Today’s Love Is of Another Fashion, and the Women Who Lead It

Looking for a treasure chest of hidden fashion histories from women of color? We've got one for you.

By Channing Kennedy Mar 01, 2011

Today’s Daily Love is one you’ll want to come back to again and again; I can’t remember how I found out about it, but I know I’ve been a loyal reader from the first post I saw.

Of Another Fashion, a photoblog and ongoing exhibition run by writer and sociologist Minh-Ha Pham, bills itself as "an alternative archive of the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color." And it delivers. Since starting in mid-2010, Pham’s been putting up daily posts, providing sun-bleached photos of women of color, smiling at the camera and looking their best with historical and sociological context. Photos include backstories when they’re available, and are broken down into decade, ethnicity of the subject, and which article of clothing you should be most impressed by.

There are stories here about race and immigration, to be sure, as well as class and gender and media. But the stars of the story are the people. And, often the very photos themselves push back on our preconceptions about the lives of women of color in past decades. We see an NAACP representative sneaking a smoke break, and four friends striking a pose at Atlanta University in the 1890s; we also see Japanese women hosting fashion shows in an American internment camp for high-risk dissidents.

In a recent post explaining the project, Pham alludes that Of Another Fashion is partially an effort to answer the question of what American fashion is. It’s a big question. For more, check out her guest post at Etsy.

You can follow Of Another Fashion on Tumblr and on Twitter — and you can submit your own photos! Most of the blog’s material comes from readers, and as Pham notes, "the difficulty of finding and acquiring objects for this exhibition only underscores for me how much we need this exhibition and others like it."

Also recommended is Threadbared, the badassedly academic socio-fashion blog that spawned Of Another Fashion, run by Pham and her collaborator Mimi Thi Nguyen.

We’re ending the day as often as possible by celebrating love. We welcome your ideas for posts. Send suggestions to [email protected], and be sure to put Celebrate Love in the subject line. You can send links to videos, graphics, photos, quotes, whatever. Or just chime in to the comments below and we’ll find you. Be sure to let us know you’ve got the rights to share any media you send.

To see other Love posts visit our Celebrate Love page.