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1 - 👑Hark! 'Tis time for #ThreadTalk, crown edition. 👑

Yes, that ultimate statement of wealth and power, perched atop some of the most celebrated & notorious heads in history.

But why crowns? Well, let's dig into history, privilege, & wealth to see what lurks beneath.⚜️ The crown in the Essen Cathedral Treasury, with the sapphire
2 - Crowns have been with us a long time, but diadems came first. And perhaps, by way of India. A diadem goes across the forehead, and can be affixed to the hair or tightened into place, rather than sitting atop the head.

This absolute stunner dates from 10th C Kashmir. From the Met: This three-piece repoussé diadem is a rare ex
3 - Burial mounds across the world have unearthed all sorts of diadems over the centuries, some looking as if they were crafted specifically for funerary purposes, and others having been worn.

Below, from Egypt's New Kingdom, two gazelles perch on a queen's diadem. 15thC BC. From the Met Museum: During her lifetime, a queen wore this
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1 - Ahoy! #threadtalk is sea bound--or at least a cozy room below--exploring the phenomenon of OUR FLAG MEANS DEATH & its revival of mens night-gowns, or banyans.🫖

This pinnacle of masculinity has a rich, wide, global history, full of intrigue. Away to Bonnet's banyans! #ofmd Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby as Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet.
2 - There is some disagreement about when exactly the banyan became a Western gentleman's fashion staple. We know influences from Japan & India coalesced in the late 17thC.

Between colonization & an obsession with "chinoiserie", by 1730, it was a fad. Matthew Prior (below) 1718. Matthew Prior, poet and ambassador to France, painted in a r
3 - The word banyan (or banjan, or banian) has an interesting etymology, coming to English (it is posited) from the Tamil word vanigan, meaning trader or merchant.

In many parts of South Asia, the word banyan still refers to an undershirt.

Isaac Newton, here, early 1710s. Sir Isaac Newton in a coppery silk banyan with clearly India
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1 - Get ready, I'm ringing in a last-minute #threadtalk all about #TheRingsOfPower pictures that just dropped today.

Oh my precious, precious nerd heart.

This Galadriel fangirl is having a moment, so now that I'm fortified with lembas, let us peer into the future. 💍🧙‍♂️🧝‍♀️🌿 Galadriel (played by Morfydd Clark) -- in Elven armor, with
2 - Galadriel is front and center, and the @VanityFair article heralding her tale puts the elf in full armor with Victorian lines & High Gothic design.
The tiered chain mail, that snatched waist & that gorgeous sword! The look is familiar to fans of the films, but w/a new twist. Gray-blue visiting dress, labeled “Worth / 7. Rue de la Pa
3 - An elf upstaged by a dwarf?

You bet your pointy wizard hat.

This Klimt-like stunner has won me over forever and ever until the Balrog rises.

Dwarven PRINCESS. Her hair, those golden triangles and bangles. I have a lot to say about this outfit. The dwarven princess Disa, played by Sophia Nomvete, standin
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1 - Hello, darlings. Welcome to #Threadtalk! This edition we're taking an interstellar trip to Arrakis to review the costumes of #Dune (2021).

Like before, featuring minimal to no spoilers. A focus on fashion and its relation to fashion history, plus bit of... spice. 🪐 Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica in blue sheer material and
2 - Now, I came to this film as a DUNE novice, so you can imagine my surprise when, at the very beginning, folks were talking about levels of fancy dress!

Turns out, over 10K years in the future, rich folks still gotta keep up appearances. So let's start with House Atreides. Oscar Isaac as Leto in DUNE (2021) wearing a black military
3 - At this point in the far future, AI is out. So clothing is back to being made by hand. And that's absolutely reflected in the choices by designers Jacqueline West & Bob Morgan.

For Leto, we see lots of black, 1940s inspired military I'm sorry what this man is omg I need air Oscar Isaac dressed in all black monochrome fatigues in DUNE
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1 - Dim the lights, grab the popcorn: #threadtalk is going to the (creepy) movies. 🎃🍿🥤

This special edition features a broad list of films that haunt, terrify & sometimes titillate--but always with style. Horror, musicals, cartoons (& odd Disney choices) we've got 'em all. 🔪 The original release poster of the 1975 cult film, "The
2 - NOTE: Inclusion in this list does not mean my personal approval of their director(s), creator(s), actors, producers, etc. Hollywood is nasty on a good day, & some of these films have not aged well.

