed in the future?
– To consider where innovative museum work is being undertaken (locally, region- ally, nationally, internationally), wherein lies its innovation, and how it might suggest directions for the futur...
Borkopp-Restle, B, McNeil, PK, Martinetti, S, Riello, G & Miller, L 2016, 'Museums and the Making of Textile Histories: Where now?', Perspective: actualité en histoire de l'art, vol. 2016-1, no. 1 July 2016, pp. 43-60.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Many different types of museum collect, document, and preserve textiles, interpreting them through temporary and semi-permanent exhibitions, publications and website interventions – sometimes independently, sometimes as part of a broader story of art and design, science and technology, social history and anthropology, local history or world cultures. (e.g. range and approaches in major fashion capitals such as London, Paris, Milan, New York) with a long tradition in textile production as well as consumption, and in manufacturing cities such as Krefeld, Lyon, Manchester).
Aims of debate are to draw on different cultural experiences and disciplinary backgrounds of participants:
* To generate discussion over the role of museums in 'making and representing textile histories'. Museums are not only depositories of textile objects, but also 'write' or 'make' both public and academic history through displays and publications. But how does their work fit relative to university research and dissemination, feed such research, or react to it? How might interactions between museums and universities in different regions and cultures be developed in the future?
* To consider where innovative museum work is being undertaken (locally, regionally, nationally, internationally), wherein lies its innovation, and how it might suggest directions for the future (in collecting, interpretation, etc.), by interpretation, I mean any analogue or digital explanation that explains the objects on display.
* To suggest that the most dynamic study of objects from the period 1500 to the present is no longer limited to art historians – indeed, that the focus in art history on textiles that belong within a well-established tradition of connoisseurship (in which tapestries and high-end commissions for wall-hangings dominate) is being challenged by the adoption of a more inclusive approach among historians, design historians, and historians of material culture
McNeil, PK 2016, 'Sensorial Economy of Luxury', NEUE LUXURY, vol. 'Time' issue, pp. 1-1.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2015, ''What is Luxury?' exhibition review', V&A Magazine, vol. Spring, no. 36, pp. 60-67.
McNeil, P 2015, 'Review: Across the Water: 'Images of the Pacific Rim' Images of the Pacific Rim: Australia and California, 1850–1935 by Erika Esau (Sydney: Power Institute Foundation for Art and Visual Culture Publications, 2010).', Design Issues, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 107-109.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McNeil, PK 2014, 'Why don't you: think for yourself? Diana Vreeland after Diana Vreeland Muesi Civici di Venezia at Palazzo Fortuny, Venice', Fashion Theory. The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 419-426.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
`Why don't you: think for yourself? Diana Vreeland after Diana Vreeland Muesi Civici di Venezia at Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, in association with the Diana Vreeland Estate, 10 March-25 June 2012. Curator Judith Clark, associated publication by Judith Clark and Maria Luisa Frisa with contributions by Gabriele Monti and Jenna Rossi-Camus.
McNeil, PK 2013, 'Review: 'Sparks Set in Gold': A New History of Jewellery', Art History, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 867-870.
Book review of Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery by Marcia Pointon, New Haven: the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art by Yale University Press, 2010 (3, 362 words). Extensive positioning review that does not restate simply the premise of the book. Includes primary research and notes by the reviewer McNeil
McNeil, PK & Steorn, P 2013, 'The medium of print and the rise of fashion in the west', Konsthistorisk tidskrift/Journal of Art History, vol. 82, no. 3, pp. 135-156.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Closer attention paid to the implications and effects of things that now seem ephemeral, such as fashion prints or fashion plates, has much to offer those who study image culture and ideology more generally. This article provides a historiography outlining some of the ways in which printed images of and about fashion have been interpreted by art historians and historians. It considers the way in which print culture might have contributed to the rise of a sense of a design as well as spreading trans-national fashions in the period from the Renaissance to the 18th century. It commences with a discussion of different modalities of print, including the English broadsheet ballad. It then goes on to consider types of printed materials including the costume book, the trade-card, the pocket-book and the caricature. Fashion in print is generally regarded as a subtopic of the wider category of `printed materials, a vast and allinclusive world. In its origins it might have been thus, but over the course of the early-modern period, fashion expanded key aspects of the medium of print and printing, creating a dialogue between the act of representing and that which was represented, thereby becoming a medium that intimately connected people and things.
How do we index dress? What and who do we privilege? What's in and what's out? Recently I attended an exciting conference entitled "Fashion and Movement." Conducted at the Zurich University of the Arts, and organized by Professors Anna-Brigitte Schlittler and Katharina Tietze on September 22-24, 2011, we might consider it as a diagnostic tool for recent approaches to researching dress and fashion. Papers were contributed from numerous disciplines and professional identities: costume makers, textiles studies, theater studies, style and design, comparative literature, art history, cultural studies, philosophy, history of textiles and weaving, high-level freelance journalism, popular culture studies, fashion and costume history, painting, theory, bookselling and publishing, history, architecture, sociology, film, European art and design history, and the practice of intermedia. I list these affiliations and professorial titles in neither particular order nor hierarchy, simply as they appeared in the program. The point to be made is that the field of dress and fashion research is large, diffuse, and a little peculiar. That also makes it very exciting, but not without challenges. At a recent meeting to establish an Australian Fashion Research Network, led by Professor Jenni Craik and conducted at the Queensland University of Technology in mid-2011, participants pointed to further considerations that might be addressed by researchers of fashion in the contemporary academy. These included the nature of mass markets, the agency of today's sometimes "invisible" designers, fashion films as a new genre like MTV, the connection of historical research to contemporary debates, globalization, the sensorial nature of fashion embodiment, corporations, the design archive, "art colonising fashion," the creative industries, government policy and intervention, material culture, health and fashion, sustainability, performance, design outside the act of making, SME (small and medium ent...
McNeil, PK 2011, 'Review: 'Subterranean influence': Debating the Life of Ursula Hoff, Art Historian', Journal of Art Historiography, vol. 1, no. 4, June, pp. 1-7.
Review of S.Palmer. 'Centre of the Periphery' ASP.2009 and C. Holden. The Outsider. A Portrait of Ursula Hoff. Melbourne: ASP. 2009 http://arthistoriography.wordpress.com/number-4-june-2011/ Issue guest edited by Jaynie Anderson, University of Melbourne
McNeil, PK 2011, 'Historiographical Bibliography Incorporating the Australian Art and Design History bibliography Including texts relating to interiors, architecture, furniture, decorative arts and crafts; texts published pre-1995, including certain primary sources', Journal of Art Historiography, vol. 1, no. No 4 June, pp. 24-34.
McNeil, PK 2011, 'A line of beauty. The Commingling of Art and Fashion', Art and Australia Quarterly Journal, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 672-679.
In this paper I outline some of the historiographical issues that inflect the study of objects within Australian art history, firstly for the nineteenth century and then, more briefly, for the twentieth.
McNeil, PK 2011, 'How Artists Changed Fashion - Back-Story', Art Monthly Australia, vol. 1, no. 242, pp. 21-25.
The notion of crossings between art and fashion has become a new fashion itself at the moment. It appeals to the contemporary desire to understand the allure of everything from Louise Vuitton handbags to pop up 'guerilla stores'. Sometimes it responds to the strident, yet rather rearguard call, to keep the fashion arts out of the art museum. Art historians should know better, as fashion and art have always been intertwined. The relationship of artists to fashion has a long back-story that is sometimes overlooked. The premium placed on ephemeral entertainments orchestrated by artists and architects such as masques, operas and pageants within court culture is another indication that fashion's ability to create impressions and allusions has been valued across geographies and chronologies.
The Queen of the Night trills her rage under the chandelier of Teatro alla Scala. Her flowing, dark, gothic robe à la française with the headdress of glistening stars and a moon exudes a mysterious yet majestic air. To the music of Mozart, but this time his somber yet solemn Requiem, a young figure skater commences her Olympic short program routine, gracing the ice in an attitude of prayer, and crossing herself. Her black and red dress carries a large, symbolic cross, outlined with coruscating silvery sequins, sewn into her costume. From literature to opera productions, sports to popular cinema, fragments of gothic fashion aesthetics are flourishing.
