What happens when our fashion rules come into conflict with changing social norms? Find out when Richard Thompson Ford discusses DRESS CODES: How the Laws of Fashion Made History with Fabian Aguilar. Thompson Ford explores the laws of fashion throughout history to uncover the personal, social and political significance of clothing—our most intimate and most public medium of self-expression.
If you missed this event, you can watch the recording here.
Community Partner: Westport Country Playhouse
Richard Thompson Ford teaches Law at Stanford Law School. He has written about law, social and cultural issues, and race relations for The New York Times, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Slate and has appeared on The Colbert Report, The Rachel Maddow Show, and The Dylan Rattigan Show. He is the author of the New York Times notable books The Race Card and Rights Gone Wrong: How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality.
Fabian Aguilar is a costume designer based in New York City. His work has spanned the USA and Canada. Born in El Paso, Texas, he received his BFA from Boston University and attended the Yale School of Drama for his MFA. He has worked for various theatres, conservatories, and universities including American Repertory Theater, Alliance Theatre, Portland Stage, The Public Theater, Boston Ballet, Moscow Ballet, Beau Jest, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and the Westport Country Playhouse. No matter what production he’s working on, he has never started a design without first asking “who is this person and what are the rules of the clothes they wear?”
“[A]n intriguing history of formal and informal rules governing what people wear…. [Ford] makes a convincing case that dress codes reveal much about the social order and the pursuit of individual liberty. This jam-packed history casts its subject in a new light.” —Publishers Weekly
"[A] lucid, entertaining exploration of how and why we dress as we do." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"[Ford] reflects on how fashion choices can reaffirm identity, assert individuality, and camouflage intent….Whether addressing codpieces, Ruth Bader Ginsberg's lace collars, dreadlocks in the workplace, or pandemic curbside cocktail party attire, Ford's writing is fresh, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable.” —Booklist