These are pulled from *my* personal experience in horror films. So, YMMV. Photo by Raúl Nájera on Unsplash  - a sign on a background
3 - I'm beginning with ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968). Starring Mia Farrow as the mother of a the spawn of Satan himself, I definitely saw this movie way too young (thanks, Mom!).

The poster it fantastic, but it's Farrow's innocent pastel wardrobe that makes the fashion statement. This is a poster for Rosemary's Baby. The poster art copyrigMia Farrow in ROSEMARY'S BABY in a striped cotton dress, emp
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1 - 🎃 Welcome to #ThreadTalk! It's the spookiest month & we're jumping right in with a look at ghostly garb👻!

Thrills, chills & blood-curdling horrors await as we take a trip through history & ask the question: "Okay, but what would that ghost *actually* be wearing?" 🎃 October 3, 2021 - @nataniabarron - #ThreadTalk - Ghostly Gar
2 - We're starting in Japan. Because Japan has the best ghosts & my favorite art. Yūrei (幽霊) are closer to a Western concept of ghosts, but spirits of all kinds are common through Japanese folklore.

This one is from the incredible Bakemono no e, dating from around 1700.
3 - The Yūrei are often depicted as women with long, black hair. By the date of this print, I'd say a kosode (a kimono precursor) would be a good match.

The colors are natural, pale, haunting. You see in the embroidered closeup, too, all the sea grass & shellwork. Just wow. This sumptuous robe is among the earliest extant kosode (gar
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1 - It's time for #threadtalk! Today's topic, the Grand Dame of Damask: Anna Maria Garthwaite.

This silk icon has quite a tale, but so does her stomping ground of Spitalfields, London.

And beyond the frippery? The horrors of 18thC England: persecution, riots & taxes🕍🔪💷
2 - Anna Maria was born in 1688 in Lincolnshire, to Rev. Ephraim Garthwaite & Rejoyce (rad name). The family was well to do & Anna Maria would have had a basic education. She showed early artistic prowess, like in this 1707 cut-paper work of a village w/remarkable detail. This cut-paper work picture shows a country house of around
3 - I mean, look at the incredible detail on this. Each and every tree has a different shape & leaf pattern, far beyond basic representation. The little horse and rider, the delicate horns on the deer. Painstaking work here that foreshadows the skill of an artist, to be certain.
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1 - Welcome to #ThreadTalk, #LaborDay edition. Our topic? Mills, Strikes & Textile Labor.

Buckle up, though. There is a distinct lack of dazzle today.

We're meeting the makers & laborers of apparel history--& how they lived & died for their craft. @nataniabarron - September ...
2 - In Asia, & China specifically, silk became one of the first real fabric blockbusters for trade during the Han Dynasty, beginning the Silk Road.
Traditionally, weaving was left to women while men farmed & sold, and this continued as trade grew. Women working silk together...
3 - Francesca Bray puts it simply in "Textile Production & Gender Roles":“The growth of the textile industry involved new forms of organization of production that made men the skilled workers and marginalized women.”

This is by no means unique to China. It's the story of fabric. ImageFigure 1: Women presenting ...
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1 - Hey folks! It's a surprise #threadtalk on the medieval theme of the moment: #TheGreenKnight! I just had to come out of hibernation to talk about what I saw in the theater.

Velvet! Crêpe! CROWNS! Pentagrams! I've got you covered. Well, at least *partially*. 📗🪓 Dev Patel as Sir Gawain in The Green Knight fro A24 Films. A
2 - Yes, we're starting with that cloak & color choice. Keeping things spoiler-free here, Gawain is seen wearing a golden velvet cloak very early on.

It's quilted, so nice & warm. It's golden, but also a bit ochre--yellow can mean golden, but also... well, cowardice, y'know? Dev Patel as Sir Gawain in The Green Knight by A24 Films in
3 - Velvet is a perfect choice for the nephew of Arthur. It's HELLA expensive (as we've covered; links later). This is SILK velvet. Not polyester crap from the 70s. And it takes skilled labor beyond reasoning to make.