Dr. Toby Slade is Australian-trained, a Japanese speaker, and a lecturer in Tokyo where he teaches cultural theory. In some ways his career exemplifies the cross-disciplinary nature of fashion studies and its audiences today. Trained at the University of Sydney, he was influenced by the lecture series of Dr. Michael Carter, the anthropologically inclined rhinkeJ; and the innovative scholarship of Professor John Clark, who twenty··five years ago was advocating in his classes and writings that we study Shanghai art-deco men's tie design in its own right as much as Nihol1ga paiming. Slade has now published a monograph, based on his doctoral studies. This ambitious project negotiates theoretical specula_ tion and empiricist observation, as well as references to history, litera_ ture, art, and politics, in a wholly convincing manner. Slade sets himself very ambitious targets inja/Janese Fashion: A Cult.ural History, an analytical survey of a whole clothing culture, which he successfully meets.
McNeil, PK 2010, 'Conference Report: 'The Future of Fashion Studies', University of Warwick, April 30, 2009', Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 105-110.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Over the last decade, fashion studies has emerged as an interdisciplinary field of research. It integrates history, film and theater studies, cultural studies, business studies, curatorship, and sociology and other disciplines within the humanities and social sciences. A one-day workshop on "The Future of Fashion Studies: A Fashion Network" was conducted at the University of Warwick on April 30, 2009. Convened by Dr. Giorgio Riello and Professor Stella Bruzzi, the meeting was designed to discuss the methodologies and research agendas of the growing area of fashion studies and possible future opportunities for collaboration
McNeil, PK 2010, ''Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews and a Lost World of Global Commerce' (Sarah Abrevaya Stein)', Journal of Design History, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 432-435.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Women's enormous Belle Epoque picture hats with their sweeping ostrich feather sprays, the falling ostrich capes and the stylish aigrettes of the years just before the Great War were not simply conjured up by 'man milliners' and 'madame' dressmakers working in cities and towns around the world. The components of these pure white or rainbow confections came from somewhere.
McNeil, PK 2009, 'The Prince of Wales', Vestoj. The Journal of Sartorial Matters. Material Memories, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 47-55.
McNeil, PK 2009, 'Washing and Whiteness or the Art of Being Properly Dressed', Persuasion: Fashion in the Age of Jane Austen, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-2.
Commentary in book catalogue produced by the National Gallery of Victoria - scholarly work on Regency Fashion history.
McNeil, PK 2009, 'Design of the Past and into the Future', The Innovative Household. Designing our Futures: Space, Lifestyle and the Individual Home, vol. 2009, no. n/a, pp. 123-126.
McNeil, PK 2009, ''Alchemical Power': On the Duchess and the Ladies who Lunched', Vestoj The Journal of Sartorial Matters., vol. -, no. 1, Winter, pp. 17-26.
The power of fashion clothing to attract attention has never been so pervasive, but its meaning has changed. What once seemed unobtainable and was achieved via years of aesthetic and personal `training sits on a stage quite different from that of the inter-war years. This world disappeared with the Second World War, despite various attempts to revive it in the fashions and entertainments of the 1950s and itsmythological reflection in Hollywood films of that era. The essay reconsiders the infamous essay by Truman Capote; a part of his unfinished novel Answered Prayers, published as La Côte Basque 1965 in Esquire in 1975.
McNeil, PK 2008, 'Fashion History - Exoticism - Interview with Dr Valerie Steele', ACNE Paper, vol. 1, no. 6, pp. 46-47.
McNeil, PK 2008, 'Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design, Christopher Long, Yale University Press, 2007', Journal of Design History, vol. 21, no. November 1, pp. 113-115.
McNeil, PK 2008, '"We're Not in the Fashion Business": Fashion in the Museum and the Academy', Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 65-81.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This article examines relationships between the museum fashion exhibit, viewing publics, and historians. It takes as a case study AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 3-September 4 2006, as an example of a possibly new type of exhibition merging art-historical research with contemporary styling and viewing practices.
McNeil, PK 2008, 'Fashion and Display: from the Couturier to the Interior Designer', The Furniture History Society Australasia Inc. Newsletter, vol. 1, no. 50, pp. 3-6.
Article in Furniture History Society Newsletter September/October 2008
McNeil, PK 2008, ''Tradition': Interview with Martin Kamer, fashion collector, London and Switzerland', ACNE Paper, vol. 1, no. 7.
McNeil, PK 2008, 'Sandra Backlund, Swedish Designer', Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design, vol. 1, no. 56, pp. 42-47.
Riello, G & McNeil, P 2007, 'Bootprints of history', History Today, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 30-36.
McNeil, P 2007, 'Exhibition review: Fashion and fancy dress: The messel family dress collection 1865-2005', Fashion Theory - Journal of Dress Body and Culture, vol. 11, no. 2-3, pp. 377-382.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McNeil, PK 2007, 'Design. Object Lesson', The Bulletin (with Newsweek, Australia), vol. 125, no. 6568, pp. 56-57.
Analysis of the finalists in the 2007 Australian Design Awards.
McNeil, PK 2007, 'Design. Drawing on Excellence', The Bulletin (with Newsweek, Australia), vol. 125, no. 6566, pp. 42-43.
Article on contemporary designers - Australia
McNeil, PK 2007, 'Fashion and Fancy Dress: The Messel Family Dress Collection 1865-2005', Fashion Theory, vol. 11, no. 2-3, pp. 377-382.
Exhibition review which reflects on historiography, museology and curatorial choices. Suggests new pathways for research in the area of fashion studies.
McNeil, PK 2007, 'Aspects of Colonial Furniture', The Furniture History Society Australasia Inc. Newsletter, vol. 1.XLV, no. XLV, pp. 4-5.
McNeil, PK 2007, 'Footprints of History (with Giorgio Riello)', History Today, vol. 57, no. 3.
McNeil, PK 2006, 'Roland Barthes, The Language of Fashion', Art Monthly, vol. Aug 2006, no. 192, pp. 35-36.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2006, 'What Women Want: The Capricious Nature of Shoes', .Cent.The Stephen Jones Issue 'Whimsy', vol. 1, no. 9, pp. 68-69.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2006, 'The Art and Science of Walking: Gender, Space, and the Fashionable Body in the Long Eighteenth Century.', Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Cul..., vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 175-204.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Examines the attitude of eighteenth-century Europeans toward footwear and its merchandising. Restrictions in physical mobility of the upper orders in urban and rural environments; Manifestation of changes in attitude towards walking through public spaces; Connection between dress systems, aesthetic models and shoes.
McNeil, PK 2006, 'The Art and Science of Walking (with G. Riello), Russian language translation', Fashion Theory (Russian language), vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 126-162.
Translation into Russian of a refereed article first published in 'Fashion Theory' (Berg).
McNeil, PK 2005, ''Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century'', Fashion Theory, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 477-486.
McNeil, PK 2005, 'Akira Isagowa: Printemps Ete', Object, vol. x, no. 47, pp. 49-49.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2005, 'The Art of Science and Walking: Gender, Space, and the Fashionable Body in the Long Eighteenth Century', Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 175-204.
McNeil, P 2005, 'Exhibition review: Dangerous liaisons. Fashion and furniture in the eighteenth century', Fashion Theory - Journal of Dress Body and Culture, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 477-486.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McNeil, PK 2004, ''Shaun Cole: Don We Now our Gay Apparel. Gay Men's Dress in the Twentieth Century'', Fashion Theory, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 105-108.
Review with original research content
McNeil, PK & Siqueira, D 2001, 'Catalogue Essay', Making the Most Sound, vol. n/a.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'Erte (Romain de Tirtoff)', Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. From Antiquity to World War II, vol. 1, pp. 152-153.
Historiographic investigation required as stated in the preface of this international research project.
McNeil, PK 2000, 'Camp Brilliance with the tumultuous crowd [Olympics Closing Ceremony]', Art Monthly Australia, vol. 1, no. 135, pp. 7-8.
McNeil, PK 2000, 'Mocking the Macaroni: Fashion Victims of 18th-century England', Rotunda. The Magazine of the Royal Ontario Museum, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 36-42.
McNeil, PK 1999, '"That Doubtful Gender": Macaroni Dress and Male Sexualities', Fashion Theory, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 411-447.
McNeil, PK 1999, 'Griffith University's Tokyo Vogue', Art Monthly Australia, vol. 1, no. 126, pp. 19-20.
McNeil, PK 1996, 'Poiret in Sydney: Fabrics and Photography', The Art Deco Society Newsletter, vol. VII, no. 1, pp. 8-9.
McNeil, PK 1995, 'Rarely Looking In: The Writing of Australian Design History c1900-1990', JAS, Australia's Public Intellectual Forum, vol. 1, no. 44, pp. 48-63.
