Hello there! My name is Lorraine Smith, but my friends and most of the internet know me as Lori. I’m a blogger and researcher with a love of fashion in its broadest sense, a passion for intersectional feminist values, and a believer in the power of diversity.
I work full-time at London College of Fashion – part of the University of the Arts London – but the views expressed here are my own, not those of my employer. However, there is often a crossover as I am an ardent supporter of the Head of College’s Better Lives initiative and am constantly amazed by the wonderful work of LCF’s talented students and staff.
History of Rarely Wears Lipstick
I’ve been writing online since 2002, but this blog began back in March 2003 as a somewhat unstructured collection of personal thoughts on a vanity domain (lori-smith.co.uk). Back then, my blog posts were rather like long form versions of my tweets but a few years writing for online women’s magazine BitchBuzz helped to hone my writing skills and also created a desire to change my blog’s format. The new name came about because I am known online as lipsticklori but in real life I rarely wear lipstick.
The current magazine-style reincarnation sprung into life in 2009 as a forum to discuss fashion, feminism, sex/relationships and creativity. I celebrated a decade of blogging in 2013 with the Rarely Wears Lipstick Awards which provided an excuse to celebrate the talents of some rather wonderful people and to gather together many of the fabulous folk I’ve met in the course of my online writing career. In 2016, I permanently dropped the sex/relationships category and the site now covers fashion (in particular, underwear), feminism, LGBTQ issues and reviews of clothing, books, exhibitions and performance.
Many people help to make this site what it is today, but the following deserve a special mention. The WordPress wizardry that gave Rarely Wears Lipstick its new look was undertaken by Amanda Runs Things. The logo was designed by Michelle Allen Davey. The illustration of me (above) that is used on my social media accounts was created by Stuart Taylor. The photograph of me in the sidebar is from a larger image made by Geoff Fenney.
My Writing (@lipsticklori)
I have written for SLiNK and Geeked Magazines, have spoken at a number of UK conferences – including SHINE, Eroticon, Cybher, BurlyCamp and Wowzers – and was a finalist in the Writer category of the 2012 Erotic Awards. You can contact me via Linked In, Twitter, or email (N.B. If you are a journalism student, it is highly recommended that you read Petra Boynton’s tips before getting in touch). Please bear in mind that I work full-time and this blog is a personal site written in my spare time so I am unable to provide a swift response to all enquiries.
My Academic Research (@LHamiltonSmith)
I have two fashion-related degrees – BSc Textile Design and Design Management, and MA History and Culture of Fashion – and my primary area of research interest is twentieth century underwear and developments in textiles. My Master’s dissertation looked at the history of the bra – the garments I purchased to help with this research were donated to the London College of Fashion Archives and two of the pieces were loaned to the V&A for their exhibition Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear. I have presented my research at a number of academic conferences and as part of public programmes at the M&S Company Archive and the Victoria and Albert Museum. I am a member of the team behind The Underpinnings Museum and, in 2017, curated an exhibition on technology and the bra, based on my Master’s research. I have also spoken about the history of the bra on Helen Zaltzman’s podcast The Allusionist and in this video, recorded for The Pool.
Selected Articles Written for Other Sites
- Professor Frances Corner’s blog – Mentioning the ‘Unmentionables’
- FWSA blog – Fashion, Freedom and Feminism: How technology saved us from burning our bras
- [In]Tangible: Redressing Fashion – Writing for Academic Journals
- [In]Tangible: Redressing Fashion – The Joy of Archives
- Uborka – I became an ‘agony aunt’ for this group blog’s Style Week
- Ms Wanda’s Wardrobe – Sequins, Feathers and Ethical Burlesque Style
- BitchBuzz – Links to my favourite posts on Sex, Relationships, Style/Culture, & Feminism/Life
- Ms Wanda’s Wardrobe – How to Follow Trends and be Ethical
- Bad Reputation – Doctor Who: Feminist Icon?
- The F-Word – Fashion and Gender
RWL Guest Bloggers & Additional Information
In previous years, Rarely Wears Lipstick has featured columnists and additional writers who have written one-off guest posts on a variety of topics. Ideas for guest posts are not currently invited, but do keep an eye on this page as the policy may change in the future. Please note that I do not commission guest posts from writers solely seeking to publicise a product or service for profit and, as Rarely Wears Lipstick is a labour of love, I cannot offer payment for guest posts.
Unless stated otherwise, all text and images on Rarely Wears Lipstick are ©LHSmith. Please ask before publishing any content from this site elsewhere. N.B. Linking within posts does not imply endorsement of a product or service, the content of an article, or the website in question.