A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS BY LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION MA STUDENTS
Fashion and Film History and Culture of Fashion
1 JULIE BRÉTHOUS 2 TARA TIERNEY 3 LINDA MORA 4 ELLEN MCINT YRE 5 EMIKO ISHIGAMI 6 ALEX ANDRA LITTLE 7 L AURA JONES 8 ANKITA CHUGH 9 SAM LONGHURST 10 ERIN SHEEHAN 11 IMOGEN HUNT 12 STACEY BALFE 13 GABRIEL A NAJMANOVICH 14 MO SHI 15 OLEX ANDRA SOLOMK A 16 PAUL A AL ASZKIEWICZ 17 TELEICA KIRKL AND 18 HELEN SPENCER 19 CHEN CHEN 20 GIUSEPPE MANCA 21 LORRAINE HAMILTON SMITH
Introduction: Fashion Cultures
Accompanying the MA15 exhibition, this publication showcases the pleasingly varied work of students completing two Masters Courses at London College of Fashion. The students on the History and Culture of Fashion course have traditionally been encouraged to view fashion and dress as material object, representation and practice both historically and in contemporary contexts; their peers on MA Fashion and Film have explored the complex and multi-faceted relationship between cinema and patterns of consumption in both a historical and a global context. For the final Master’s Project, which these students present in the following pages, most have chosen an interdisciplinary approach. The essays here - and the longer work they synthesise - bring together theoretical work from different strands of scholarship, weaving this carefully together with ethnographic work, archival research and close textual and visual analysis. The topics so carefully explored in the following pages are wide-ranging in their cultural, geographical and historical explorations. The students’ work examines fashion as it is reflected and refracted across history, across continents and social spheres; the work ranges through different historical spaces and across the many facets of contemporary visual culture. While the topics here are extremely diverse, they nevertheless
reflect several common concerns and areas of thematic interest. These are: feminism and women’s identities, conceptions of masculinity past and present, ethnicity and fashion, social class and dress, music and fashion, the designer’s approach, and lastly - the complex relationships between fashion, display, promotion and consumption. Within the different modes and strands of fashionable discourse here, many spaces and places of fashion explored: the vast museums and department stores of the nineteenth century, the newly-colonised cities of the eighteenth century India, the pubs and clubs of 1970s and 1990s London, the long-gone shops of a nineteenth- century tailor and the cinema screens of twentieth-century Britain. The scenes shift still further, moving us onto the international fashion pages and Internet sites of the twenty-first century. Contemporary questions of social class and fashionable dress have not been properly addressed within fashion theory - but that is rectified here, in analyses of young British working class women and the tattooed bodies of contemporary Parisiennes. Similarly, questions around ethnicity and representation are still troubling; recent developments are sensitively analysed in these pages. Masculinity and class is often explored on the cinema screen; there is however no analysis
of the dress codes in these films and its significance for its audiences. That lack, too, is addressed here. The dress of the ‘working class heroes ‘ of music is similarly scrutinised. Feminist concerns are central in the writing here on music. For while women have struggled for parity in performance - as we also see in these pages with writing on House music and the French Yé-Yé movement - men writing within the academy have set up yet another hierarchical discourse there. Women have been silenced within work on ‘youth cultures’ as comprehensively as they were within the social groups now under surveillance. There are other female icons studied here; Joan of Arc and Ophelia have both been reconfigured on cinema screens and on the catwalk. Questions of publicity and fashion promotion also need proper theoretical analysis. Too often this work is carried out within marketing and management studies; there is a real need for the kind of theoretical scrutiny we see in the work here. Contemporary advertising campaigns need to be considered within a socio-political framework as they are here, particularly the studied subtlety of the luxury brand. . The role of particular cultural mediators, such as Percy Savage, and sensitive issues around the appropriation of identities and positioning as Homeless
Chic are also investigated. The geographical parameters here extend across the world, taking in the new terrain of Eastern Europe and the engagement with glossy magazines and fashion weeks. Finally, there is space here for material culture studies and object analysis, vital and central within fashion studies. Here that scrutiny fruitfully extends from the creations of couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga to the jerseys of the ice-hockey fan, via the technological developments of the bra and issues of sustainable textiles and dress in the Bahamas. There is a space for still more creativity, for a 3-d construction to accompany the investigation of the relationship between Italian cinema and fashion design. The range of intellectual activity here augurs well for the future of these two courses and the topics that are studied within their wide ranging parameters. From September 2015 they will combine under the overarching title of MA Fashion Cultures; one course but with two discrete pathways. For more information see: www.arts.ac.uk/fashion/courses/ graduate-school/culture-and-curation/ ma-fashion-cultures
PAMEL A CHURCH GIBSON COURSE LEADER MA FASHION AND FILM SHAUN COLE COURSE LEADER MA HISTORY AND CULTURE OF FASHION GRADUATE SCHOOL , LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION
MA HISTORY AND CULTURE OF FASHION
The Tattooed Parisienne
The Tattooed Parisienne is a multi-disciplinary dissertation in feminist ethnography and sociology. Looking at the myth of the Parisienne and how the integration of new practices of the self, such as tattoos, have resulted in its evolution and re-invigoration, this dissertation seeks to discover, through the use of philosopher Michel Foucault’s work along with qualitative interviewing and image analysis, how dominant notions of knowledge profoundly shape women’s lives and bodies on an everyday basis and can be challenged by
the Parisienne haunts the streets of Paris, embodies the fantasy city that never sleeps and seduces the passer-by. To be a Parisienne is, as American author Richard Bernstein puts it, ‘to belong to a world apart, to an intellectual and moral category, not of class, race and gender, but of a qualitative difference from the rest, and essential worldliness’ (cited in Rocamora, 2009, p.100). To the eyes of others, both men and foreigners, she is the perfection of womanhood. Designed in a male-dominated society as a way to sell French excellence,
new types of power structures. The aim of the dissertation was to assess the place of tattoos within the myth of the Parisienne, embedding it within feminist ethnographic debates on the female body. To reach it, three objectives were laid out: the review and analysis of the feminist debate regarding the body in society, the review of the French tattoo culture and its development, and finally, the identification and comparison of current individual, social and cultural attitudes towards the body in Paris.
culture, values, and fashion (Iskin, 2007), this myth has evolved ever since its creation and has contributed to making Parisian women the fashion icons they are today in the eyes of the world (Roramora, 2009).