McNeil, PK 1995, 'Decorating the Home. Australian Interior Decoration between the Wars', Art and Australia Quarterly Journal, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 222-231.
McNeil, PK 1994, 'A (very) Short History of Drag', The Performance Space Quarterly, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 26-27.
Chronicles the role of women in interior decoration in Great Britain. Development of the interior decoration profession in the twentieth century; Involvement of women in the Arts and Crafts movement; Homosociality and the interior decorator; Gendering by design; Quest for color and the construction of femininity; Decorator and consumer culture.
McNeil, PK 1993, ''Put Your Best Face Forward': The Impact of the Second World War on British Dress', Journal of Design History, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 281-297.
McNeil, PK 1992, 'Family Ties: The Creation of Frederick McCubbin's Reputation, 1920-60', La Trobe Library Journal, vol. 13, no. 50, pp. 32-39.
This paper examines the impact of western architec- ture on Japan in the 1920s and 1930s with reference to both public and domestic buildings and their interiors. The simple model of Japan submitting to overseas 'influence' is avoided; rather, it is suggested that the Japanese made conscious design choices from the range of 'modern' European styles avail- able. European histories of the modern movement in Japan are scrutinized, particularly the privileging of German architectural models. A case is made for the re-emphasis of French Art Deco modes as popular for middle- and upper-class interior design.
McNeil, PK 2019, 'Creative Paddington' in Young, G (ed), Paddington: A History, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney, pp. 228-255.
McNeil, PK & Veale, S 2019, 'Gentrification' in Young, G (ed), Paddington: A History, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney, pp. 164-179.
McNeil, PK 2019, 'The Emptying of the Interior: Luxury, Space and the Hotel Effect in Contemporary Life' in Armitage, J & Roberts, J (eds), The Third Realm of Luxury, Bloomsbury, London and New York.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2019, ''Luxury' and consumption: goods in 17th – 18th century England' in Donzé, P-Y, Roberts, J & Pouillard, V (eds), Oxford Handbook of Luxury Business, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
McNeil, PK 2018, 'A fold of clothing is a trace of passion ' in Hug, C & Becker, C (eds), Fashion Drive: Extreme Clothing in the Visual Arts, Kerber Culture/Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld, pp. 40-49.
This lavishly illustrated book, rich in both fine and culinary art, allows readers the chance to join that table, for an aromatic mix of Art, Food and Fire.
McNeil provided a scoping chapter concerning the inter-relationship of ceramic and food technologies and the terroir distinctive to Hill End, New South Wales
Aileen Ribeiro, in her magisterial publication The Art of Dress, cited two authors, one eighteenth-century French and one British, to demonstrate that considering fashion and dress, to be part of cultural, philosophical or even scientific change was considered plausible at the very time the fashions were made and consumed'1 Contained in these short quotations are many of the ideas that would colour future theoretical speculation by the likes of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers such as Thorstein Veblen and even Pierre Bourdieu: that fashion is something that stretches to encompass much more than sartorial fashions, that fashion is hastily copied, and that it also serves to identify and situate individuals and societies. In the expression "adjusting oneself" there is even contained the suggestion of the embodiment which has come to provide new impetus in writing about fashion in recent years. I will take these three themes to structure my overview of dress during the Enlightenment: the fairly elastic definition of "fashion" that pertained during the long eighteenth century, the uptake, diffusion or indeed, reflection, of fashions by individuals and groups, including rural elites, and the relationship of dress and the body to Richard Sennett's famous formulation of interlinked "flesh and stone," that is, the linking of dress, body and the built environment in the rapidly transforming towns and cities of eighteenth-century West Europe'
McNeil, PK 2017, ''Beauty in Search of Knowledge': from fashion doll to the world of print' in Welch, E (ed), Fashioning the Early Modern Dress, Textiles, and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
This book explores the ways in which men, women, state industries, guilds and entrepreneurs in early modern Europe created, innovated and promoted new textiles, novel products and unusual forms of dress.
McNeil, PK 2016, ''Everything degenerates': The Queer Buttonhole'' in Kranz, I, Schwan, A & Wittrock, E (eds), Floriographie: Die Sprachen der Blumen/The Languages of Flowers: Media of Floral Communication, Wilhelm Fink, Berlin, pp. 389-408.
Commissioned by the German research group Floriography. English language text in a mainly otherwise German- language text. Authors include Elaine Scarry. The conference and associated book 'The Languages of Flowers: Media of Floral Communication' focuses on the media and technologies of floral communication in a historical perspective, drawing on the findings of cultural and media studies as well as the natural sciences. The goal of the conference is to discuss differ- ent concepts of 'languages of flowers' in an open exchange between the sciences and the humanities. Under investigation are forms of communication in which flowers are either signs to be decoded or senders of messages; amongst themselves or directed at their environment. For systematic and historical reasons, we will focus on flowering plants. For once, flowers have become closely related to language and communication theories in general: Whether in medieval tropes of rhetoric such as confidential information 'sub rosa' or the rules of the secret language of flowers named Selam made popular in the 19th century, flowers have been markers for indirect speech for a long time. Thus, in rhetoric, literature and the visual arts, flowers have always been placeholders for very different concepts. Their metaphoric use ranges from a common image of beauty and transience to the designation of (mostly female) innocence, to sexuality in general and perversions in particular. Flowers therefore encode historically specific messages that can be decoded using different kinds of media.
McNeil, PK 2016, 'Georg Simmel: The 'Philosophical Monet'' in Rocamora, A & Smelik, A (eds), Thinking Through Fashion A Guide to the Key Theorists [trans. into Japanese Tokyo: Film Art Inc., 2019, 466 pp. ISBN 978-4-8459-1716-7; Chinese and Russian scheduled 2020], I.B.Tauris Publishers, London, New York, pp. 63-80.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Who was Simmel? Born in 1858, Simmel witnessed the development of modern culture. He lived most of his life in Berlin as a Christianised Jew to an upper-middle class family. He was taken under the wing of a wealthier relative and therefore had a privileged upbringing. Simmel was indelibly formed by his maturing in one of the great fin-de-siècle European cities. As one of his pupils from 1910, Albert Salomon (1995: 363), noted in a lecture given in New York in 1963, Simmel 'was and remained the product of a metropolitan civilization, overwhelming through a variety of sensual, intellectual, technological, poetical and artistic impressions….' It was Simmel's attempt to understand the human condition as formed within a modern metropolis of innumerable stimulii that enabled him to generate his particular theory of city life and modern design, influence thinkers such as Walter Benjamin, and create a model for understanding fashion that has been particularly influential in the United States of America since the 1910s, being revived in the 1950s and again in the 1980s, and continuing to resonate today (see Milà 2005: 14). Simmel's approach, then, did not quite fit in any discipline, even the emerging discipline of sociology that he later disavowed, but nor was he an iconoclast. His independent wealth probably contributed to his lack of concern about following academic convention.
McNeil, PK 2016, ''Despots of Elegance': Men's Fashion 1715-1910' in Takeda, SS, Spilker, KD & Esguerra, C (eds), Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015, Prestel Publishing, Germany, pp. 235-248.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The fashionable male may be making a comeback, but early fashion trends centered around what men—not women—were wearing. This intriguing book traces the history of men's fashion since the 18th century, when young Englishmen imitated foreign dress and manners after touring the European continent. This phenomenon is only one of many explored in sections titled "Revolution/Evolution", "East/West", "Uniformity", "Body Consciousness", and "The Splendid Man". In addition to numerous illustrations of extant menswear, the book captures the 19th-century dandy, a more restrained brand of expensive elegance which became the hallmark of Savile Row; the post-WWII mod, who relished the colorful styles of Carnaby Street; and the 21st-century man—ultra-chic in a sleek suit by day, wearing a flowered tuxedo by night. "Reigning Men" illuminates connections between history and high fashion, traces cultural influences over the centuries, examines how uniforms have profoundly shaped fashionable dress, and reveals that women aren't the only ones who cinch and pad their bodies. Beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated, this eye-opening book will certainly appeal to men and women alike.
McNeil, PK 2015, 'Fashion Design and Fashion Studies' in VAIDYA, K (ed), Fashion Design for the Curious: Why Study Fashion Design? (The Stuck Student's Guide to Picking the Best College Major and Career), The Curious Academic Publishing, Amazon Digital Services LLC.
181 pages. Authors include prominent fashion researchers Timo Rissanen and Linda Welters.
