Why Fashion Matters

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Duration 01:01:14

George Washington University
Katrina Orsini works in the Education Department at the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum. Previously, Orsini was a Smithsonian Fellow at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in the Textile Department and has taught at the New York School of Interior Design and Parsons School of Design at The New School. Orsini founded Connecticut’s Hartford Fashion Week and served as its Executive Director from 2014 – 2019. She is currently working with GWU students, faculty, and administration to build the University as the epicenter of sustainable fashion in the DMV area.


Fashion is often dismissed as fleeting or shrugged off as frivolous. Anyone interested in living a fashionable life is labeled as vain or self-absorbed. But in fact, the fashion industry has far reaching impact and substantial consequences affecting our everyday lives. As a $3 trillion dollar global industry, fashion has moved well beyond its ancient source of survival necessities: warmth and protection. So, what does it mean now? And what is the future of this industry?

In this first-time-ever presentation, Katrina Orsini will address the history of clothing that is currently in vogue, what they mean, and where our favorite clothes will go from here. She’ll outline how we can use fashion trends and objects to read history and address how fashion has shaped our lives. You will come to understand why leading newspapers continue to run a style section, and why walk-in closets can substantially raise the value of a house!



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