The Parisienne is a myth, a legend. She has evolved to represent the global epitome of femininity, of womanhood. Chic, elegant, always well dressed, always appropriate, but still slightly ahead of her time, and with a certain je ne sais quoi always looking natural,
Looking behind the glossy papers of Fashion magazines, however, the Parisienne reveals herself as a panoptic system of control for women. Pressured to conform to that prescriptive notion of femininity, women become judgmental towards themselves and other women. In an interview, tattooed and Parisian banker Isabelle Da-Rui states that: ‘we look at ourselves in the gaze of others, in the way they perceive us’ (Da-Rui to Bréthous, 2014). By being overly critical of their appearances, Parisian women ensure the
continuation of dominant forms of knowledge that have been created to fit a white male dominated Western society (Bartky, 1988; Foucault, 1977; Iskin, 2007; McNay, 1992; Mulvey, 1992; Nead, 1992). As with many other types of body modification, both socially accepted or not, tattooing stands on the verge of a debate that both rejects the postmodern aesthetic of the self, where identities are only expressed though the lenses of appearances (Negrin, 2008, p.29), and celebrates the introduction of new techniques of the self (Ferreira, 2011; Featherstone, 2000; Hardin, 1999; Mifflin, 2013; Pitts, 2003; Vale & Juno, 1989). As such, the large-scale popularisation of tattoos for women has mainly occurred through their use by French brands in advertisement, and being praised in magazines. This has somehow resulted in a normalisation of the practice that has emptied tattoos of their former subcultural and traditionally non-European connotations, turning them into ‘free floating signs’ (Turner, 2000) and fashion accessories. Body modification has therefore become a convenient and personal way to accessorise the outfit of the Parisienne. However, this dissertation seeks to show
how tattoos’ former mythical history remains fixed in common perceptions, and how their permanency makes them essentially antifashion. If the fashion system has emptied these signs of their meaning, individuals have seized this opportunity to express their identity though them, inscribing on their skin who they are, filling these signs with new meaning and allowing their myth to evolve and linger. In this regard, tattoos have kept their disruptive power. Not only do they allow fashion to evolve, by giving it private details -personal stylisation in a world of massproduced clothes - but they also allow notions of beauty regarding female appearance to evolve. Consciously or not, with heavy body modifications - a bird on their shoulder, the celebration of their love for their sister on their hand or the sewing lines of stockings of their legs - woman are challenging the ‘meaning of female beauty’ (Mifflin, 2013, p.147). This body that had been appropriated by male standards of beauty is now the prime location for women to re-write their own history. As individuals living in a specific society, the Parisiennes are women deeply influenced by that society’s main notions of knowledge: they can hardly escape the gaze of the city upon them, and feel the urge to reproduce this
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reductive beauty. But because tattoos are, on the contrary, a strong expression of their individuality, and that individuality is itself the result of a specific set of social forces and power relations (McNay, 1992, p.60), their presence disrupts the female nude. They force the viewer into looking beyond the frame, making them ask questions, and engage in a real conversation, when formerly, the female body was only there to be contemplated (Hardin, 1999; Mulvey, 1992; Nead, 1992). Of course, tattoos do not free women from the boundaries of sexual categories (Nead, 1992). But by altering the nude, they redefine the limits of the frame, including new possibilities of their own design for women to express themselves. They are a new power source, shaking and reshaping dominant forms of knowledge. Tattoos do not create a new femininity, they open up new possibilities for the Parisiennes, for women, to define who they can or want to become. To conclude, The Tattooed Parisienne is a multi-disciplinary dissertation that looks at how the collision of the two myths that are the Parisienne and tattoos has resulted in the evolution of traditional and patriarchal notions of femininity. Without completely transgressing conventional practices of the self, tattooing has however become a tool for women to re-write
their appearances in light of their own private history, resulting in the evolution of the myth of the Parisienne towards a more egalitarian form of knowledge.
THE TATTOOED PARISIENNE
REFERENCES BARTKY, S. (1988) ‘FOUCAULT, FEMININITY, AND THE MODERNIZATION OF PATRIARCHAL POWER’. IN: DIAMOND, I. & QUINBY, L. (EDS.), FEMINISM AND FOUCAULT. BOSTON: NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY PRESS. DA-RUI, I. (2014) INTERVIEW WITH ISABELLE DA-RUI, BY JULIE BRÉTHOUS FOR THE TATTOOED PARISIENNE, SEPTEMBER 15TH. FEATHERSTONE, M. (2000) BODY MODIFICATION. LONDON: SAGE. FERREIRA, V. (2011) ‘BECOMING A HEAVILY TATTOOED YOUNG BODY: FROM A BODILY EXPERIENCE TO A BODY PROJECT’, YOUTH & SOCIETY, [ONLINE] 46(3), PP.303-337. AVAILABLE AT: WWW.DX.DOI. ORG/10.1177/0044118X11427839 [ACCESSED 26 AUG. 2014]. FOUCAULT, M. ( 1977) DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH. NEW YORK: PANTHEON BOOKS. HARDIN, M. (1999) ‘MAR(K)ING THE OBJECTED BODY: A READING OF CONTEMPORARY FEMALE TATTOOING’, FASHION THEORY, 3(1), PP.81-108. ISKIN, R. (2007) ‘THE IMPRESSIONISTS’ CHIC PARISIENNE’, MODERN WOMEN AND PARISIAN CONSUMER CULTURE IN IMPRESSIONIST PAINTING. CAMBRIDGE: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
MCNAY, L. (1992) FOUCAULT AND FEMINISM. CAMBRIDGE: POLITY. NEAD, L. (1992) THE FEMALE NUDE. LONDON: ROUTLEDGE. NEGRIN, L. (2008) APPEARANCE AND IDENTITY. NEW YORK: PALGRAVE MACMILLAN. MIFFLIN, M. (2013) BODIES OF SUBVERSION. 3RD ED. NEW YORK: POWERHOUSE BOOKS. MULVEY, L. (1992). ‘VISUAL PLEASURE AND NARRATIVE CINEMA’, SCREEN 16(3), PP. 6-18. PITTS, V. (2003) IN THE FLESH. NEW YORK: PALGRAVE MACMILLAN. ROCAMORA, A. (2009) FASHIONING THE CITY. LONDON: I.B. TAURIS. TURNER, B. (2000) ‘THE POSSIBILITY OF PRIMITIVENESS: TOWARDS A SOCIOLOGY OF BODY MARKS IN COOL SOCIETIES’, IN FEATHERSTONE, M. (ED.), BODY MODIFICATION. LONDON: SAGE. VALE, V. AND JUNO, A. (1989) MODERN PRIMITIVES. SAN FRANCISCO: RE/SEARCH PUBLICATIONS.
