Looking Back and Going Forward

Vogue Patterns, December/January 2016

Vogue Patterns, December/January 2016

While innocently eating my lunch and paging through the most recent issue of Vogue Patterns, I discovered this very nice write up of my blog. What a surprise! It came at a propitious time, since my first blog post was almost exactly five years ago.

When I started this blog, I was still working full time as a history professor at the University of California, Irvine. (The town is halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego). My original research field was early Soviet history with a focus on Soviet culture. I gave courses in Russian history and European history, but in the last years of my employment I branched out into American history. My favorite new area of research was American fashion history, which I taught the last five years before I retired in 2011.

Since academics are always looking for the next book project, I had begun research for a book on older American women and fashion beginning in 1900. It’s a huge topic and I was struggling to figure out an organizational structure. My husband, also a historian, urged me to start a blog instead. This format is such a good fit for me. It lets me do what I love most—research and writing. As an added bonus, my husband helps a lot by suggesting new topics, acting as an editor, and working as my on site photographer.

Is the blog format dying? Many people are now speculating that new platforms, like Instagram, will take its place. I’m a big fan of Instagram, but it doesn’t have the mixture of images and text that makes blogs so compelling. So I intend to continue blogging for a long time to come. Why not take part? If there is an interesting older woman in your life, share her story here.

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9 Responses to Looking Back and Going Forward

  1. Congratulations, Lynn, for the well deserved recognition! I’m sure that many readers of Vogue Patterns will stop by to visit American Age Fashion and will find themselves sticking around. What new stories or clues might they turn up for you to investi?gate

  2. Another Soviet cultural historian! Yay! I too am trained as an historian, with a focus on Soviet history (I’m particularly interested in the intersection of religious imagery and culture as it was appropriated by the Soviets), but have a deep and abiding love of fashion history these past few years. I really enjoy your blog, and hope you continue on! I think the format is useful in a way that instagram just can’t be.

  3. eimear says:

    congratulations Lynn – I really enjoy reading your blog – I prefer the blog format, as in the morning I like to read some blogs and some news items and then get to work! I love the personal voice of the blog format…. and gazing at photos of ladies of the past is so inspiring especially when put in context

  4. Rhoda K says:

    I saw your blog mentioned while reading my latest VP magazine last night. Congrats. I always enjoy your posts although I don’t comment very much. Keep up the good work.

  5. JenO says:

    Congratulations, your blog is well deserved in getting a mention like this. I hope it brings many new readers your way. Blogs and Instagram aren’t the same thing at all, and I like that you maintain both. Here’s to the future of your blog and others!

  6. I hope blogs aren’t dying. I love yours.

  7. Lizzie says:

    What a nice treat to have your excellent work featured in a national magazine! I am very pleased for you.

    Blogs that have always been mainly photos do seem to be obsolete, considering there are so many social media platforms that are primarily photos. But content-heavy blogs like this one will always have an audience!

  8. Fabrickated says:

    Woo hoo! Isn’t that just the thing? I hope that VP readers will come and have a look at all the rich material you have on this site. I also hope that the older women in fashion will become a book at some point as it is such a compelling subject. Your blog is very professional, academic in the best sense of the word, so it stands out. You have a lively voice, good detective skills and the most interesting photographs. Congratulations on blogging for five years Lynn!

  9. Hooray for you! — and for your always interesting detective work on neglected areas of our history. The article and links on Jessica Daves were especially fine! Thanks for following all those paths “less traveled by.”

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