Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talk
A one-minute lightening talk on the importance of experts - "The Genius of Charles James and the Magic of Fashion Expertise"
Abstract: I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across a dress by the designer Charles James. It was a fashion masterwork, engineered to wind around the body in serpentine perfection.
I had been trying to think of a way to talk about expertise and here it was unexpectedly on my screen, manifest in black silk.
Fashion – the magic of clever design and the sorcery of skilled cut – might not be the first thing that comes to mind when we consider expertise, but even the most ordinary clothes are invested with the skill, knowledge, and experience of generations of dextrous and creative experts.
We rarely hear their voices, but we see and feel evidence of their expertise in everything we wear. It’s there in the perfection of neat stitches; in the glamour of a dress that fits; or in the comfort of an old wool sweater.
It’s true that few of us will ever have the chance to wear a Charles James, but rest assured, we’re all wearing expert masterworks just the same.