But it also *absorbs light*. I feel like this is essential. Dev Patel as Sir Gawain in the Green Knight from A24 films.
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1 - Tonight's #threadtalk is a horse of a different color: green to be exact.

We'll talk emerald🟩, verdigris & olive🫒, too. Plus the connection between wallpaper, poison☠️ & privilege.

First: some color history back to our (literal) roots. (below, Redincote, 1786 - 1789) The origin of the redingote lies in long men’s coats with
2 - If you peruse art history books, you'll notice: finding vibrant green dresses before the 18th century is quite a challenge.

And there is a reason for that: green it a notoriously difficult color to capture affordably & reliably.

Unless you're, you know... Queen Elizabeth I with a gold gown, high lace collar, and a
3 - And even so, truly vibrant greens are even harder to find. This is for a number of reasons.

First & foremost, green dyes were often a combination of woad with other common dyes. Or natural dyes oxidized very easily. That meant fading, staining, and changing colors.
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1 - Welcome to #ThreadTalk!

Ah, mawwiage. We're going nuptial.

💕If you're hoping for whimsy & romance, well... you probably haven't been here before.💕

For most of history, marriage has been about money & power, just like the fashion it's inspired. (Below, 1841, satin) This wedding dress was worn in 1841 by an unknown but fashio
2 - Though anthropologists don't know exactly when marriage began, it seems to be universal.

For most of history, marriage was not about love, butensuring legitimacy of offspring, cementing family alliances, & consolidating wealth. See our ladies preparing: Greece, 5th C BCE. Women preparing for a wedding in a Greek relief on pottery.
3 - As with so much, we begin in Mesopotamia. Mostly because they wrote things down. Yay, cuneiform!

On this Sumerian relief, the marriage of the goddess Inanna and the Sumerian King Dumuzi is depicted. They look thrilled. Two intertwined figures in Sumerian relief.
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1 - It's Monday! That means it's #threadtalk time. But today we're doing a bit of a retrospective.

Somehow, I've done 16 of these already!

So get your bookmarks ready, we're about to do a #ThreadofThreadtalk.
2 - First up is #chintz. You might think of it as your grandmother's cushions, but it's really a remarkable history that takes us to India and the history of print cotton.

We also get our first glimpse into sumptuary laws and MURDER.

3 - The Lure of Timeless #taffeta teaches us about "scroop" (the sound it makes) & brings a bit more insight past 80s prom gowns. I was surprised at how old taffeta is!

I adore the look & feel of taffeta, personally. And moiré is a personal obsession.

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1 - It's time for #ThreadTalk & today we're swathing ourselves in the history of the kaftan!

Don't know your kaftan from your muumuu, dashiki, or Banyan? That's okay. We'll get there.

This ancient garment became a Regency staple🎩, a 1960s essential ☮️ & a modern must-have.🧥 A striped and heavily embroidered kaftan style robe. The str
2 - The word itself is Persian: خفتان khaftān. In simple terms, it's a tunic or a robe, often open down the front & tied with a sash.

This kind of garment goes back as far as Mesopotamia, but rose to prominence during the Abbasid Caliphate. This bowl dates from the 10thC. A man possibly holding a weapon and wearing a helmet. Abbasi
3 - That said, the garment itself emerged all over antiquity, & adapted through history. How kaftans are used, and the materials they're made from -- that's where things get sticky.

More on that later. Here's another pretty one, an entari from Turkey. Ucetek Entari from Turkey, a kaftan with floral stripes in g
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23 - I could do a whole thread on caftans, and maybe I should?

This caftan is from Turkey and dates from the 19th century, and y'all know I love gold and red. The stripes contain the floral pattern, and draw the eye up and around.

10/10 would wear right now. d A gold and red caftan with stripes at the edges and down the
24 - So much happening here, and normally would avoid this period -- but I am such a sucker for green velvet accents that I had to share this one. It's also a lovely closeup. 1861-1863, England. And it's moiré silk. So um. Just gaze. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London - Evening dress of moir
25 - By the 1870s things get real wild. New advances in dressmaking mean shapes get out of the box. Multiple textures going on here, multiple stripes, and a serious nod to the sailor suits we talked about earlier. ALSO POCKETS EVERYWHERE. Just darling. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London - The dress is inspired
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1 - Welcome to #ThreadTalk! This week we're talking stripes. And let me say, y'all have *opinions.*

Which is totally on brand for this pattern.