McNeil, PK 2015, ''Fashions In Living': The Duke And Duchess Of Windsor, 4, Route Du Champs d'Entraînement, Paris' in Lasc, A, Downey, G & Taylor, M (eds), Designing the French Interior: The Modern Home and Mass Media, Bloomsbury Academic, London and New York, pp. 203-216.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The 'style politics' of the Duke and Duchess' arrangement of their Paris residence, redecorated from 1953 by the celebrated firm 'Jansen,' were quite remarkable. Living in a type of quasi-exile, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were among the most famous figures in the world between the 1930s and 1960s. In 1963, Valentine George Nicholas Lawford [known as 'Nicholas' to his friends] and the life partner of the photographer Horst P. Horst visited the Duke and Duchess of Windsor at their home in Paris and filed a report for Vogue. Editors determine the content, layout, and the mood, and the contribution of women to this profession in the twentieth century has been underestimated. This essay focuses on the work of Diana Vreeland.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2015, 'Luxury and Fashion in the Long Eighteenth Century' in Avery, V, Calaresu, M & Laven, M (eds), Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, Philip Wilson Publishers, London, pp. 153-160.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Treasured Possessions began as an unprecedented collaboration between the Applied Arts Department of the Fitzwilliam Museum and staff and students from the History Faculty at Cambridge University. A number of historians were also invited to contribute to the catalogue, published as a book.This chapter, written with an economic and global historian, considers how luxury goods in the eighteenth century were at the same time cosmopolitan and trans-national as well as carrying specific local meanings and usages.
McNeil, PK 2015, 'Mode, Blumen und botanisches Wissen (Fashion, flowers and botanical knowledge)' in Furor Floralis Textildesign und Landschaftsarchitektur, Textilmuseum, St Gallen Switzerland, pp. 1-2.
Translation from English into German.
McNeil, PK 2015, 'Ideology, Fashion and the Darlys Macaroni Prints' in Marzal, SR & Stiebel, GD (eds), Dress and Ideology: Fashioning Identity from Antiquity to the Present, Bloomsbury Academic, London, New Delhi, New York, Sydney, pp. 111-136.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Is there a concrete difference between the reception of a political caricature, and one concerning manners, such as arose in very large numbers in the last third of the eighteenth century in England? How can we determine the ideological function of eighteenth- century printed satires of the subject of fashion? What was the ideological role of the witty expressions and humorous sallies that were popular consumer items, as dArchenholz observed of the many such broadsheets being sold in the streets of London in 1786? What is known about the people who might have perused them? In this chapter I focus upon one genre of the printed satirical material of the eighteenth century and indicate some of the problems of interpreting the corpus.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2014, 'The Art and Science of Walking: mobility, gender and footwear in the long eighteenth century' in Bartel, O (ed), Makhshavot al Naalaim ('Thoughts About Shoes') [Hebrew translation], Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem and Resling Publishing, Bezalel, pp. 19-44.
McNeil, PK 2013, '"Movement and Pep": Re-animating the Duchess of Windsor's Lifestyle Fashions' in Schlittler, AB & Tietze, K (eds), Mode und Bewegung. Beiträge zur theorie und geschichte der kleidung, Gebruder Mann Verlag, Emsdetten, Berlin, pp. 57-68.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Between the wars the Duchess of Windsor (1896-1986) was a quintessential female sartorial modernist. It was an image built on a type of obsessive discipline and iteration of gestures and actions in `appearing' and also in managing a household - `she was always in control', noted her friend Carol Petrie. Photographic and drawn representations of her by Man Ray, Cecil Beaton and Horst played a role in disseminating new silhouettes and profiles for modern women. Yet these images are frozen, and they drain the kinesic element of wearing garments for which she was notable. The Duchess of Windsor brought her clothes, which now hang as empty relics, into a range of animated performances, which can be reconstructed through film, photography and memoirs. The jewellery collection, the sale of which reinvigorated her fame after her death, constituted a type of endless writing over the body, being inscribed with private messages in the prince's hand-writing by the jeweler-engravers. Their technical and aesthetic innovation lay in their ability to move, to be flexible and pliable, to mould to her clothes and her body. Her initials and quasi-royal cipher were embroidered onto both inner and outer clothing, and incorporated into the structure of her dwelling spaces. This paper will relate the modernity of the Duchess' sartorial movement to more archaic and emblematic poses. Perhaps her appearance was so compelling because it linked her contemporary life to early-modern traditions of personal jokes and personal allegiances reiterated through the wearing of clothes, craft practices and gift exchange.
McNeil, PK 2013, '"Beyond the horizon of hair": Masculinity, nationhood and fashion in the Anglo-French Eighteenth century' in Fresit, D & Schmekel, F (eds), Hinter dem Horizont Band 2: Projektion und Distinktion ländlicher Oberschichten im europäischen Vergleich, 17.19. Jahrhundert, Aschendorff Verlag, Münster, pp. 79-90.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Fashion is a distinctive format as it is both an economic product and a part of the imaginative horizon. It exists in a double register of material actions and also in its representations. The wearing of false hair in replacement of one's own is a cultural act that was transformed from the social requisite of an elite to a more individualised consumer choice over the course of the long-eighteenth century. Worn almost universally by men in England and very widely in France by the early-eighteenth century, the wig was offered in a variety of formats and qualities, and was constantly subject to fashion change and also innovation in design. Over the course of the century changing priorities about health, science and also aesthetics became allied with notions of comfort and convenience, meaning that the wig did not become "old fashioned" but rather was "refashioned" in new ways. Even at the time when the wearing of one's own hair was gaining currency in the 1760-1770s, "fashion" created new tastes for very high toupées, long tails and particularly mannered appearances for male wigs. Although wigs represented a cost, the hair of young men could likely be modified or amplified with false hair in order to appear fashionable. This paper will present aspects of the evidence that survives for this practice, as well as speculating at length on what the hairstyles might have meant or inferred. In this way, the chapter will consider both a social, bodily and material culture practice - hairstyling and hair-pieces - with broader social, psychological and cultural meanings.
McNeil, PK 2013, 'Conspicuous Waist: Queer Dress in the "Long Eighteenth Century"' in Steele, V (ed), A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk, Yale University Press, New Haven and New York, pp. 71-107.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
What are the main contours of the history of queer mens fashion? What are its narratives? How has the concept of queer mens fashion been put together within the history of dress and the history of sexuality? How does the body and gesture work together to create a fashionable image? Why are young gay men attacked if they appear thin and pretty? What are the precursors for this way of being in the world? Why does society blame gay male designers for attracting female shoppers? How do persecuted minorities manage their identity via clothing and fashionable looks? These are big questions indeed. They can be tested in part through an historical overview and a series of case studies reaching back in time, and in so doing, we see both how stereotypes travel across time and how they are formed at specific historical moments. This chapter will consider the tantalizing but difficult hypothesis that gay style actually sets trends. Its what straight people take fashion from. This overview begins with the development of sodomitical subcultures in early-modern western Europe, that is, the period 15001800. Much can be recovered of the fashionable taste of outsider males including their apparent liking of vibrant colors, clashing colors and patterns, and sometimes also cross-dressing, which seems to have fulfilled the roles of entertainment, ironic pleasure, or occasional sex work. In this backdrop I will unpack the archaeology of queer dressing and explore the queer trace in eighteenth-century Western Europe.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2013, 'The 'Fashion Arts': Jean Michel Frank, Elsa Schiaparelli and the interwar aesthetic project' in Bruzzi, S & Church Gibson, P (eds), Fashion Cultures Revisited, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 217-233.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The relationships between art and design has a long and complicated history. Their commercial potential, their reliance on creativity and the mondaine lives of their protagonists, have made art and fashion an established pairing at least since the rise of couture and impressionist art in 1860s France. The same can be said for fashion and design, though theirs is a more recent affair. In the early twentieth century the couturier Paul Poiret played with the idea of design, but it was only in the postwar period that the alliance between design and fashion became strong, in particular with the rise of pret-a-porter, the made-in-Italy and American casual wear and lifestyles. The danger is of constructing histories in which fashion remains a distinct unit of analysis that only interacts with other realms of material creation - as if fashion were either separate from either art or design. This essay takes a different approach to the relationship and emphasises the imbrication of interior design and fashion. Our focus is on an 'improbable' couple: the French interior designer Jean-Michel Frank and the Italian-born couturier Elsa Schiaparelli. We use an anthropologically inspired 'thick description' methodology to reconstruct interiors that are no longer extant. The aim is to break down the barrier between the designer and the client, but also between interior decoration and dress.
