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Georgina Ripley

Georgina Ripley
Principal Curator, Modern and Contemporary Design
Collection responsibility: Head of the Modern & Contemporary design section, specialising in fashion and textiles from 1850 to the present day, and the development of the contemporary fashion collections.
Research interests: Jean Muir (fl. 1962-1995); contemporary couture and new technologies in fashion; constructs of masculinity in contemporary menswear and image-making; diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry.
E: g.ripley@nms.ac.uk

Georgina Ripley has an MA in the History of Art (specializing in the History of Dress) from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. She is Principal Curator of Modern & Contemporary design and Head of the Modern & Contemporary Design section, and primarily responsible for the modern and contemporary fashion and textile collections from 1850 to the present day.

Collection highlights include the internationally significant archive of the British fashion designer Jean Muir (fl. 1962-95) which numbers an estimated 18,000 items, and the design archive of the Serbian-born, Scotland-based textile designer and painter, Bernat Klein.

Georgina curated National Museums Scotland’s touring exhibition, Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk (23 May-20 October 2019) and is currently working on a major temporary exhibition on the little black dress (postponed from 2020), and its accompanying publication. Her current research follows on from themes explored within the Body Beautiful exhibition, particularly in relation to representations of intersectional masculinities in contemporary menswear and image-making, as well as ongoing research into Jean Muir and her archive.

Georgina was the lead curator for the permanent Fashion & Style gallery, which opened at the museum in 2016. She also co–curated Express Yourself: Contemporary Jewellery (2014) and has contributed to exhibitions at National Museums Scotland including Jean Muir: A Fashion Icon (2008–2009) and Mary Queen of Scots (2013). Georgina has previous experience working with the National Galleries of Scotland, where she worked on The House of Annie Lennox (2012), a V&A Touring Exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, as well as The Institute of Conservation, Museums Galleries Scotland, The Warner Textile Archive and The Royal Academy of Arts.

Georgina is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for The Journal of Dress History; Regional Representative for Scotland on the Dress and Textile Specialists Committee, and a board member for the ICOM Costume Committee.

Selected publications

Ripley, G. (2021), ‘Gladdening the hearts of warriors: the relationship between Lucile’s romantic fashions and morale in WWI’, in M. Bass-Krueger, A. de la Haye, H. Dujardin-Edwards and S. Kurkdjian (eds), Fashion, Society and the First World War: International Perspectives, London: Bloomsbury.

Ripley, G. (2021), ‘Exhibition Review: Mary Quant, Curated by Jenny Lister and Stephanie Wood for The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, England and V&A Dundee, Scotland, 27 August 2020 24 December 2020, Tickets £12.00’, The Journal of Dress History, 5:1, Open Access Platform.

Ripley, G. (2020), ‘21st-century Buffalo Boys: Intersectional approaches to the complexities of modern masculinity’, Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion, 7:1&2, pp. 135–153, doi: https://doi.org/10.1386/csmf_00022_1

Ripley, G. (2019), ‘Book review: Fashion Curating: Critical Practice in the Museum and Beyond, ed. by Annamari Vänskä and Hazel Clark (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). 264pp., 49b&w and 23 col. illus. Pbk £22.99, ISBN 9781474287098’, Costume: The Journal of the Costume Society, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Ripley, G. (2018), ‘“A New Kind of Menswear for a New Kind of Man”: Constructs of Masculinity at J W Anderson and Loewe’, The Journal of Dress History, 2:1, Open Access Platform.

Ripley, Georgina (2018), ‘Book Review: Andrew Bolton, Comme des Garçons: Art of the InBetween (New York: The Metropolitan Museum / London: Yale University Press, 2017). 248 pp. 205 col. illus. Hdbk £35.00. ISBN 9781588396204’, Costume: The Journal of the Costume Society, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Ripley, G. (2017), ‘Book Review: Louise Coffey-Webb, Managing Costume Collections: An Essential Primer, Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, 2016, appendices, 184 pp’, The Journal of Dress History, 1:2, Open Access Platform.

Ripley, G. (2017), ‘Book Review: Andrew Bolton, Manus x Machina Fashion in an Age of Technology (New York: The Metropolitan Museum / London: Yale university Press, 2016). 248 pp. 178 col. illus.

Hdbk £30.00. ISBN 9781588395924’, Costume: The journal of the Costume Society, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Ripley, G. (ed.) (2016) Mode: Bringing the museum’s wardrobe to life, National Museums Scotland online: https://mode.nms.ac.uk/

Ripley, G., contributor (2016), Scotland to the World: Treasures from the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh: NMS Enterprises Limited – Publishing.

Ripley, G. (2016), ‘The Long March of the Platform Shoe’, The Sunday Times Style, London: The Sunday Times.

Ripley, G. (2013), ‘The Restoration fop’, in A. Ribeiro (ed.), Robe, London: Royal Collection Trust.

Ripley, G. (2013), ‘When to breech your son and cut your daughter’s leading strings’, in A. Ribeiro (ed.), Robe, London: Royal Collection Trust.

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Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk

This exhibition looked at how today’s fashion industry is challenging perceptions and championing alternative ideals of beauty on the catwalk, in advertising, editorial and behind the camera.

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