Joanna’s background is in designing and making period costume for performance. She has combined her studies of dress in the eighteenth-century with an interest in women’s attitudes to self-presentation through their clothes and current theories on the psychology of dress. This combination is providing a rich field of study with reference to women in the eighteenth-century.
Joanna’s doctoral thesis took the audience and performers at the London Opera House in the late eighteenth century as a starting point. She examined the status of the women in the audience and the performers on the stage and their position in society. She conducted an analysis of their self-presentation through dress, discussing the psychological aspects of their decisions and how these were affected by social mores of the time. Her PhD was completed in April 2020.