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How did the Early British House Music Culture Affect Female Identity?
At the end of 1987, a small number of nightclubs in the UK started to embrace a new type of electronic dance music, called House. Clubs across London and Manchester were playing House music from Chicago, combined with Ibizan Balearic House to recreate the sound and atmosphere of Frankie Knuckle’s Chicago Warehouse nights, and DJ Alfredo’s all-night sets in Ibiza. This was the birth of UK House music and the creation of a truly unique British rave and club culture. The emergence of House music within the UK transformed nightclubs
and the cultural status of these positions; and thirdly, to examine the evolution of fashion within this period of clubbing. The focus of women in this research project was partly due to the historical neglect of females by academics and theorists within subcultural narratives. Women’s commentaries ‘were prematurely dismissed as insignificant cultural signs, not worthy of the status accorded to the claims made by their male counterparts’ (Pini, 2001:4). From the 1990s, research into club
from ‘places for drinking and looking good’ (Reynolds, 1998:46), into a space where clubbers and ravers would dance through the night, fuelled by the drug ecstasy. Dance cultures were presenting women with freedom and new opportunities to explore different roles far removed from ‘the traditional constructs of femininity’ (McRobbie, 1994:168).
and rave cultures abounded initiating debates and new considerations, but rarely inviting questions on relations between females and their place in social dance. Angela McRobbie (1994) was one of the first feminists to enter the discussion of women and club cultures, through the notion that dance cultures represented changing modes of femininity. This was followed by Sarah Thornton’s (1995, 1997) findings in relation to the role of men and women and Subcultural Capital in dance cultures, drawing from Bourdieu’s (1979, 1984) Hierarchies of Cultural Distinction. Additionally, Maria Pini’s (2001) work redefined the clubbing space as a female narrative, where women actively construct identities and subjectivities and explore new feminisms.
The purpose of my dissertation was to determine how these changes affected the identities of women who were part of the early club and rave communities, from mid 1987 to 1991. I sought to establish and measure the constructs of female identity through the following areas of investigation. Firstly, to document the involvement of women in the history of clubbing; secondly, to identify the roles women occupied
My research sought to contribute to this field of study, whilst also drawing on an empirical understanding of club and rave cultures from my own involvement in the early House music culture. To establish an objective history of women’s involvement in club cultures, and the extent to which it affected identities I employed three interconnected methods of research. Initially, conducting semi-structured oral history interviews with four women who were consumers and producers of the early British House music culture. Fiona Cartledge
interview - Jenni Rampling, Nancy Noise and Lisa Loud - who were all instrumental in establishing the early Acid House music culture within the UK and therefore, I revisited interviews they had previously given, and further established their histories through texts written about the House Music culture. The second stage of my research took the form of textual analysis of The Face and i-D magazines from 1987 to 1991, held by The Contemporary Wardrobe, housed in The Horse
was instrumental in influencing the look and dress of the early London Acid House culture and beyond, owning the influential clubwear shop, Sign of The Times, alongside hugely successful club nights of the same name. Kate Magic, immersed herself in the early Acid House scene, and has written her own as yet unpublished book on the same period. Zoe Margolis, was another early member of the London Acid House scene, and provided insight on her involvement in this culture, especially topics relating to feminism and gender. I also interviewed my sister, Paula Tierney, who I discovered the House Music scene with; she helped provide objectivity to my recollections, whilst discussing her own memories and experiences. There were a number of women, who I was unable to
Hospital, London. Analysis was conducted in terms of coverage of club nights, fashion editorials and progression of the House music culture within the UK. This was complemented by visual analysis of catwalk footage and photographs from the period of 1987 to 1991 held in the Net-A-Porter digitised catwalk archive, to identify designers’ collections that were inspired by and were influential on the late 1980s and early 1990s’ club scene. In addition, I used the online archive of the Photographic Musical Youth Archive (PYMCA) to view the vast collection of photographs of the early Acid House culture taken by Dave Swindells. Essential to this project was a re-reading of feminist history achieved by women speaking to each other as women. My research initially
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uncovered that women were not ordinarily part of club and rave history narratives. However, through engaging in oral histories, and revisiting older interviews and texts I was able to provide a new story that included women’s involvement and contribution, alongside traditional male narratives. This history not only documented the original female producers, such as Jenni Rampling and Nancy Noise, but also included Fiona Cartledge’s central role in the establishment of the outward identity of Acid House.
of club and dance cultures, alongside male counterparts. Most noteworthy, Sheryl Garratt who became editor of The Face in 1989, and one of my interviewees, Zoe Margolis, recalled her experiences of working for the music magazine Touch. This identified how women were increasingly occupying producer roles, thus holding Subcultural Capital. One of the most interesting discoveries in my research was the changes that were happening to women’s outward gendered
My investigations then moved specifically to the roles that women held in early House music, and to ascertain if these roles held Subcultural Capital, which Thornton (1995, 1997) proposed was only applicable to positions held by men. The positions occupied by Fiona Cartledge were central to this exploration. Through the establishment of Sign of The Times, Cartledge produced a successful clothing brand and long running London club night. She provided great insight into the prejudices that women encountered in British society in the 1980s when setting up their own businesses, and furthermore how she negotiated male dominated areas such as club and rave promotion. Research further uncovered that women were key in the reporting
identities. In early Acid House, from mid-1987 to mid-1988, dress was almost genderless for both men and women; taking on the form of loose baggy sweat-it-out clothing to aid dancing through the night. The cultural space of House music appeared to be momentarily disarticulating gender and hiding the body, allowing the discovery of new identities, both for men and women. Many of the women interviewed for this research project referred to this period as enlightening, spiritual and liberating. After mid-1988, dance cultures started to be increasingly adopted by the mainstream, and this saw a return to bodyconscious gendered dress. Women appeared to be reclaiming the female body, and reasserting themselves within a cultural space that they had not only aided in creating, but
HOW DID THE EARLY BRITISH HOUSE MUSIC CULTURE AFFECT FEMALE IDENTITY?
that they also recognised and felt safe in. In conclusion, early club and rave cultures could be considered as one of the first music cultures to provide women with a prominence and confidence that had not been witnessed before in British subcultures; allowing them a fixed time and space to experiment and strengthen their positions and identities within a continuously changing British society.
