Dr. Sarah A. Bendall

DR. SARAH A. BENDALL is a Research Fellow at the Gender and Women’s History Research Centre in the Institute for Humanities and Social Science, ACU Melbourne. She is a material culture historian of early modern Europe, specialising in the dress, jewellery, armour, and decorative arts of England, Scotland, and France from 1500–1800.

Her first monograph, Shaping Femininity, is forthcoming with Bloomsbury Academic/Visual Arts and is based on her doctoral research. It explores how sixteenth and seventeenth-century foundation garments (bodies and farthingales) shaped the dressed female body in early modern England, and consequently how enduring notions of western femininity were established.

Her current research examines two specialised branches of tailoring in seventeenth-century London Body-making and Farthingale-making, and the widespread use of baleen in dress and decorative arts between the years 1500–1800. These projects explore making and makers in early modern European textile industries and the complex historical relationship between fashion and ecology.

Dr. Bendall’s original research has appeared in Gender & History, Renaissance Studies, and Fashion Theory. She also maintains a blog where she posts about her research, her historical reconstructions and early modern material culture: https://sarahabendall.com/blog/


  • PhD (History) University of Sydney (2018)
  • BA (Hons I) University of Sydney (2012)


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