In Conversation with Dr. Alexandra Palmer, senior fashion and textile curator at the Royal Ontario Museum
Dr. Alexandra Palmer is the Nora E. Vaughan Senior Curator, Textiles & Costume at the Royal Ontario
Museum (ROM). She received her BA in Art History from the University of Toronto; her MA in Costume
and Textiles from New York University, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and her
PhD in Design History from the University of Brighton. The ROM’s remarkable Textiles & Fashions
collection of over 55,000 objects from around the world and across time, is the largest in Canada and
third largest in the world.
While studying in New York, Dr. Palmer designed and created fashions and hats that she sold to
boutiques such as Patricia Field, before returning to teaching, curating, and writing on fashion history.
Dr. Palmer has written two award-winning books, Dior: A New Look, A New Enterprise 1947 – 57; V&A
Publications (2009), honoured with the 2010 Millia Davenport Publication Award and Couture & Commerce: The Transatlantic Fashion Trade in the 1950s (2001), winner of the Clio Award for Ontario history. Dr. Palmer’s upcoming book, Christian Dior: History and Modernity, 1947–1957, follows on the highly successful ROM-original exhibition, Christian Dior, which ran at the ROM from November, 2017 to April, 2018. The book, forthcoming November 2018, is published by the ROM and Hirmer Publishers.
Dr. Palmer is the ROM’s curatorial representative of the Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion
exhibition, complemented by Philip Beesley: Transforming Space, an installation by Canadian architect
Philip Beesley, currently on display until October 8, 2018. Dr. Palmer also serves on the Editorial
Advisory Board of Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption, the interdisciplinary academic journal devoted to luxury.
All images courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum, ©ROM