REFERENCES MCROBBIE, A. (1994) ‘SHUT UP AND DANCE: YOUTH CULTURE AND CHANGING MODES OF FEMININITY’ IN MCROBBIE, A. POSTMODERNISM AND POPULAR CULTURE. LONDON: ROUTLEDGE. PINI, M. (2001) CLUB CULTURES AND FEMALE SUBJECTIVITY. THE MOVE FROM HOME TO HOUSE. LONDON: PALGRAVE MACMILLAN. REYNOLDS, S. (1998, 2013). ENERGY FLASH. 3RD ED. LONDON: FABER AND FABER LTD. THORNTON, S. (1995, 1997). CLUB CULTURES, MUSIC, MEDIA AND SUBCULTURAL CAPITAL. CAMBRIDGE: POLITY.
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Zouzou’s Style: a convergence of masculinity and femininity in the Yé-Yé music scene of the 1960s
“Zouzou the Twisteuse had an androgynous charm added with a taste for revolt made her a modern personality. It corresponded to what I wanted to express in my first collection. Sadly, after a few tries, we had to stop our collaboration.” Yves Saint Laurent - 1960s (cited in Zouzou, 2003)
Yé-Yé was the term to describe a form pop music that emerged from France in the 1960s and usually featured young female singers. The Yé-Yé girl came about as a result of the social and political climate of 1960s France. This period was marked by a radical change in social consciousness that was happening throughout the western world, in particularly in regards to sexuality. Danièle Ciarlet, nicknamed Zouzou, a pivotal figure in the Yé-Yé movement was born in 1943. She was given the nickname Zouzou due to her frequent lisping as a child. The name stuck and throughout the 1960s, Zouzou enjoyed
a career as a model, singer and actress, celebrated by the French and English alike. She spent time with the Swinging London crowd, having dated the founder of premiere 1960s rock group The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones. She also counted top British fashion model Patty Boyd, The Beatles’ guitarist George Harrison, American folk singer sensation Bob Dylan and seminal Pop Artist Andy Warhol as part of her inner circle of friends. UK Guardian newspaper journalist Stuart Jeffries writes that Zouzou was hailed in Paris where she was ‘clasped to its collective bosom’ (2002:p.4). Painter Gerard Fromanger, of the Figuration Narrative, a French artistic 1960s movement said: ‘Every generation has its female mascot. In the 1920s it was Kiki of Montparnasse. In the 1960s it was Zouzou of Saint-German-des-Pres’ (cited in Jeffries, 2002). Zouzou was known for her rebellious nature and her contribution to changing attitudes in the conservative arena of 1960s Paris. While she released only two 45 rpm extended play records in the 1960s (See Figure 1 and 2), her insurgent and carefree
nature contributed to an identity that was in direct contrast to the other yé-yé girls of the period. Zouzou rebelled against her native French culture but at the same time sought to fit in with her English friends. In an interview in 2014 Zouzou frequently describes others’ perceptions of her as
made. Further adding to the intriguing nature of Zouzou’s identity are the complexities surrounding her style of dress. Sociologist and fashion theorist Joanne Entwistle (2000) describes the intricacies surrounding fashion and gender in terms of how clothing is one of the most immediate ways in which bodies can be gendered, or made male and female. Goude
androgynous and looking like a ‘little boy’ (Zouzou to Mora, 2014). Zouzou’s carefully constructed identity formation expressed through dress is significant because, compared to many of the other yé-yé singers who were girlish and feminine, Zouzou’s androgynous style depended on a convergence of both masculine and feminine characteristics. Zouzou’s love of clothing expanded in her teenage years when she met and began to date, the now influential illustrator, photographer and art director, Jean Paul Goude in 1960. From the age of seventeen, Zouzou’s personal style was shaped by Goude; it was his idea to cut her hair in a short bob hairstyle, analogous to that of 1920s film star Louise Brooks. He also designed clothes for her that he had custom
appropriated clothing to play with these ideas of gender which he styled on Zouzou’s thin boyish frame. Feminine elements were highlighted through the white tights Gaude brought for Zouzou in the United States, because they could not be found in Paris at that time.Her overly big lips, large lower jaw and prominent nose also added to the masculine presentation. Zouzou acknowledged that Goude liked her because she looked like a little boy and he dressed her in sailor pants with ‘beautiful shirts with ribbons in order to be really masculine and feminine at the same time’ (Zouzou to Mora, 2014). This was an interesting dichotomy but it set Zouzou apart stylistically. She notes that at the time, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, girls were dressed in an overtly sexualized feminine
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nature ‘wearing red and white dresses with tits really high...and with high heeled shoes’ (Zouzou to Mora, 2014). So in relation to this pervasive style, she appeared androgynous. Goude was also responsible for styling her make-up which he brought back from the United States. Along with the Louise Brooks short bobbed hair, he styled Zouzou’s make-up in a 1920s Hollywood Film Star style, complete with pale skin, dark heavily lined eyes and dark red lipstick. Goude did this purposefully, without a doubt, to evoke the kind of attention that he wanted Zouzou to attain; emphasising the masculine side of Zouzou’s persona and yet simultaneously maintaining her feminine qualities. This gender dilemma between masculine and feminine which Goude manipulated through Zouzou’s image construction is one that Entwistle (2000) explores in her work. Expanding on the ideas of German sociologist and philosopher George Simmel she discusses the tension between social structure and individual agency, whereas there is a desire for generalisation but also for individualisation. Fashion articulates a tension between
conformity and differentiation, it expresses the contradictory desires to fit in and to stand out (Entwistle, 2000: 116). Entwistle also highlights that ‘clothing’, is ‘one of the most immediate and effective examples of the way bodies are gendered or made ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ (2000:141). Zouzou greatly embodied this contradiction throughout her career by the quest for attention, but also sought independence through her style choices. Furthermore, the duality between masculinity and femininity marked her career.
