The ADH

Executive Committee

The Association of Dress Historians (ADH) Executive Committee lead on our tasks and outputs. The Executive Committee recruit and manage our Sub-Committee teams who operate all aspects of our charity, including awards, communications, events and media.

Executive Committee

Find out more about our Executive Committee team members in their biographies, including individual email contacts.

Polly Putnam
Polly Putnam
Chair and Trustee

Polly Putnam is Executive Committee Chair and Trustee of The Association of Dress Historians. Polly is a collections curator at Historic Royal Palaces. She specialises in the material culture of the long 18th century. She has published on the furnishing of Queen Charlotte’s Cottage in Kew, curating decorative arts and authenticity on museum presentation. She lectures at Kings College and Queen Mary. She began her career in museums and heritage at Temple Newsam House, Leeds Museums and Galleries where she oversaw the Ginsburg Bequest of nearly 2000 items of historic textiles, from the personal collection of Cora Ginsburg via her son Henry. Over the course of her career she has curated six costume exhibitions, most recently Crown to Couture at Kensington Palace which compared the dress and culture of the Georgian royal court with the contemporary Red Carpet. She can be reached at chair@dresshistorians.org

Kirsten Burrall
Kirsten Burrall
Awards Sub-Committee Chair

Kirsten Burrall is the Deputy Chair of The Association of Dress Historians. She is team leader for the Executive Committee and reports to the Chair of Trustees. She currently conducts research and writes for a private textile collection in New York, New York, and is a fine arts appraiser. Her scholarly area of interest is in European textile and costume histories, specifically Medieval to Early Modern liturgical vestments and textiles, and costume and fashion design during the Aesthetic Movement and into the early twentieth century. She earned a BA in art history and studio art from Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York, and studied art history in Madrid, Spain and Athens, Greece. She also worked as an intern at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Kirsten has an MA in art history from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. Kirsten is passionate about the stewardship of textile and costume collections, teaching art history, painting, and volunteering for arts advocacy in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, where she lives with her husband and four children. Kirsten can be reached at deputychair@dresshistorians.org

Bethany Adams
Secretary and Trustee

Bethany Adams is Secretary of The Association of Dress Historians. She is currently working as an office administrator and has had an interest in fashion history since a young age. She studied MLitt Art History: Dress and Textile Histories at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 2022 with a Merit. Her dissertation was entitled Fashioning the White Rose: The Dress of Elizabeth of York, 1466-1503, which offered an analysis of fashion during the reign of Henry VII, religious symbolism, and court rituals of the late medieval period. She additionally studied History and Classics at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 2021. When not at work she is a keen painter, sewer, and embroiderer, in addition to maintaining a blog in her spare time. Bethany can be reached at secretary@dresshistorians.org

Sue Bennett
Sue Bennett
Treasurer and Trustee

Sue Bennett is a chartered accountant with many years’ experience, much of which has been gained in the public sector in the UK. Although currently taking a career break whilst living in Austria, Sue has experience of working with Boards and Audit Committees in various roles and has held voluntary posts as a school governor. Sue has a keen lifelong interest in textiles and clothing, which is reflected in the exhibitions she seeks out and hobbies she pursues. She was taught to sew by her mother and makes some clothes as well as quilts, and she is an amateur weaver. Sue can be contacted at  treasurer@dresshistorians.org

Scott Schiavone
Scott William Schiavone
Membership Officer

Scott William Schiavone is a Fashion Historian and Curator. Scott is an alumnus of both University of Glasgow and London College of Fashion, having graduated from the MA (Hons) History of Art and MA Fashion Curation in 2004 and 2010 respectively. Scott has worked with fashion and textile collections across the UK including Glasgow Museums, National Museums Scotland and The Fan Museum. Scott recently joined the Curatorial team leading the HarrisYourPlace project at The Harris Museum & Art Gallery, a £10.4 million Heritage Lottery Funded project that will transform The Harris into a community lead centre for arts and culture. In 2020, Scott launched his YouTube channel Fashion &… which now has over 4,500 subscribers and he more recently became an Accredited Lecturer for The Arts Society. Scott is interested in manifestations of luxury and excess across the fashion timeline. His areas of expertise are nineteenth century womenswear, marginalised social histories of fashion, the 1970s and 80s and the rise of the superstar designer. Scott can be reached at  scott.schiavone@dresshistorians.org

Benjamin Linley Wild
Benjamin Linley Wild
The Journal of Dress History

Dr. Benjamin Linley Wild, FRHistS, is a cultural historian and currently Lecturer in Contextual Studies (Fashion) at The Fashion Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, England. Interested in the dress and appearance of a society’s leaders and elite, his research also considers the self- and group-presentation of people marginalised by their community. Specific areas of research interest and publishing include: history of clothing and fashion, fancy dress costume, royal dress and appearance, menswear, and masculinities. Benjamin’s most recent book, Carnival to Catwalk: Global Reflections on Fancy Dress Costume, was published by Bloomsbury in February 2020. Benjamin can be reached at benjamin.linley.wild@dresshistorians.org

Alba
Alba Sanz Álvarez
Conference and Events Manager

Since September 2021, Alba Sanz Álvarez has been a PhD student at The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where her interdisciplinary research approach combines the study of fashion collectors, fashion collections, and museums. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History of Art from Universidad Complutense of Madrid and two Master’s degrees from Stockholm University: one in Fashion Studies and the other in Fashion Communication and Marketing. She has gained experience in the fashion industry by working for the Swedish high-end fashion brand Acne Studios. Alba’s research interests also include gender perspectives within fashion and the ability to work with a different range of materials. Alba can be reached at email events@dresshistorians.org

Irene Calvi
Irene Calvi
Volunteer Officer

Irene Calvi is a PhD student within the fields of visual and fashion studies at the University of Bologna. Her last research for the MA course Arts, Museology, and Curatorship revolves around wearable technologies and countersurveillance. Irene is passionate about the cultural significance of fashion interpretation in museums, the new and emerging technologies, and the creation of international networks. She previously worked at Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art in Turin, Italy, as the Director’s Office. Irene was awarded a 2019 and 2020 Student Fellowship by The Association of Dress Historians. Irene is the ADH Volunteer Officer and can be reached at email irene.calvi@dresshistorians.org

Kate Allanson Conlon
Kate Allanson Conlon
Social Media Manager

Kate Allanson Conlon is a Ph.D. student and researcher at the University of Central Lancashire. Kate holds an MA in North Korean Studies, funded by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea, and a BA in Asia Pacific Studies. Kate’s current research addresses the effects and influences of Japanese colonial rule on the fashions of Taiwan and Korea. Kate also works as a researcher of textile artifacts for the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, specializing in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese textiles. She can be reached at kate.allanson@dresshistorians.org.

Amelia O'Brady
Amelia O’Mahony Brady
Communications Manager

Amelia O’Mahony-Brady is a bi-lingual writer, editor and archivist based between Dublin and Milan. Her ongoing work with Irish and Italian publications is underpinned by interdisciplinary approaches to performing, collecting and documenting fashion, with a current focus on emulating the animate wearer in static modes of display. A recent Joint Honours B.A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, her award-winning thesis comprised the inaugural comparative study of Italian artist-designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Cinzia Ruggeri, exploring the role of movement and corporeality as requisite ‘activators’ of their designs. She can be reached at amelia.omahonybrady@dresshistorians.org.