A Message from the President
Welcome to the online home of the Costume Society of America! CSA is not only a professional organization for lovers of history of costume in all its aspects; it is much more than that. It is a social group of like-minded men and women who have made amazing friendships and connections through their involvement in this organization either through its diverse regional programs, national symposia, study tours, and leadership, or have benefited from the many opportunities to publish, or from one of CSA’s many grants, awards, or honors. This organization is especially generous in support of its membership through these opportunities.
My involvement with the organization began when I was working in the costume shop at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. My shop manager was a member of CSA and she took us to Chicago to see the Genius of Charles James exhibition. While I did not become a member at that time, exposure to costume exhibitions and regional programs had primed me for when I did become a member a couple of years later while living in New England and attending a regional program there. I joined with a friend, and we have been members now for almost 30 years. We went to our first national symposium together and although we live miles apart, still connect at national meetings. She is still a costume designer in theater, while my career went in the direction of museum curator.
That is another great thing about this organization. There are so many people from different walks of life, but with a shared interest in clothing history. Whether you are an educator in a school, a museum curator, a re-enactor, a theater costumer, a collector, or just have a strong passion for history of dress you will find your people here. As a member, you will have access to the members-only site that provides contact information, communities of practice topics and list-serve networking and resources.
On behalf of our members worldwide, we invite you to explore all the areas of this site to learn about this great organization and all the things it has to offer. Enjoy browsing and getting to know us. If I have piqued your interest, consider joining and becoming a member of this extraordinary and remarkable organization. We will be your Virtual Center for the Study of Dress through education, research, preservation and design!
Gayle Strege, President
Costume Society of America
CSA Executive Committee Nominations are due by January 31, 2018. To make a nomination, please complete the form.
Gayle Strege is the curator of The Historic Costume & Textiles Collection in the Fashion and Retail Studies program at The Ohio State University, a position she has held since 1996. In addition to curating over 20 costume exhibitions at the university, Ms. Strege has installed costumes in exhibitions at several US venues including the Chicago History Museum, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Museum of American Textile History in Lowell, MA, and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH. She started her career in historic dress in the costume shop of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.