ZOUZOU’S STYLE: A CONVERGENCE OF MASCULINITY AND FEMININITY IN THE YÉ-YÉ MUSIC SCENE OF THE 1960S
1 ZOUZOU EP SINGLE (VOGUE RECORDS, 1966)
ENTWISTLE, J (2000) THE FASHIONED BODY. POLITY PRESS: CAMBRIDGE
2 ZOUZOU EP SINGLE (VOGUE RECORDS, 1967)
JEFFRIES, S. (2002). ‘THE ADVENTURES OF ZOUZOU’, THE GUARDIAN, 17 APRIL 2002, <WWW.THEGUARDIAN.COM/FILM/2002/ APR/17/ARTSFEATURES> (ACCESSED NOVEMBER 29, 2014). MORA, L. (2014). INTERVIEW. ZOUZOU TO MORA, PARIS, FRANCE. 18 OCTOBER 2014. ZOUZOU AND NICKLAUS, O. (2003). JUSQU’A L’AUBE. FLAMMARION: PARIS.
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Style, Shame and Stereotypes: working-class women and their performance of femininity in contemporary Britain
The aims of this dissertation were to identify how working-class women are differentiated because negative value has been attributed to this class, and, to explore how they negotiate their performance of femininity through their appearance. For contextualisation, four young women, who self-identified as being working-class, were interviewed. With their guidance the dissertation focussed on how working-class women have been shamed if they do not conform to middle-class notions of respectability, femininity and beauty. Particularly, this is exemplified historically through the figure of the immoral Victorian prostitute and contemporarily through reality transformation programmes and the presence of the chav figure. The industrialisation of the eighteenth and
spaces (Simmel, 2004 ; Veblen, 1994 ). For example, criticisms of the prostitute figure were established as ‘a stark contrast to domesticated feminine virtue’ (Walkowitz, 1992 p.21). Like all women, prostitutes’ respectability was evaluated on the basis of appearance and manner. Contrasting the preferred natural, authentic beauty of middle-class women, these ‘painted creatures’ represented sordidness, excess, and gaudiness (Walkowitz, 1992 p.21; also, Gilman, 1990; Skeggs, 2004: 100). While, of course, not every working-class woman was a prostitute, this figure played a central role in the middle-class conceptualisation of the workingclass (Gunn, 2000; Nead, 1988; Skeggs, 1997; Walkowitz, 1992). Prostitutes were presented as being promiscuous, dirty, and dangerous; qualities that seem more recently to have been attributed to working-class women (Appleford,
nineteenth centuries led to the development of a new class structure, and the new middle class employed clothing as a means of union and segregation. Appearance was used as a way of differentiating individuals’ wealth, and used to embody the concept of respectability within public and private
2011 p.60; Lawler, 2005). While middle-class performances have ‘become the normative’, working-class femininity is often constructed in negative and abject terms (Skeggs, Wood and Thumin, 2007 p.2). Big hair, revealing clothing and heavy make-up not only identify women as being working-class, it would seem, but are
also viewed as representative of their social character and moral values, in the same way that they were seen as characteristic of the immoral and sexually deviant Victorian prostitute. The concept that women should “dress up” and be respectable objects of display is still relevant today (Appleford, 2011; Skeggs, 2004). Unlike previous research, however, the participants of this study did not identify clothing to be fundamental to their performance of femininity but, instead, emphasised cosmetics. For example, the interviewee Katie (age 24, food and beverage assistant) said, ‘I’d never leave the house without my eyelashes on. I even go to the gym with my eyelashes on’. Similarly, Gemma (age 24, preschool room leader, bartender and mother) stated that she would ‘not leave the house without make-up’. As a contemporary example, transformation programmes, such as Snog, Marry, Avoid?, are highlighted because they demonstrate the continuing relationship between notions of femininity and social class. However, they also focus on the importance of
appearance as a means of communicating these characteristics. The format of these programmes consists of a ‘victim/participant’ (McRobbie, 2004 p.99), usually a white female, who is ‘taught to create a self by learning middle-classness’ (Palmer, 2004 p.188), which imposes ‘restrictive notions of beauty and taste’ (Ouellette and Hay, 2008 p.101). Transformation programmes are supposed to be considered light entertainment and it is assumed that the audience knows that ‘no harm is intended’ (McRobbie, 2004 p.100). These types of programmes are selfvindicating on the basis that the contestants are willing participants. However, until recently ‘devaluing the culture of the powerless’ (Skeggs, 2004 p.95) would have been ‘socially unacceptable’ (McRobbie, 2004 p.100). Public humiliation of individuals who fail to adhere to middle-class standards of respectable, feminine beauty would have been considered offensive. However in contemporary Britain working-class denigration is not only standard but considered entertainment.
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In the early 2000s there was an increase of new terminology in which socially marginalised groups were characterised, classified and understood, and this was the concept of the “chav”. In “The ‘Chav’ Phenomenon” (2006), sociologists Keith Hayward and Majid Yar argue that the appearance of the chav was not criticised because of their inability to consume but, rather, because of their excessive participation in forms consumption. Their choices were considered to be ‘aesthetically impoverished’ (Hayward and Yar 2006 p.14),
By combining literature on gender, class and space, the thesis argues that there is an important relationship between appearance and class in Britain today, which, although often acknowledged, is rarely fully explored. Interestingly, it was noted that the interviewees shamed and regulated the appearance of other working-class women in the public sphere. Not, as chapter six argues, because they wanted to be perceived as being middleclass, ‘a task that will always feel doomed to failure’ (Palmer, 2004: 188), but because
and were therefore linked to working-class appearance. Working-class women are perceived to lack cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1984), which would inform appropriately ‘tasteful’ and ‘refined’ aesthetic choices. Just as the figure of the Victorian prostitute was seen as an example of ‘gaudiness’ and excess (Gilman, 1990; Skeggs, 2004 p.100; Walkowitz, 1992 p.21), the ‘problem’ with the chav figure was that they consumed in a way that was ‘deemed vulgar’ and lacked ‘distinction’ (Hayward and Yar, 2006 p.14). Ultimately, the chav figure is oriented to supposedly ‘pathological class dispositions in relation to the sphere of consumption’ (Hayward and Yar, 200 p.10), a description that has largely been used to describe working-class women (Skeggs, 1997).
they were attempting to distance themselves from being associated with the chav figure. Pejorative epithets, such as “chav”, act as boundary markers that offer ‘cognitive short cuts’ (Wray, 2006 p.8), and this has meant that discourse around working-class people has turned crucially upon their relationship with socially productive labour (Hayward and Yar, 2006). Ultimately, the image of the feckless chav has become a popular, but damaging, reconfiguration of what a working-class person acts, sounds and, importantly, looks like (Hayward and Yar, 2006; Jones, 2012).
