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Deirdre Clemente

Associate Director, Public History program

Expertise: 20th century American Culture, Fashion and clothing, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Museum studies


Deirdre Clemente is a historian and curator of 20th century American culture, specializing in fashion and clothing. She is an expert in the use of fashion in the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald and served as a historical consultant for costume in Baz Luhrmann's film, The Great Gatsby.

Clemente is the associate director of the UNLV public history program. She holds a master of arts degree in Museum Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in history from Carnegie Mellon. Her research on the intersection of clothing and social change has been published in the Journal of Social History, New England Quarterly, Journal of American Culture, and others. Her book Dress Casual: How College Kids Redefined American Style was published in spring 2014 from UNC Press. The book explores how and why collegians pioneered the adoption of casual dress – one of the most pervasive cultural shifts of the 20th century. Clemente is currently working on her second book titled, Chic Streets: Urban Development, Shopping, and the American Fashion Industry which considers the evolution of New York's Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive and Miami Beach's Lincoln road as places where American clothing was made and marketed.

Deirdre Clemente In The News

Sep 5, 2018

This is simply the most recent chapter of a centurylong debate over the place of informality and immodesty in our dress: how short can that skirt be? Should the first lady be able to don a tank top? What about wearing sneakers to prom?

Sep 4, 2018

The shearling jacket is the iconic fashion staple of the apocalypse. It’s protected Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead, Regan Abbott in A Quiet Place, and even Ryan Gosling’s Agent K in Blade Runner 2049.

Aug 21, 2018

Two years ago, when Emily Osowski was starting a job as a software engineer in New York City, she had to seriously reconsider her wardrobe.

May 1, 2018

There's a reason the athleisure trend has exploded in popularity: people want convenience and comfort with style, and sporty fashion is the answer.

Articles Featuring Deirdre Clemente

John F. Kennedy
Sep 27, 2016
Arts and Culture

History professor Deirdre Clemente chronicles the increasingly casual nature of presidential fashion.

Homecoming royalty from 1976
Sep 1, 2016

UNLV history professor Deirdre Clemente's newest book highlights a convergence of fashion and consumerism on college campuses.

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