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Singapore Fashion Educator Daniela Monasterios-Tan On The Best Podcasts To Plug Into Now

Fashion educator and one-half of the duo behind fashion podcast 'In The Vitrine', Daniela Monasterios-Tan, gives us the low down on the best – and most insightful – series' to tune into.

Daniela Monasterios-Tan (left) and Stephanie Burt, co-founders of creative collective ‘A Stubborn Bloom’.

The last we spoke to Daniela Monasterios-Tan, the fashion educator at Lasalle College of The Arts gave us a sneak peek into the inner-workings of creative collective A Stubborn Bloom – her brainchild alongside fellow artist and lecturer, Stephanie Burt. Here, the multi-hyphenate and fashion podcast enthusiast lets us in on her own 10-month-old fashion podcast series, In The Vitrine (which she co-hosts with colleague Nadya Wang) as well all the best podcasts to tune into for your in-depth sartorial fix.

Fashion podcast ‘In The Vitrine’ which Monasterios-Tan co-hosts with colleague Nadya Wang. The podcast can be streamed on Soundcloud, Spotify and iTunes.

Tell us about your podcast, In The Vitrine. What is it about and what inspired it?

In The Vitrine is a fashion podcast that my colleague Nadya Wang and I began last June. It was a topic that was brought up as a joke in one of our fashion meetings at Lasalle, and after Nadya was invited into a radio show, we both thought it would be interesting for us to launch our own podcast. We both lecture in theory and history and are both London-trained fashion researchers, so this was a way to extend the communication of our research and observations of fashion, with an Asian viewpoint. We try to contextualise all our topics to the tropics! For example, we did an episode on ‘Plastic’ that looked at the history of how plastic became part of our wardrobes, and the embodied experience of wearing polyester in hot, humid Singapore.”

What interested you in setting up a podcast?

“As a researcher, sometimes you end up spending months on a piece of writing that only gets read by other academics or researchers. We thought that by doing a podcast, we could put out all these different ideas and research interests in a more approachable way. We also considered that it could be a good resource for our students, and so far, the response has been positive. Our alumni often say it is just like being back in lectures and many listeners tell us how they listen to the podcasts while winding down at home.”

What do you think has sparked the recent interest in fashion podcasts?

“Fashion podcasts have gained popularity in various topics for a decade with the ubiquity of cellphones and the ease at which one can produce and edit podcasts independently without a studio sponsoring it. It is another medium to engage with news, opinions and information that has a more personal touch and is not confined to an image or small caption. It also allows one to be away from their mobile phone and computer screen to get lost on the journey of human voices. It is really interesting how fashion is always thought about as a purely visual medium but podcasts can give a different vocabulary and layer to thinking about clothes, dress and fashion.”

What topics do you currently think need to be discussed within the fashion industry?

“I think decentering has been a big issue in academia and the industry. This includes the idea of who has the power or privilege, and how to de-centre it. It can cover ideals of beauty and diversity and it is as simple as fashion researchers looking into fashion designers or systems outside the West. What we hoped to cover in In the Vitrine was also a viewpoint that came from Singapore and Asia, and this manner to decentre the narrative that fashion only happens in the Global North.” 

Any dream podcast collaborators you have in mind? And why?

“We just had our first guest, Elsa Wong from Youths in Balaclava and it was a wonderful experience to hear about the collective’s journey. That episode might serve as a record of a moment in Singapore’s fashion history where an independent label made it out to Paris Fashion Week. I think the podcast is also a way to archive fashion in Singapore and anyone that is contributing to it would be a dream podcast collaborator.”