STYLE, SHAME AND STEREOTYPES: WORKING-CLASS WOMEN AND THEIR PERFORMANCE OF FEMININITY IN CONTEMPORARY BRITAIN
REFERENCES APPLEFORD, K. L. (2011) CLASSIFYING FASHION AND FASHIONING CLASS: AN INQUIRY INTO CLASS DISTINCTIONS IN FASHION CONSUMPTION AND TASTE AMONGST BRITISH WOMEN TODAY. PHD THESIS. LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION. BOURDIEU, P. (2005 ) DISTINCTION: A SOCIAL CRITIQUE OF THE JUDGEMENT OF TASTE. LONDON, UK: ROUTLEDGE AND KEGAN PAUL. GILMAN, S. L. (199)’ “I’M DOWN ON WHORES”: RACE AND GENDER IN VICTORIAN LONDON’ IN GOLDBERG, D. T. (ED). ANATOMY OF RACISM. MINNEAPOLIS, USA: UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA PRESS. GUNN, S. AND BELL, R. (2002) MIDDLE CLASSES: THEIR RISE AND SPRAWL. LONDON, UK: CASSELL AND CO. HAYWARD, K., YAR, M. (2006) ‘THE “CHAV” PHENOMENON: CONSUMPTION, MEDIA AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW UNDERCLASS’, CRIME MEDIA CULTURE, 2(1), PP. 9-28. JONES, O. (2012) CHAVS: THE DEMONIZATION OF THE WORKING CLASS. LONDON, UK: VERSO. NEAD, L. (1988) MYTHS OF SEXUALITY: REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN VICTORIAN ENGLAND. OXFORD, UK: BLACKWELL. LAWLER, S. (2005A) ‘DISGUSTED SUBJECTS: THE MAKING OF MIDDLE CLASS IDENTITIES’, THE EDITORIAL BOARD OF THE SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW, 53(3), PP. 429-446. LAWLER, S. (2005B) ‘INTRODUCTION: CLASS CULTURE AND IDENTITY’, SOCIOLOGY. 39(1), PP. 797-806. MCROBBIE, A. (2004) ‘NOTES ON “WHAT NOT TO WEAR” AND POST-FEMINIST SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE’ IN ADKINS, L. AND SKEGGS, B. (EDS) FEMINISM AFTER BOURDIEU. OXFORD, UK: BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, PP. 99-109.
OUELLETTE, L. AND HAY, J. (2008) BETTER LIVING THROUGH REALITY TV. OXFORD, UK: BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD. PALMER, G. (2004) ‘THE NEW YOU: CLASS AND TRANSFORMATION IN LIFESTYLE TELEVISION’ IN HOLMES, S. AND JERMYN, D. (EDS) UNDERSTANDING REALITY TELEVISION. EAST SUSSEX, UK: PSYCHOLOGY PRESS, PP. 173-190. SIMMEL, G. (2004 ) ‘FASHION’ IN PURDY, D. L. (ED) THE RISE OF FASHION: A READER. MINNESOTA, USA: UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA PRESS. SKEGGS, B. (2004) CLASS, SELF, CULTURE. LONDON, UK: ROUTLEDGE. SKEGGS, B. (2005) ‘THE MAKING OF CLASS AND GENDER THROUGH VISUALIZING MORAL SUBJECT FORMATION’, SOCIOLOGY, 39(5), PP. 965-982. SKEGGS, B., THUMIN, N. AND WOOD, H. (2007) ‘MAKING CLASS THROUGH MORAL EXTENSION ON REALITY TV’. AVAILABLE: WWW.MEDFAK.UMU.SE/ DIGITALASSETS/29/29326_WORKSHOP_ INTIMACY_AHORARKOP.PDF. ACCESSED NOVEMBER 2014. VEBLEN, T. (1994. ) THE THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS. LONDON, UK: PENGUIN CLASSICS. WALKOWITZ, J. R. (1992) CITY OF DREADFUL DELIGHT: NARRATIVES OF SEXUAL DANGER IN LATE-VICTORIAN LONDON. CHICAGO, USA: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS.
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The Legacy of Ophelia on Screen: the floating female body in an interspace between childhood and adulthood When Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark first appeared between 1599 and 1602, Hamlet quickly became the centre of both public and critical attention. The character of Ophelia, by contrast, went largely unnoticed by contemporary commentators and only later began to become the focus of both critics and visual artists in the late eighteenth century (Young 2002; Kiefer 2001). Ophelia (1851-2) by John Everett Millais is one of the most widely recognised paintings of Ophelia and has extensively influenced
feminists including Simone De Beauvoir. Thus Ophelia has historically played an important role in psychology and feminist studies in particular.
subsequent works. Obsessive depictions of Ophelia were not merely a trend but also the beginning of western artistic fascination for morbid feminine sexuality and a necro-aesthetic that was to continue until today (Bronfen 1992; Romanska 2005). Ophelia knows no boundaries; there has been an increase in the number of creative works inspired by Ophelia, including literature, painting, music, photography, fashion, and film.
Ophelia’ movement in which several books under the same theme were then published one after another. These books highlight female adolescence which is increasingly recognised as a serious, unstable, vulnerable, and sometimes morbid state under the media saturated culture. It was around the same time that the strong and assertive ‘Girl Power’ movement emerged, enhancing the significance of adolescent females within mainstream culture. Thus, during the past two decades, much more literature has become available on female adolescence, although much of this pays particular attention only to Girl Power along with the diffusion of Girl Power images in the mass media.