From the high seas🏴‍☠️ to the school yard🧑‍🎓, the red light district 🚨to the palace at Versailles🏰: Let's dive into the striped past.  Visiting dress, 1867 - French. A silk striped dress in pale
2 - Stripes may be humankind's first fabric pattern, simply woven in as the yarn color shifted from one to another. The word "stripe" is from "a line in cloth."

And stripes show up everywhere: fabric, pottery, and jewelry. Like this Neolithic (2650 BC) pot from China. Gorgeous! A Neolithic pot from what is now China, about 4500 years old
3 - 'Cause you know what? Stripes are POWERFUL. Just like we naturally turn our gaze to the horizon, stripes grab attention. Contrast, y'all.

Unsurprisingly, the great pharaohs of Ancient Egypt chose stripes for their Nemes (headcloths) like head-turning Thuthmose III below. This fine indurated limestone torso and head was uncovered i
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1 - Welcome to #threadtalk, the first in my icon series.

Yup. It's gonna be ruff.

It's fitting that begin with the very monarch who signed the East India Company into being: Queen Elizabeth I.

Join me as we travel back to the 16thC to one truly warped family. 👑🧵🪡 Queen Elizabeth I with an immense, ornately decorated ruff,
2 - No one expected the daughter of Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn would ascend the throne--but she did. Her coronation (1558) portrait shows her swathed in cloth of gold--the very same her deceased sister Mary had worn (bit creepy).

Oh, that cloth of gold? £2170 a yard in today's $$. Elizabeth is wearing a dress decorated with Tudor roses and
3 - Every line of her dress is a message: the cloth of gold was a favorite of her father's; the fleur-de-lis represented the ongoing claim of France; the Tudor roses: legitimacy. Her long hair and serene expression? The beginnings of the Virgin Queen. And all that ermine. A portrait miniature of Elizabeth I's coronation gown, simil
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1 - Welcome to #ThreadTalk & gird your loins! We're talking skivvies, undies, unmentionables, lingerie🩲-- that's right: underwear.

Tonight we'll part the veil & to find what lies beneath. We've got witchcraft, weird myths & plenty of spice. 🔥 🔥 🔥

But first, mummies! Magenta silk satin brocaded in yellow and green. Woman's cor
2 - Tradition says Adam & Eve used fig leaves, but the most likely first "underwear" was woven of plant materials or leather. Hence, it's hard to find extant remains.

Ötzi the Iceman, though, who's about 3500 years old, had a very well preserved one. So did the Aztecs, pictured. A descriptive cartoon of the Aztec people goin about daily l
3 - Loincloths were kind of a global sensation for a while. Got a belt and some felt? Strap it together, vavoom!
Unsurprisingly, the ancient Egyptians used linen for their flappy bits. Indeed, King Tut had a staggering 145 loincloths starched and pressed for the afterlife. From the tomb of King Tut, four figures preparing a mummy. T
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1 - Greetings, everyone. It's time for #ThreadTalk!

By popular demand, everything's coming up paisley.

#Paisley is an ancient motif with a Scottish name--to learn more about it, we'll be traveling the globe🌍, visit goats 🐐 & talk shit about the East India Company 🤬. Visiting Cape - the Met. Mid-1960s. A vivid red, orange, yel
2 - Paisley's proper name is boteh or buta, but it's also been called "persian pickles," "Welsh pears," "ham hock" pattern, or "mango" just to name a few.

Persian pickles?🥒 Right.

And it's old. You can see it on architecture in Balkh, Afghanistan dating to the 9th C. Creator: Photographer © Jane Sweeney / LPI  - A column from
3 - "Boteh" is a Persian word that means "shrub" or "bush." Whatever it is, it's leafy. And it's very eye-catching!

It's asymmetrical and playful, and appeared on carpets, tiles, fabrics, & more. This woodblock would have been used to print the pattern on fabric. An ornate carved stamp of a complex boteh pattern, used for
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1 - Welcome to #ThreadTalk! Today we're tackling the venerable bead.

