Introducing your 2021-22 Moderating Team!

Cheryl Miller is the Head, Library Metadata and Discovery Services at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, CA. After attending Pomona College in Claremont, CA and UCLA GLIS in Los Angeles, Cheryl worked at other museum libraries and cataloged for a private collector before finding a home at the Autry. She has presented at ARLIS-NA Conference, RBMS Conference, California Rare Book School, and the Association of Tribal Libraries, Archives and Museums annual Conference. Currently, Cheryl is working with the Autry’s Metadata Team to create a new thesaurus of updated name and subject terms for indigenous names, subjects, languages, and locations, with the goal of addressing how the groups refer to themselves.

“I look forward to serving as FTC Co-Moderator and discovering new ways to highlight our extremely varied work in Fashion, Textiles and Costumes librarianship.”

Caetllonn Seadjwyc recently acquired her MLIS from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Prior to embarking on a career in librarianship, she designed, manufactured, and sold her jewellery collection throughout both Canada and the US, among many other endeavors. Caetllonn has long since demonstrated an affinity for all things fashion, textile, and costume related, most recently evidenced by an ever-expanding series of style-related Pinterest boards and far too many pieces of vintage fabric tucked away in her storage closet.

“I’m delighted to be part of a community that is as interested and inspired by garments and the many varied stories they tell—some frivolous, some political, but always intriguing—as I am! I look forward to interacting with as many FTC SIG members as possible during my time as a Co-Moderator… and beyond, too.”

Emily Anna Smith holds an MLS from Rutgers University, a BA in history from Mary Washington College, and has completed coursework at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  She is the Interlibrary Loan Coordinator at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.  While her career has largely focused on cataloging and interlibrary loan, her heart has always dwelled in the realm of fashion.  She has been fortunate enough to dovetail her professional skills in organization, classification, and research with her sartorial passions.  Her scholarship centers on the ways social media transmits and shapes perceptions of fashion and has become a tool to explore the nexus of fashion and identity.  She has given two presentations at separate Fashion: Now & Then conferences at LIM College that use the microcosm of the red carpet at the Academy Awards to explore these themes.  The first was “Who Are You Wearing?” How Social Media and the Oscars Red Carpet Have Democratized the Discussion of Fashion (2013) and the second Whatever Lola Wants: Billy Porter, Gender Norms, and Social Media on the Oscars Red Carpet (2019). You can follow her on twitter @oscarscloset.

“I am excited and honored to be part of a community with so many fascinating and important stories to tell.  Fashion, textiles, and costume are such a vital aspect of contemporary and historic cultures.  I’m looking forward to meeting you, virtually and in person, and learning about your work and passions.  It is my pleasure to serve as your Vice-Moderator.”

Exhibit: Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes from Stage and Screen

What: Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes from Stage and Screen

Where: 234 W 42nd St New York, NY 10036

When: Now through through September 26, 2021

Details: An immersive maze featuring more than 100 of the industry’s most beautiful and complex garments. As guests make their way through the exhibit, they will get to see up close the detail and craftsmanship typically only seen far away on stage or screen. The exhibit will include pieces from the The Lion King, The Marvelous Ms.Maisel, Wicked, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and much more. Costume makers and experts will be on-site demonstrating their techniques and skills and interacting with guests, and multimedia elements will provide a rare opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the process. All proceeds from the exhibition will raise money for the Costume Industry Coalition Recovery Fund, which continues to support one of the hardest hit sectors of the entertainment industry.

The Nudie archive

Perhaps you don’t know his name, but you likely know his work. Nudie Cohn (1902-1984), born Nuta Kotlyarenko into a family of bootmakers in imperial Kyiv, emigrated to America at the age of 11. Trained as a tailor in his youth, Cohn’s first foray into fashion was as a designer for New York burlesque dancers. Later, Cohn moved to Los Angeles and made a name for himself as a western-wear designer and is responsible for the literal eye-catching rhinestone cowboy aesthetic.

It’s better to be looked over than overlooked
Nudie Cohn

The Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors Archive is held by the Autry Museum of the American West and consists of 28 linear feet (65 boxes) of materials including customer clothing files, correspondence, boot patterns, financial records, photographs and publications, spanning the years 1950-1994. The Online Archive of California offers the finding aid online and breaks down the contents of 64 of those boxes.

From catalog record there is no direct link to or suggestion that any part of the collection is online, but there is a link to the museum’s online resource catalog. A search of “Nudie” returns 96 records. A very helpful note notes that of these 96 records: 37 are categorised as art and artifacts, 36 photographs and visual imagery, one sound and video record, four manuscript records, 14 Books and Serials and four are subject heading records. Hyperlinks allow the user to easily access these catalog categories. Users are also able delimit by returning only records with images.

Forty-five of the online records are visual resources, and most are not enlargeable due to copyright restrictions, like this photo of Elvis Presley modeling Cohn’s famous gold lamé suit. (More info about Cohn and Elvis can be found at this blog.)

Other interesting visual resources include scans of boot patterns for the likes of Paul Newman and Hank Williams Jr.—just two examples of the archive’s holding of more than 400 folders of boot pattern templates, which according to the scope notes include those of Gene Autry, Jackson Brown, Glen Campbell, Linda Carter, Cher, Bob Dylan, Clint Eastwood, Jerry Garcia, Billy Gibbons, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Robert Redford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others.

The Nudie collection is held at the LEED-certified 100,000-square-foot Resources Center of the Autry, located in Burbank, Calif., just north of Los Angeles. According to their website, the “Library and Archives at the Autry hold unique, rare and significant primary and secondary resources focusing on the peoples and cultures of the American West. The collections contain rare books, serials, maps, photographs, artwork, sound recordings, and manuscript collections.”

Header photo by Mike Salisbury