A large amount of literature has referred to Ophelia since her emergence in Hamlet. Analysis of Ophelia deepened in various directions beyond interpretation in studies not only limited to Shakespearean enthusiasts but also including those by distinguished psychoanalysts and philosophers, such as Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan, and
In 1995, a New York Times bestseller book, Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls written by Mary Pipher led to a renewed interest in Ophelia and reinforced an association between Ophelia and adolescent females. Pipher investigates the different negative impacts of media culture on girls and created the so-called ‘reviving
The Girl Power movement has been a controversial and much disputed subject
within the field of feminist film study (Shary 2005; Hentges 2006; Gonick 2006). While studies collectively provide critical insight into both representations and perceptions of femininity on screen, they tend to converge on the same films - Clueless (1995), Girls Town (1996), and Boys Don’t Cry (1999) - limiting the discussions to specific aspects, including consumption, delinquency and lesbianism. In response to these two mutually exclusive movements, Gonik (2006) concludes that fragile and vulnerable ‘reviving Ophelia’ is
study in which he employs two contradictory archetypal female adolescence figures: Ophelia and Lolita. The main limitation of his study, however, is that Monden makes no attempt to differentiate between two contradictory modes of Ophelia: ‘innocent pretty’ and ‘eroticised insane’. Therefore, he dismisses the significance of the eroticised mad mode of Ophelia, thereby using seductive Lolita to contrast the Victorian ideal of an innocent Ophelia.
the other side of a coin for strong and tough ‘Girl Power’. However, perhaps due to its homogenous nature, ‘reviving Ophelia’ is unlikely to go beyond simple references in academic studies (Driscoll 2002; Hentges 2006). This all collectively indicates a need to examine whether the legacy of Ophelia can be observed in terms of representations/ perceptions of adolescent females that exist within youth films.
The focus of this dissertation is on Ophelia with the objective of examining the significance of her legacy in female adolescent films. Therefore, this study identified certain modes of representations/perceptions of female adolescence as the legacy of Ophelia and analysed how the legacy works differently from other archetypal girl films. Looking at the ways girls are represented in film says much about just how difficult it is for adolescent females to go through girlhood to achieve womanhood. Likewise, investigating how these cinematic representations fit into the overall legacy of Ophelia offers a better sense of how unique such Ophelia archetypal characters can hope to be. The overall structure of the study takes the form of seven chapters, including the introductory chapter. The second chapter
Prior to this dissertation, this association between female adolescence and Ophelia has only been applied to Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (1997) by Monden (2013). There is still much uncertainty about the relationship between the two and very little understanding of the legacy of Ophelia in adolescent films. This dissertation follows the lead of Monden’s
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begins by laying out the historical dimensions of representations and perceptions of Ophelia, and looked at how Ophelia has been (re) produced and accepted as one of the most influential female figures in art. It then goes on to illustrate the historical and theoretical dimensions regarding female adolescence in youth films, including the evolution of contemporary girlhood film in the 1990s; especially focusing on how girl characters have been oppressed in heterosexual plots. The fourth chapter reconsiders the significance of the association between Ophelia and female adolescence based on the book, Reviving Ophelia, with the fifth chapter concerned with the methodology used for this study. Following that, three films are examined in case study sections:, Innocence (2004), Heavenly Creatures (1994), and Girl, Interrupted (1999). While male characters appear, the films are primarily about female adolescence, focusing on their transition from childhood to adulthood in a group or pair, and showing the world from
confirmed the strong association between Ophelia and female adolescence in both visual and conceptual aspects. The character of Ophelia herself is contradictory as she is situated somewhere between eroticised madness and fragile prettiness depending on the representation or the perception. Therefore, Ophelia was suitable to reflect the unstable and fluid states of female adolescence in all three case study films.
their particular perspectives.
in determining importance of the relationships between younger and older females.
This dissertation is the first study to undertake a longitudinal analysis of the legacy of Ophelia in youth film and thus makes a contribution to research on female adolescent films by demonstrating how the legacy of Ophelia is employed. The findings of the case studies
Innocence focuses on the initial adolescent transition from asexual childhood to sexual girlhood, Heavenly Creatures reveals fears of growing into womanhood leaving daughterhood behind, and Girl, Interrupted represents girls suffering from the postmodern notion of identity as hidden sides of Girl Power protagonists. As the relationship between Ophelia and Gertrude suggests, the contrast between female adolescence and older females plays important roles in all three films and there is abundant room for further progress
As Ophelia became independent from Hamlet in the history of the representations, girls in these three films are not necessarily represented in the conventional heterosexual plots. As Monden (2013) concludes that what
THE LEGACY OF OPHELIA ON SCREEN: THE FLOATING FEMALE BODY IN AN INTERSPACE BETWEEN CHILDHOOD AND ADULTHOOD
makes The Virgin Suicides revealing is the film’s perception of female adolescence, those three films examined in this study also treat female adolescence as significant transitions for females.
IMAGES 1 BIANCA TAKING BATH WITH A DOWNWARD GAZE, INNOCENCE (2004) 2 BATH SCENE, HEAVENLY CREATURES (1994) 3 LISA’S DRAMATIC FACIAL EXPRESSIONS, GIRL, INTERRUPTED (1999)
REFERENCES BRONFEN, E. (1992) OVER HER DEAD BODY: DEATH, FEMININITY AND THE AESTHETIC. MANCHESTER: MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY PRESS. DRISCOLL, C. (2002) GIRLS: FEMININE ADOLESCENCE IN POPULAR CULTURE AND CULTURAL THEORY. NEW YORK AND CHICHESTER: COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS GONICK, M. (2006) ‘BETWEEN “GIRL POWER” AND “REVIVING OPHELIA”: CONSTITUTING THE NEOLIBERAL GIRL SUBJECT’, NWSA JOURNAL [INTERNET]. 18(2) SUMMER. PP. 1-23 HENTGES. S. (2006) PICTURES OF GIRLHOOD: MODERN FEMALE ADOLESCENCE ON FILM. NORTH CALIFORNIA: MCFARLAND & COMPANY. KIEFER, C. S. (2001) THE MYTH AND MADNESS OF OPHELIA. MICHIGAN: MEAD ART MUSEUM, AMHERST COLLEGE. PIPHER, M. (1995) REVIVING OPHELIA: SAVING THE SELVES OF ADOLESCENT GIRLS. NEW YORK: BALLANTINE BOOKS. ROMANSKA, M. (2005) ‘ONTOLOGY AND EROTICISM: TWO BODIES OF OPHELIA’, WOMEN’S STUDIES 34(6), PP.485-503. SHAKESPEARE, W. (1992) HAMLET. LONDON: WORDSWORTH CLASSICS. SHARY, T. (2005) TEEN MOVIES: AMERICAN YOUTH ON SCREEN. LONDON: WALLFLOWER. YOUNG. A. R. (2002) ‘THE OPHELIA PHENOMENON’, IN YOUNG, A. R. HAMLET AND THE VISUAL ARTS, 1709-1900, CRANBURY, NJ., LONDON AND MISSISSAUGA: ASSOCIATED UNIVERSITY PRESSES.
