Lauren Downing Peters - Columbia College Chicago

Lauren Downing Peters

Assistant Professor


Lauren Downing Peters is a recently-appointed Assistant Professor in the Fashion Studies Department at Columbia. In May 2018, Lauren received her Ph.D. from the Centre for Fashion Studies at Stockholm University. Her dissertation titled "Stoutwear and the Discourses of Disorder: Fashioning the Fat, Female Body in American Fashion in the Age of Standardization, 1915-1930" examines how fashion media discourses created the conditions through which the fat, female body was both known and constructed within the context of the early plus-size garment industry in the United States, or what in the early twentieth century was known as “stoutwear.”

Her research and writing has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals including Fashion Theory, Fashion Practice, Journal of Curatorial Studies, International Journal of Fashion Studies, Textile History, Canadian Review of American Studies and Russian Fashion Theory, as well as within popular publications like Vestoj and Most recently, Lauren co-edited a special issue of the International Journal of Fashion Studies (Vol. 5, No. 1) on the state of the field of fashion studies. Lauren is also the editor-in-chief of The Fashion Studies Journal and is a co-founding member of The Fashion Studies Alliance.

Prior to beginning her studies at the Centre for Fashion Studies, Lauren was among the first graduating cohort of the MA Fashion Studies program at Parsons School of Design, The New School. She also holds a BA from Washington University in St. Louis where she double majored in Art History & Archaeology and Anthropology.

Instructional Areas

Fashion Studies

Creative Practice and Research Interests

Fashion theory; twentieth century fashion; fashion media & mediation; history of the body; pedagogy; modernism & modernity; sociology of fashion; contemporary fashion; intersectionality; fashion and identity; gender & femininity


B.A., Art History and Archaeology Washington University 2010
M.A., Fashion Studies Parsons School of Design 2012
Ph.D., Fashion Studies Stockholm University 2018