Critical Costume is an international platform to promote research and practice on the interdisciplinary study of costume. The principal activity of Critical Costume is a biennial conference and exhibition, with the provision for smaller events where appropriate. The purpose of the organization is to support practitioners and researchers to debate the status of costume within contemporary and historical cultures.
At the heart of Critical Costume is the drive to argue the case for costume in an interdisciplinary and multi-faceted research environment. Costume is approached as a varied practice that is inclusive of communities from dance, theatre and performance, film and television, sociology and fashion, as well as museology and anthropology among other disciplinary contexts. Equally, Critical Costume is not exclusively an academic forum. The organization is conceived as a platform for a range of different professions to share approaches to costume, alongside and with researchers from universities.
Critical Costume (CC) was launched in 2013 by Dr. Rachel Hann and Sidsel Bech by convening CC2013 at Edge Hill University. CC was expanded internationally during the same year, after collaboration with Prof. Sofia Pantouvaki, who later hosted CC2015 at Aalto University. All three are recognized as Founding Convenors of Critical Costume.