McNeil, PK 2013, 'Caricature and Fashion - History of Mockery' in Huang Kei-yin (ed), Reproduction, Representation, and Communication: Print Culture 1600-1900, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei Taiwan, pp. 35-56.
Trans. by Chun-hong Lin, revised by Chia-hua Yeh, in Reproduction, Representation, and Communication: Print Culture 1600-1900, ed. by Kei-yin Huang (Taipei: National Yang-Ming University, 2013), pp. 35-56.
McNeil, PK 2012, 'The Duke of Windsor and the creation of the "soft look"' in Mears, P (ed), Ivy Style: Radical Conformists, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, pp. 45-61.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
McNeil, PK 2011, 'Haute Couture within a fashion studies perspective [Swedish trans. from English]' in Fredrik Andersson (ed), Kunglig Vintage [Royal Vintage], Livrustkammarstifterlserna, Stockholm, Sweden, pp. 182-193.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The history of haute couture is well researched from perspectives that range from mythologising studies of particular designers to market-field research. Haute couture occupies a rather ambivalent place within the contemporary field of fashion studies, a field that concerns itself as much with everyday dress or sub-cultural style as with rare pieces of luxury. The values that couture was meant to uphold were themselves the subject of dispute and debate in the years after the second world war, when changing notions of the role and social place of the fashion designer also transformed the 'brief' of fashion design. A focus on individuality within set parameters has led today to the idea of customisation, which we associate with youth culture, Nike, Iphones and 'apps' - but the couture was always a process of customization, more regarding suitability than extremism, perhaps, for a member of the Swedish royal family. Haute couture is also important from the perspective of the status of the designer in twentieth-century culture. The production of clothing generated from a designer's 'vision' or intention marks something distinctive that raises issues of the quest for artistic rights and copyright within the appearance industries. The couture inverts an older more obsequious idea concerning service - the couturier creates the vision for the client, although the customer was also involved in the negotiations when the garment was made up. It was never a one-way fashion street.
McNeil, PK 2011, 'Sneakers/Trainers (with Roger Leong)' in Dale Souherton (ed), The Encyclopedia for Consumer Culture, Sage, Thousand Oaks.
McNeil, PK 2011, 'Old empire and new global luxury: Fashioning global design' in Adamson, G, Riello, G & Teasley, S (eds), Global Design History, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 138-149.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In 1989, Brisbane-based fashion designers Pam Easton and Lydia Pearson began to create from an Australian provincial city their range of garments that were deliberately nostalgic and feminine, with an air of knowing retrospection generated through an engagement with historical and ethnographic sources. At first they were not widely known, their market was completely local, and sometimes they were misunderstood. Within ten years their female clothing-line, manufactured in Brisbane, made of textiles garnered from Italy, France, Vietnam and India, was retailing in Browns, London; Neiman Marcus, USA; and Alta Moda, Kuwait. An engagement with ethnographic sources by contemporary designers is not uncommon, sometimes amounting to a type of scavenging activity, perhaps Baudelairian 'rag-picking' to be more poetic and polite. Within Easton Pearson's design imagination, traditional designs are not simply copied, but rather amended, to create new allusions and aesthetics. In going to the 'source' of ethnic textiles and re-commissioning in India fabrics that had not been produced in some cases for decades, their practice raises questions about authenticity, intervention and revival.
Riello, G & McNeil, PK 2010, 'Fashion's 'origins': the Middle Ages and Renaissance' in Riello, G & McNeil, P (eds), The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 19-24.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The idea that dress has the power \to express', that is to say that what we wear conveys meaning regarding who we are in terms of gender and class, but also who we are in terms of cultural attributes, education and taste, is something that is relentlessly repeated in nearly all texts on fashion. The semiotic power of clothing, that is to say its capacity to convey messages that go beyond the very materiality of the fabric of which it is made, is a complex subject as it entails the idea that people use material things to create their own personalities and interact with other people. The picture gets even more complicated when you think that is is improbable, although not statistically impossible, to meet someone who is dressed exactly like yourself.
Riello, G & McNeil, PK 2010, 'Between luxury and leisure: the nineteenth century' in Riello, G & McNeil, P (eds), The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 267-274.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The nineteenth century was a period of vast transformations and possibilities in terms of a fashion-scape for men and women, from the provincial worker to the patrician industrialist. Yet much of the century's fashion is poorly understood and remains little researched. Enormous changes of style and silhouette swept through the female wardrobe, with most scholarly attention being focused upon those transformations of the second half of the century. This is probably a result of the power of art history in designating impressionist painting practice as central to its scholarship in the past forty years, as well as the attention paid to the greatness of the prose, poetry and journalism of writers such as Baudelaire, the Realists such as Zola and the Symbolists such as Huysmans.
Riello, G & McNeil, PK 2010, 'Modern to hyper/ultra-modern: the twentieth century' in Riello, G & McNeil, P (eds), The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 445-454.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
When we write about the recent decades -- and indeed much of the twentieth century - scholars do not 'reconstruct a past that they can never know' as observed by Fritz Stern in his Varieties of History (1970), Depending on our age, we either remember or were a part of the Grunge style of the 19905, the New Romantics of the 19805, the Punks of the 1970s, the boutiques of the 1960s, the prohibitions of post-war rationing, or through our parents', grandparents', aunts' and uncles' memories, tales of short pongee silk dresses imported from China in the 1920s and the shock of seeing men walk around for the first time without neckties and hats, Of course our memories and recollections are also partial and influenced by our relationship to society, Our closeness and our personal relationships to dress in the recent past colour our interests and inflect our positions; sometimes it leads to books being written and preconceptions being challenged. It is impossible to remain neutral, detached and uninvolved: the fashion history of the recent past has, more than any previous fashion and perhaps more than most other types of histories, collective memories and personal stories, a strong 'presence in the present'.
McNeil, PK 2010, 'Crafting Queer Spaces: privacy and posturing' in Myzelev, A & Potvin, J (eds), Fashion, Interior Design and the Contours of Modern Identity, Ashgate, Farnham, England, pp. 19-41.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Challenging the notion that fashion and furniture were or are separate enterprises and distinct material aesthetic traditions, this collection focuses on three material and conceptual links central to understanding the relationship between interior design and fashion-the body, fabric, and space. The volume considers the changing visual, material and spatial character, methodological challenges posed by, and formal, political and historiographical significance of, a wide range of British, European and North American case studies since the eighteenth century. The volume's eleven case studies allow the reader to understand connecting notions behind the formation of interiors and fashionable clothing. The essays combine a wide range of significant and challenging new examples alongside powerful reversionary analyses of the various periods, artists, designers, and their best and significant objects. Fashion, Interior Design and the Contours of Modern Identity is concerned not only with fabric, but also with the body and the implications of embodiment in the practices of both design domains which are equally invested in the comfort, aesthetic pleasure, extension and support of the body in different and yet seemingly identical ways.
McNeil, PK 2010, 'Caricatura e moda: storia di una presa in giro' in Muzzarelli, MG, Riello, G & Tosi Brandi, E (eds), Moda. Storia e Storie, Bruno Mondadori, Milan, pp. 156-167.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Historiographic essay concerning the cultural meaning of the fashion caricature, translated from the English.
McNeil, PK 2010, 'Flowers in the Art of Dress across the World' in Eicher Joanne, B & Tortora Phyllis, G (eds), Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, Volume 10: Global Perspectives, Berg, Oxford and New York, pp. 146-155.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
When an object or motif is universal, there is a tendency to trivialize it. 'Ihis is undoubtedly (he case with the theme of flowers in its relationship to [,lshion and textiles, 11le floral motif is cross~cultural and ubiquitous but is connected in highly specific ways to different systems of social organization, personal adornment, and religious practice. 'Illc ways in which flowers and their representations are used highlight attitudes toward covering the body and adorning the head, as well as complex relationships to worship and sacrifice.
McNeil, PK 2010, 'The Structure and Form of European Clothes' in Skov, L (ed), Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, Volume 8: West Europe, Berg, Oxford and New York, pp. 33-38.
Clnthing is both a material covering and an enclosure for the body that in West Europe is generally constructed through draping or cutting cloth or through weaving or knitting it to shape. 1hc structure of European dress is also bound up with abstract ideals of conduct and beauty. 'The aesthetic and phe~ n0111cnological dimension of clothing moving in space is also significant. Some fashions such as women's court dress from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were designed to be "read" from a frontal or more two~dimensional perspective, whereas occupational clothes require elasticity. '
In the global culture of the carly twenty~first century, in which de~ signers' names provide the subplots of films and television shows such as Sex and the City, the linking of the £1shion designer with creativity, fantasy, escapism, and glamour is stronger than at any time since Christian Dior's "New Look" of the 1950$.