The Collector’s House by Matches Fashion
What it is: “The Collector’s House is a weekly podcast by Matches Fashion where guests are invited to bring in five objects that resonate with them. It’s an insightful way for listeners to hear about the inspiration of prominent names in fashion such as Simone Rocha, Nick Knight, Susie Bubble and Hofesh Schecter. This podcast is essentially an in-depth look into the creative minds of our favourite fashion icons.”   Listen to it here   The Polyester Zine Podcast
Image: Instagram (@polyesterzine)    What it is: “Provocative, raw and proudly intersectional-feminist, The Polyester Podcast is an offshoot of London-based Polyester Zine founded by Ione Gamble. Their tagline – “Have faith in your own bad taste!”- says a lot about their tongue-in-cheek and empowering point of view. Listeners can expect a range of topics – such as self-care, feminism, power, aesthetics and sex – from subversive fashion practitioners such as Tavi Gevinson.”    Listen to it here  Business of Fashion's BOF Podcast
What it is: “For those interested in informative, factual and current podcasts on the ins and outs of fashion, this is a straightforward, no-nonsense insightful podcast for you. Topics range from the role of fashion media during a pandemic (a recent podcast with Dazed’s editorial director Jefferson Hack) to the art of luxury curation (an episode that featured Dior’s Kim Jones).”   Listen to it here    Dressed: The History of Fashion
What it is: “With over 150 episodes, Dressed: The History Of Fashion features various fun, history-based topics from the origin of cat-eye glasses, profiles on designers such as Pierre Cardin and deadly fashion trends of the past. Fashion historians April Calahan and Cassidy Zachary have a youthful zest and make fashion history accessible and fun.”   Listen to it here  Fashion Culture by the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
What it is: “Fashion Culture is a podcast by the Museum at FIT, New York’s most fashionable museum. This is a wonderful resource for listeners interested to hear from fashion scholars, curators, and designers. The format follows panel discussions and intimate conversations. Highlights are Dr Valerie Steele’s lectures that give insight to her fashion exhibitions, standalone topics such as the significance of the colour pink and interviews with industry insiders such as Tim Gunn. Dr Steele balances academic rigour with fun and accessibility.”   Listen to it here Fashion Unzipped by The Telegraph
What it is: “A behind-the-scenes by The Telegraph’s expert fashion team, Fashion Unzipped is also a direct, yet witty podcast to tune into. Listeners can expect first hand accounts of fashion weeks, beauty tips, interviews with designers and personal anecdotes on what is current in fashion. Examples include – a day in the life of a fashion editor, Karl Lagerfeld’s very last show and topics like body-shaming.”   Listen to it here Articles of Interest
What it is: ” Articles of Interest is a series of six episodes focusing on different aspects of clothing – from plaid to kids’ clothing. I would especially recommend the episode on Pockets to listeners to understand what pockets have to do with gender politics and power. The host, Avery Trufelman has a great energy and curiosity that really comes across in the podcast.”   Listen to it here Bande a Part
What it is:  “This podcast is essentially a weekly phone conversation between fashion historian Rebecca Arnold and Museum of London curator Beatrice Behlen that covers their personal observations and research. It spans from playing witty games such as imagining themselves as fashion photographs to debating the real purpose of fashion shows.They are both prolific researchers and give very candid observations, soothing and fun to listen to while having a cup of tea.”   Listen to it here   Unravel: A Fashion Podcast
What it is: “I enjoy this podcast as it covers less-featured fashion research and views. It was founded in 2015 by fashion scholar Jasmine Helm, textile conservator Dana Goodin and fashion historian Joy Davis. They cover a diverse set of topics and feature fascinating and risque topics such as the thong, Kanye West, the significance of ballet shoes and colonial Spanish dress. Their personal research and interest includes Black and Indigenous fashion history and post-colonialism, it is a total mash-up.”   Listen to it here Wardrobe Crisis
What it is: “This podcast is great for those who want to learn more about how fashion impacts society and the environment in a non-judgemental way. Wardrobe Crisis is a sustainable fashion podcast from Vogue’s sustainability editor Clare Press (pictured above). It acknowledges the need to be practical, creative and that sustainability is not a black and white issue to tackle.”   Listen to it here