Don't be fooled: This. Subject. Is. Huge. 🤯

We're touring the world throug alchemy, biology, archaeology -- and learn how colonialism & slavery figures in.

Featured: Sioux (Teton) woman's dress from 1880. An intricate dress from the Sioux, ca. 1880 from the Met Mus
2 -Like its cousin embroidery, beads are a world heritage art. Beads evolve next to humanity, it seems.

But how beads are treated, valued & traded--and what they're made of--well, that's where things get interesting.

Featured: Helmet - Fang People, late 19th C/early 20th C Africa | Man's helmet from the Fang people of Gabon | Bast F
3 - Beads are plentiful in archaeology, often long outlasting the threads that held them. These here are probably from Cyprus from 750BC-300BC & I would totally wear them.

Basically, people found shells & shiny things, went “mine” & the Precious was became... wait, wrong story. String of seventeen beads and amulets in various materials a
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Just a very friendly reminder that I am a *fantasy novelist*.

I am not an academic.

I am not a journalist.

I write stories about magic, witches, monsters, and flirting. Often in sumptuous clothing.

I ask a lot of questions and share the answers I find.
I have no control over what goes viral. I want to keep up, but between my life and job and family, I can’t always. I hate that.

I also have ADHD. And depression. And anxiety. Some days Twitter is too much.

I’m totally ok, but just so y’all remember. I do this for free.
I don’t take sponsorships. I don’t do ads.

It’s just me, sharing my research deep dives.

If I miss a comment or a question, please know it’s not intentional.

I love doing #ThreadTalk and will continue to do it, but just putting this all out here.
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That said: also welcome to all my new followers!

I do #ThreadTalk every Monday. I've loved fashion since I could remember, but came to these deep dives through world-building my own fantasy novels (and historical fantasy).

Looking forward to learning more about you all.
I believe fabric culture makes us human, and it's often set aside for the blood, battle, and action.

Yet, I think it really brings us together in so many ways.

It's just that in the wake of colonialism and capitalism, we've lost our way a bit.
In my early career as a writer, I was often snickered at for insisting that the best way into a world--imagined or historical--is understanding their fashion. Because fashion is frivolous and "girly" etc.

But think: Who has access to the goods? Who makes it? Who wears it?
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1 - Welcome to #ThreadTalk, muslin edition. Muslin has been all over my feed, so let me cut to the chase:

The finest fabric in human history was perfected by the Bengali people but tragically lost in the wake of imperialism & economic ruin at the hands of the English.

🤬🤬 18th - early 19th century muslin gown, made in India. A woma
2 - Muslin was once called "The vapor of dawn" by a Chinese trader named Yuan Chwang. Other names were "woven wind" & "wonder gossamer" - yet it's now synomymous with Regency period dramas.

There's no way around this: it is not a happy story. But it's one people need to hear. Closeup of muslin, (c)Victoria and Albert Museum, London - c
3 - In many ways, this is a companion thread to my original #chintz talk. Chintz and muslin are both made from cotton & both arose to fame b/c of the art, vision, & craft of Indian weavers.

Muslin is a basic plain weave, that means it's just a warp and a weft. But there's more. ©Victoria & Albert Museum, London - This robe is said to ha
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1 - It's time for #ThreadTalk. That's right: it's time to dye.

Warning: This feature includes insects🐞, poison☠️, dead bodies 💀, human combustion🔥 & general yuck🤢

And of course colonialism👎. But also gowns! Like this French afternoon dress in yellow & chartreuse from 1866 Chatreuse and saffron colored gown from 1866; Met Museum, Pu
2 - Most natural fiber fabrics are bit bland at first. Getting them vibrant means the adding of pigment.

Natural wool is often an ivory hue, & it takes a lot of processing to get the right hue. Raw wool pictured below to give you an idea. Carding video: CC BY 2.0 - Freshly shorn wool, via Wikimedia Commons. A pil
3 - Red is the color of passion, desire, and… insect secretion. Yes, we get carmine red from carminic acid, a substance we extract from female cochineals. Yum!

Cochineals are scale insects found in the Americas and are often found on prickly pear cactuses. British Ballgown from 1875 -- bright carmine red in silk velA female and a male cochineal -- the female is small and sca
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