AAcademic art and popular dress emerge from different struc~ rural and intellectual systems. Nonetheless, fashion in the early twenty~first century often appears to be like art and art to be like fashion. Artists arc viewed as the ideal collaborators with fashion designers and the fashion industry, injecting the type of cultural capital they embody into products that have become synonymous with innovation and novelty. Artises throughout the twentieth century intervened in fashion culture, their antifash~ ion statements ranging from the oppositional critique of futur~ ism and vorticism to the stylish uniforms proposed and worn by contempoeary artist Andrea Zittel (1965-).
Riello, G & McNeil, PK 2010, 'Fashion and social order: the early modern world' in Riello, G & McNeil, P (eds), The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 85-92.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The infiuential scholar Daniel Roche wrote of seventeenth-century clothing that it 'was at the centre of debates about wealth and poverty, excess and necessity, superfluity and sufficiency, luxury and adequacy' (Roche 1994: 5). Fashion also mattered a great deal to the cultural mind-set of early modern society as its meanings contained a paradoxical ftip-side. Fashion in the early modern period might, Roche argues, be seen as a very dignified aspect of the notion of civility, restraint, manners and codes of conduct, or clothes might become \weapons' in a game of swiftly moving and seductive appearances (ibid.: 5-·6). So clothes and grooming were described in conduct books and instruction manuals as something that had to be carefully managed depending on social needs and settings. Many of these detailed directives were written for young men, the most famous of the texts being Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier, whose form came from a classical model by Cicero and which was widely copied and modified for the following three centuries, forming the basis of the 'etiquette' manual.
Riello, G & McNeil, PK 2010, 'The fashion revolution: the 'long' eighteenth century' in Riello, G & McNeil, P (eds), The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 173-178.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The so~ca!led \\ong' eighteenth century, the period spanning from the end of the seventeenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century, has in recent decades been seen as pivotal to the history of fashion. This was not the case just a generation ago. Research tended to concentrate either on the court and elite dress of the period ranging from the Renaissance to the reign of Louis XIV 0643-1715) (characterised by conspicuous consumption and the emergence of a 'civilised' society of mannerS and etiquette) or on the bourgeois ascendancy of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (accompanied instead by mass production and largescale distribution as in the case of department and chain stores). The eighteenth century sat as a 'difficult' period/ sandwiched between two areas of research considered of much higher importance in the history of fashion and not seeming to connect to theories and notions of modernity expressed in the writings of, say, Walter Benjamin and Georg Simmel, whose work revolved around nineteenth-century cultural patterns.
McNeil, PK 2010, 'Queer Dress in Australia' in Margaret Maynard (ed), Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, Volume 7: Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, Berg, Oxford and New York, pp. 224-230.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The history of queer dress in Australia resides in unpublished theses, memoirs, diaries, photographs, and the tn.emories of gay, lesbian, and transgendcl' people. Changing understandings of sexual practice, fro111 situational, private, and criminalized, to open, liberationist, and commodified, have impacted upon queer dress codes, clothing styles, and bodily appearance. Male homo~ sexual acts were decriminalized in New South Wales (NSW) as late as 1984; in Tasmania, in 1997. Australia's queer history ex~ tends back into the convict period of transportation, when the social concept of homosexuality was nonexistent, and further back in time to same~sex rituals and relationships that were a part of some indigenous cultures.
McNeil, PK 2010, 'Fashion, Dress and Interior Spaces' in Eicher Joanne, B & Tortora Phyllis, G (eds), Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, Volume 10: Global Perspectives, Berg, Oxford and New York, pp. 218-225.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
There are fashions not just in dress but in all aspectsf life, from the time and manner of taking meals to the ways in which people sit. Clothes arc animated by bodies moving in space, through gesture and deportment, and attitudes toward work and leisure that have changed dramatically across cultures and time. The dressed body occupies space in coded ways that are leamed through socialization and that are also subject to fashion and cultural convention. Cloth, the basis of most fashion, was also generally the most expensive outlay in a European interior before the mid~eightcenth century.
Riello, G & McNeil, PK 2010, 'Westernisation and colonialism: the age of empires' in Riello, G & McNeil, P (eds), The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 357-364.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Fashion, in the age before the mechanical reproduction of objects and images, could only be limited in its reach. Scholars over the last century have discussed, and mostly disagl'eed, on the extent to which fashion inftuenced the lives of billions of people across the globe. This Reader suggests that fashion, however one might define it, is a phenomenon that goes back in time at least to the Middle Ages, if not earlier, and had substantial importance not just for the rich and famous living in the period before the nineteenth century (monarchs, the court, and rich merchants) but also for the 'common people'. Yet these ideas are mostly applied to the West and in particular to those rich parts of Western Europe, and later North America, South Africa and Australia that enjoyed increasing consumption from the eighteenth century onwards, industrialisation, urbanisation/ and in the twentieth century experienced the rise of the afftuent middle class and its leisured lifestyle.
As nevI' and cheaper lIxms of graphic reproduction, and more Jiterate audiences [oJ' periodicals and prints arose in eighteenth-century Western Europe, there was a marked increase in the output of' satirical printmaking from the 17605 in France, Germany and the Dutch Republic, but notably in England, England'5 freedom of the press and involvement of the public in political and cultural affairs through coffee house, print and exhibition culture encouraged the production of thousands of satirical broadsheets and individually printed caricatures. Fashion had two principal functions in these prints. In the first half of the century the English political print included dress to inclicatc class, party-political, geographiC, ethnic and national identity. In tandem with theatrical precedents, the shorthand device for a Frenchman was elaborate court-dress and a simpering posture, for a Spaniard a ruff, and a Dutchman round breeches.
Scholars have paid a great deal of attention to the changing role and nature of fashion, both conceptually and practically. They have underlined how present-day societies find thei,. identity and formulate thei,. understanding of change not simply by referring to technological progress, economic growth or cultural transformation in society, but also through the medium of fashion. Today few individuals would deny the powerful role of fashion in everyday life. The media presents us with an array of images from the real to the fantastic. Large multinational corporations and powerful fashion houses shape the discourse of fashion, influence public opinion and sct in place global productive and distributive structures. Fashion is thus a specific vision of change that is shaped by practices, economic systems and actors. Fashion is also heavily contested, opposed and criticised. It retains in the public mind strong connections with vanity, frivolity, waste and folly. It can be conveniently blamed for everything from psychological illness, the ratings of Miss World, nastiness on Project Runway and the death of baby animals. \There is something about fashion that can make people ve!'y nervous' remarks Vogue editor Anna Wintour in the 2009 film The September Issue.
McNeil, PK 2009, 'Portable Decoration: Easton Pearson, history and traditions' in Miranda Wallace (ed), Easton Pearson, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, pp. 109-122.
Commercial press; for sale; 5000 word chapter in edited 144 pp. book.
Historiography; contains original research, 37 notes including mainly primary sources.
McNeil, PK 2009, 'Introduction - Part 1: A Brief History of Men's Fashion' in McNeil, P & Karaminas, V (eds), The Men's Fashion Reader, Berg, London and New York, pp. 251-260.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Primary Research. 25 notes.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2009, 'Kunst und Wissenschaft des Gehens:Geschlecht, Raum und modischer Korper im verlangerten 18. Jahrhundert - The Art and Science of Walking: Gender, Space, and the Fashionable Body in the Long Eighteenth Century' in Schlittler, AB & Tietze, K (eds), Kleider in Raumen, alata-Verlag, Winterthur Switzerland, pp. 14-30.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper is the product of collaborative research with an economic historian (Riello). Of this paper, a reviewer commended it as: âaim [ing] to do something that fashion historians have both repeatedly aspired to and just as often disavowed â ie. to link changes in fashion to broad changes in social and cultural context. It does so in relation to nation, health and science, but most interestingly in relationship to the built environmentâ. The paper has been translated into three languages: Italian, Russian and German; in Russian as âPeshie progulki kak nauka i iskusstvo: gender, prostranstvo i modnoe telo v "dolgom vosemnadzatom vekeâ, Teoria Mody, 1/2 (2007), pp. 127-162. The 2009 German translation was a major revision with 2000 additional words of new findings related to 18th-centry urban geographies and discourses of health.
McNeil, PK 2008, 'The Role of Fashion: Fashion, Form, Identity' in Saad, MB (ed), Swedish Fashion. Exploring a New Identity. A touring exhibition, Swedish Institute, Stockholm, pp. 42-45.
Exhibition catalogue for two-year world tour from 2009.
DAB DOCS is distributed commercially through a Melbourne broker. The publication was produced in conjunction with an exhibition 'Shinmi Park' (UTS Gallery) and an academic conference, 'Fashion in Fiction', UTS 26-27 May 2007. Six chapters are provided by academics including Professor Andrew Benjamin and Professor McNeil, UTS.
McNeil, PK 2007, 'Gary Carsley: Looking at Works of Art in the Light of Other Works of Art' in Reuben Keehan (ed), Artspace Projects 2006, Artspace Visual Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia, pp. 95-100.
McNeil, PK & Riello, G 2006, 'Walking the Streets of London and Paris: Shoes in the Enlightenment' in Shoes: A History from Sandals to Sneakers, Berg, Oxford, UK, pp. 94-115.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
McNeil, PK 2005, 'Caricature and Fashion' in Valerie Steele (ed), Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion, Thomson Gale/Charles Scribner's Sons, Detroit, New York et al, pp. 225-230.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Substantial new contribution to the relationship of fashion and the caricature print. Encylopedia is described by the editor as 'the product of a new, multidisciplinary field of inquiry and an extraordinary international collaboration' (Preface, xv).
McNeil, PK 2004, 'The Appearance of Enlightenment: Refashioning the Elites' in Fitzpatrick, M, Jones, P, Knellwolf, C & McCalman, I (eds), The Enlightenment World, Routledge, New York, USA, pp. 381-400.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In the eighteenth century clothing introduced and worn at court ceased to be the dominant fashion. The strict codification of dress backed by sumptuary laws asserting an unchanging social structure was undone by philosophical, scientific, political and economic change. Rising incomes, the spread of literacy and print culture, the introduction of new cottons and cheaper techniques of production and printing meant that more types and numbers of garments and fabrics entered the wardrobes of the bourgeoisie, as well as artisans, tenant farmers, mechanics and the servant class. Fashion choice accelerated within a market economy, in which choices about commodities became markers of distinction and mobility. Fashion also functioned as a potent symbol for the types of social and economic change which modern capitalism enabled, standing in for values ranging from transformation to deception, which were explored within Enlightenment philosophical tracts and popularizing accounts.
Significant international collaboration in a new field, an encyclopedia 'identifying the world's preeminent authorities' and asking new questions 'that define the field' (preface xv)
McNeil, PK 2002, 'Decorating the Home: Australian Interior Decoration Between the Wars' in Michael Bogle (ed), Designing Australia, Readings in the History of Design, Pluto Press, Sydney Australia, pp. 53-61.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Book Chapter evidence sighted for ERA collection
McNeil, PK 2002, 'Rarely Looking In: The Writing of Australian Design History c1900-1990' in Michael Bogle (ed), Designing Australia, Readings in the History of Design, Pluto Press, Sydney Australia, pp. 14-29.
Historiographical study of the writing of Australian design.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'The interior decorator in Sydney' in Ferson, M & Nilsson, M (eds), Sunset over the Pacific. Aspects of Art Deco in Australia, Craftsman House, Sydney, pp. 112-117.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'Elsie de Wolfe' in Aldrich, R & Wotherspoon, G (eds), Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. From Antiquity to World War II, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 494-494.
This scholarly publication carried the premise of historiographical investigation, not reiteration of fact.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'Cecil Beaton' in Aldrich, R & Wotherspoon, G (eds), Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. From Antiquity to World War II, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 42-43.
Historiographic investigation required as stated in the preface of this international research project.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'Chevalier d'Eon' in Aldrich, R & Wotherspoon, G (eds), Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. From Antiquity to World War II, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 150-151.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein)' in Aldrich, R & Wotherspoon, G (eds), Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. From Antiquity to World War II, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 184-185.
Historiographic investigation required as stated in the preface of this international research project.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'Norman Hartnell' in Aldrich, R & Wotherspoon, G (eds), Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. From Antiquity to World War II, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 204-205.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'Oliver Messel' in Aldrich, R & Wotherspoon, G (eds), Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. From Antiquity to World War II, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 308-308.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'John Fowler' in Aldrich, R & Wotherspoon, G (eds), Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. From Antiquity to World War II, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 166-166.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'Eileen Gray' in Aldrich, R & Wotherspoon, G (eds), Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. From Antiquity to World War II, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 189-190.
McNeil, PK 2001, 'Horace Walpole' in Aldrich, R & Wotherspoon, G (eds), Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History. From Antiquity to World War II, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 472-473.
McNeil, PK 1995, 'Margaret Jaye' in Joan Kerr (ed), Heritage: The National Women's Art Book, Craftsman House, Sydney, pp. 379-379.
McNeil, PK 1995, 'Hera Roberts' in Joan Kerr (ed), Heritage: The National Women's Art Book, Craftsman House, Sydney, pp. 437-438.
McNeil, PK 1994, ''The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Party: Masquerade and Muscle Culture'' in Robert Aldrich (ed), Gay Perspectives II, More Essays in Australian Gay Culture, The University of Sydney, Department of Economic History, Sydney, pp. 223-244.
McNeil, PK 2010, 'Old Empire and new global luxury: crafting global design', Design and craft: a history of convergences and divergences, Design and craft: a history of convergences and divergence, 7th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies (ICDHS) 2010, Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie, Brussels, Belgium, pp. 72-75.
In 1989, Brisbane-based fashion designers Parn Easton and Lydia Pearson beg;'))1 to create from an Australian provincial city their range of garments that were deliberately nostalgic and feminine, with an air of knowing retrospection generated through an engage mcnt with a range of historical and ethnographic sources. (I) At first they \'vere not widely kno\".'l1, their market \vas completely local, and sometimes they were misunderstood. Within ten years their femah~ clothing-line, manufactured in Brisbane, made of texti]cs garnered from Italy, France, Vietnam and India, was retailing in Browns, London; Neiman Marcus, USA; and Alta Moda, Kuwait. An engage ment with ethnographic sources by contemporary designers is not uncommon, sometimes amounting to a type of scavenging activity, perhaps Baudelairian 'rag-picking' to be more poetic and polite.
McNeil, PK 2008, 'The Historical Problem of the Fop', Storie di Moda/Fashion-able Histories, Facolta di Lettere e Filosofia, Rimini, University of Bologna.
McNeil, PK 2008, 'Mapping gender and the queer trace: problems of periodisation, paper, University of Warwick', Fashioning Gender, University of Warwick.
No printed paper
McNeil, PK 2007, 'Crafting queer spaces: privacy and posturing', Queer Space: Centres and Peripheries, Queer Space: Centres and Peripheries, University of Technology Sydney, DAB, UTS, pp. 1-7.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
McNeil, PK 2007, 'Dissipation and Extravagance: Ageing Fops', King Power Designing Masculinities Symposium, King Power Designing Masculinities Symposium, RMIT University, RMIT University Australia, pp. 1-17.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
McNeil, PK 2005, 'Courtier or Macaroni? An Eighteenth-Century Man's Waistcoat at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto', 'On Men'. ICOM Costume Committee, ICOM. Costume Committee International Committee, Deutsches Historisches/ICOM, Berlin, Germany, pp. 19-24.
McNeil, PK 2002, 'Research and Representation', Opening Pandora's Paintbox: curriculum research into history and theory of design in Australian Universities, South Australian School of Art, University of South Australia, Adelaide, University of South Australia, pp. 135-141.
McNeil, P 2019, 'From Cloth to Fashion', Collection Kamer-Ruf Switzerland. European Costumes & Accessories, 1710-1920, Galerie Ruf AG (Pty Ltd)/Wolfgang Ruf, Beckenried, Switzerland, pp. 1-2.
Private press exhibition/dealer catalogue with 100 plates of European Textiles 1430-2010 and European Costume Collection, 1710-1920. Layout Galerie Ruf. Contributions by Peter McNeil, MArtin Kamer, Wolfgang Ruf, ed. Julia Gautier, Switzerland. Privately ptinted in colour. Galerie Ruf est. c1980 in Rastatt, Germany. Kamer-Ruf are leading expert collectors for European costumes and textiles worldwide. The catalogue will be viewed in Europe, USA, China etc.
McNeil, PK 2018, 'Around the Hill End Table', Postcards to The End., Bathurst Regional Art Gallery/The End Festival, Hill End.
McNeil, PK 2017, ''Drawing with Light': male photography and the queer trace', The Unflinching Gaze: photomedia and the male figure, Barthurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst, pp. 29-62.
100 page catalague to accompany Bathurst Regional Art Gallery exhibition 14 October-3 December 2017
McNeil, PK 2017, 'Ruff Stuff: the story of a fashion accessory', Rembrandt and ther Dutch Golden Age. Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum 11 No 2017v-18 Feb 2018, Art Gallery of New South Wales online platform, Sydney.
Ruff stuff: the story of a fashion accessory
Ruffs are one of the most emblematic features of 17th-century Dutch dress. They originated in the 16th century – an evolution from small frilled collars to an independent accessory that could be wider than the wearer's shoulders. They are also notable for being worn by both men and women as well as children. The ruff consisted of starched linen which was shaped in a frame and folded in elaborate patterns, at times reminiscent of the complexity of Japanese origami.
The ruff was seen as a Dutch-derived fashion and the starch that created it also a Dutch invention. The introduction of ruffs into English fashion in the 16th century led them to be compared by a moralist to 'discloths' that fell upon the shoulders of a 'slut'. They were expensive and also conspicuous. Elizabeth I of England popularised enormous wired ruffs that rose above her face, indicating to us how the ruff always extends the borders of the body. Although the 16th century saw the height of the ruff's popularity in England and Spain, it persisted as a fashion accessory well into the 17th century in its heartland, the Dutch Republic.
In the famous examples we see in the exhibition, the white ruff provided the perfect contrast to the glossy black silks and expensive dyed woollen broadcloth favoured by that country's burgers and merchant class. As historian Simon Schama has explained, the Low Countries were brilliant at managing their wealth strategies via a type of inconspicuous consumption. Things looked simple, but the fine details, gradations and materials indicated status and fashion mannerism.
Ruffs were made of linen or lawn and could be edged with lace of various qualities, much of it extremely expensive. The whiteness of linen connected the Protestant body to the Christian church: white was a symbol in Western liturgical culture of purity and also sacrifice. White also had to be maintained, through the management of linen that t...
McNeil, PK 2015, 'A Room of One's Own, or Undying Souls', In Catherine Pilgrim - Making History: Hidden World of the Leviny Women, Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum, Castlemaine, Victoria, pp. 9-12.
Catalogue essay, in Catherine Pilgrim: Making History - Hidden World of the Leviny Women
McNeil, PK 2013, 'Donald Friend (1915-1989) 'Love Me Sailor' 1949', Important Australian Art from the Collection of Reg Grundy AC OBE and Joy Chambers-Grundy, Bonhams, Sydney, pp. 48-51.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
2180 word essay examining 'Love Me Sailor', painted by Donald Friend at the remote settlement of Hill End near Bathurst when the artist was a youthful thirty-four. The subject matter concerns the unprecedented and never repeated jailing in 1946 of the Australian writer Robert Close for `obscene libel', in publishing his novel of the same name in 1945. The painting is a synthesis of Friend's multi-facetted early interests: landscape, figure drawing, allusion, 19th-century Australian-history, satire, contemporary life and social issues. The essay includes 8 notes and was based on primary research conducted at the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia, and site visit to Hill End.
McNeil, PK 2013, 'Coiffures et postiches: extravagances capillaires au XVIIIe siecle', Plein Les Yeux! Le spectacle de la mode/ A feast for the eyes! Spectacular fashions, Silvana Editoriale, Milan, pp. 60-65.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Exhibition held at Cité internationale de la dentelle at de la mode, Calais
By 1913, more than one-third (37 per cent) of Australia's population lived in cities and we can marshal much evidence - from material culture, oral histories, and submissions before commissions into the living wage and housing - to create a snapshot of domestic life at this time. In the preceding century, the connections between high rates of disease, poverty and crime, and inadequate, overcrowded housing had become clear. Town planning, improved domesti architectun: an the provi ion of basi amenities were increasingly embraced for their role in social engineering and as solutions to medical problems. Home ownership was seen as a path out of poverty and into respeccability. and rhe loan chemes that cn~blcd the PUl'dltlS of homes in all AustTaliru, sUites by [he 1920 have their rootS in the workers' hO\.UIing Acts; for example, Western Australia's Workers' Homes Act of 1911.
Primary archival research with 18 footnotes and picture research
McNeil, PK 2005, 'Everlasting: The Flower in Fashion and Textiles', Everlasting: The Flower in Fashion and Textiles, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 14-22.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
When an object or motif is universal, there is a tendency to trivialize it. This essay makes use of the French scholarly notion of the histoire des choses banales - everyday things - in order to elucidate a collection and exhibition of textile and dress across a long span from the 17th to the late 20th centuries. It makes interconnections between the history of botany, plant collecting, garden aesthetics and the design of clothing and textiles, in order to argue that the floral motif is cross-cultural and ubiquitous. But it is connected in highly specific ways to different systems of social organization, personal adornment and religious practice. It makes a case for the characteristics of plants that lend themselves to representation on a variety of formats and design methods. The flower provides a unifying and versatile stylistic device highly suitable for both two- and three-dimensional surfaces. As two-dimensional motifs such as textiles and low-relief sculpture are always preferred by belief systems in which the mimetic copy of nature is discouraged, the flower carries a special place in decorative arts and architectural embellishment. The writer, McNeil, worked with the curator, Roger Leong, at the prestigious National Gallery of Victoria in order to make the final selection of artefacts and then to contexualise them through the format of the essay. The exhibition received notices in the major Melbourne presses and had a high visitorship as would be expected at this flagship gallery.
UTS curated, in cooperation with the National Library of Australia, a focused exhibit on Australian Nobel Laureate Patrick White (1973). The exhibit was designed to introduce to new audiences the idea that White's somewhat difficult prose matches the complexity of the psychological and social conflict he describes. McNeil was the Host Curator of the Nobel Museum Visiting Exhibit and involved for six months with the pre-planning preparation. He was the academic curator of the Patrick White focus exhibit and he worked with a professional exhibition designer, Kate Richards. He selected the materials from the National Library of Australia collection in order to elucidate this complex figure, did the final cut and edit, wrote a series of detailed text panels in plain English (attached), liaised with the designers and media, spoke at the event and chaired the related Panel. Patrick White is considered perhaps the greatest Australian novelist, actively involved with the arts and, in later life, political activism. A series of recently discovered letters in the collection of NLA, as well as a facsimile MS, notebook, correspondence and photographic material, were selected and re-contextualized by McNeil in order to create new insights into White's creative process. McNeil sets a critical framework for interpreting the work of Patrick White through social and cultural theory and historical methods. McNeil's interpretive method has been developed over long standing work on his historical interpretation of cultural artefacts. The exhibition presented new Patrick White archival material interpreted by McNeil through a contemporary theoretical contextual framework.
McNeil, PK Fashioning the Early Modern Website 2011, Print Culture and Fashion Products, pp. 1-8, London.
The third HERA FEM workshop, âPrint Culture and Fashion Productsâ was held in Stockholm from the 30 November to 1 December 2011. It was followed by the associated event, the Fourth International Symposium of the Centre for Fashion Studies, Stockholm University, 2 December 2011, which took as its theme âFashion in Translationâ. Attended by approximately thirty-five participants, the former event was conducted with site visits at the Livrustkammaren (The Royal Armoury) Stockholm, the Nationalmuseum (Stockholm), the Nordiska museet (Stockholm) and a reception and address by guest curator Dr Patrik Steorn at the Hallwyl Museum. Nine papers were presented at this Workshop by scholars including early-career and senior researchers from Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Australia and the United States of America. The Centre for Fashion Studies Symposium was conducted at ABF House (âHouse of the Workersâ Educational Associationâ), was free and open to the public, and attracted a crowd of approximately one hundred, who attended eight lectures by Swedish, British, Australian and Italian scholars. This is a full report by the symposium convener, McNeil.
McNeil, PK & Viana, F 2018, 'Entrevista: Peter McNeil [ INTERVIEW WITH DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR PETER MCNEIL, Helsinki, March 2018', Universidade de São Paulo/School of Arts and Communication at Escola de Comunicações e Artes, Brazil/São Paulo, pp. 181-197.
McNeil interviewed on gay, queer and other perspectives on design including interior design and the status of the arts including costume arts.
McNeil, PK 2017, 'A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion in the Age of The Enlightenment'.
268pp. 9 chapters.
McNeil, PK 2013, 'The Stylemakers: Minimalism and Classic-Modernism 1915- 45, Mo Teitelbaum. Philip Wilson Publishers, 2011 (book review)', Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy E, Oxford.