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Joan of Arc and the Theatricality of Dress: an exploration into the relationship between costume and couture
Joan of Arc (1412-1431) is a notorious historical figure. Whether aspects of her story are mythologised or based on historical events, it has demonstrated Joan’s heroism as well as the perception of her as a heretic. The understanding of Joan of Arc’s story ‘lives in relation to its tellers and its receivers; it continues because people want to hear it again, and it changes according to their tastes and needs’ (Warner, 1981 p.3). For nearly 600 years she has both been talked about and represented in many forms of cultural manifestations. Her reputation has been unpicked and represented in many ways and none more so than influencing different media, including film and fashion. Joan of Arc’s differing styles of dress throughout her life reflects her upbringing, her religious affiliation and her bravery. She may be a heroine or
The aim of the thesis is to investigate the key characteristics, similarities and differences between costume and couture in the portrayal of Joan of Arc in film and fashion collections, and also to understand the relevance of these in their contemporary cultures. The dramatisation and theatricality of Joan’s life on the catwalk stage and film screen dictates how she is represented in costume and couture, through inspiration and delivery, establishing at what point couture becomes so eccentric, it verges on costume. The role of costume and couture are independent but have many similarities. Taking the sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of fields (1984), it can be understood how costume and couture relate in a structured cultural space. The field of dress, costume
a heretic, but it is how she is represented through her dress, interpreted from her trial notes, that is particularly interesting. Her clothing has come to be a symbol of Joan of Arc; many generations associating her with a woman in armour.
and couture are independent but overlap. Costume and couture are at either end of the fashion spectrum, but can become so extreme they overlap as though the spectrum becomes a full circle. Bourdieu discusses how fashion is the latest idea (1993 p.135), but this can also be true of costume. Through a network
of relations, costume and couture both share cultural, economic, social and symbolic capital. Yet costume, until recently has been seen as lesser by many academics, as discussed by curator, Judith Clark, in relation to fashion editor, Diana Vreeland, who merged the disciplines by innovatively displaying costume and couture alongside one another, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in the latter part of the twentieth century (2011 p.227). To understand the field of dress, we must understand the role costume and couture play. Costume is in a film to assist with the telling of the story, as ‘cinematic history shapes the way millions of people…learn about the past’ (Toplin, 2009 p.1). Therefore, costume tends to be accurate unless creating a fictional setting. However, in a fashion show the dress
demonstrates how Joan of Arc has been used for fashion and film in a variety of ways. Three areas have been looked at to understand the development of Joan’s representation. Firstly, a comparison between Victor Fleming’s 1948 film Joan of Arc and the known history of Joan is looked at, by drawing out the iconic identity of Joan from trial records and the realism within film. As Fleming’s Joan of Arc exemplifies, film can set a precedent for historical accuracy, by winning the first Oscar for costume in 1948. Having explored the significance of costume in the depiction of Joan, the costume experimentation, pre-millennium, develops this analysis by comparing Joan of Arc in Alexander McQueen’s couture collection and fashion show Joan (autumn/winter 1998/99) and Luc Besson’s 1999 film The Messenger: the Story of Joan of Arc. This chapter uses
is the focus, where a theme has inspired the clothing; couture is not assisting in telling a story, it is the story.
Roland Barthes’ outlining of semiotics (2009) to compare costume and couture; where both are visual spectacles applying the same inspiration, articulating the significance of Joan’s dress in both a modern and historically reflective way.
Through comparative analysis, using the methods of visual and material culture analysis supplemented by interview, this dissertation
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Finally, with few Joan of Arc films being released post millennium, John Galliano’s autumn/winter 2006/7 couture collection for Christian Dior brings Joan into more recent displays of fashion. Although Galliano never stated that the show was inspired by Joan of Art, commentators drew clear analogies recognising the semiotics of Joan’s dress (Joseph 2006, Morton 2006). Two garments from the same collection are discussed as examples of costume and couture deriving from the same inspiration, using visual and
of Arc as a woman in a man’s battlefield resonated with costumiers and couturiers exploring the unknown future for women in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; allowing the possibility to discover the fine line between the historical truths and inspiring both costume and couture causes the eccentricity of couture to become costume. The theatricality of costume in film and the spectacle of a couture fashion show allow the exploration of Joan as an ‘idea’ and historical
material culture analysis. This communicates how a cohesive fashion show can demonstrate the theatricality of couture fashion. Joan becomes the ‘centre of a story so famous that it transcends the media or the forms that have transmitted it; she is a heroine of history’ (Warner, 1981 p.3), recognisable in costume and couture alike. Within the research the contemporary need for a representation of Joan of Arc has been looked at to understand the development of her representation over time, and what this means for both costume and couture. Joan of Arc has stood for and exemplified the development of the feminist struggles of women. This may be to obtain the vote, to gain equal rights in employment, and most significantly with Joan, to fight alongside men in battle since the two World Wars. Joan
figure. Fashion historian, Christopher Breward, proposes that ‘in many ways the catwalk productions of John Galliano and Alexander McQueen sit more comfortably alongside the work of the film costumier than that of the fashion designer’ (2003 p.139), which is what can be seen from their couture creations. With the development of couture as spectacle, the primary difference between couture and costume is a lack of spoken narrative, but visually Joan, and her dress, speaks for herself. Caroline Evans discusses how ‘shards of history work their way in new formations and are put to work as contemporary emblems’ (2009 p. 39), which is the case for Joan of Arc. This cycle of inspiration will continue as long as the history of the past resonates with contemporary society. Joan of Arc will
JOAN OF ARC AND THE THEATRICALITY OF DRESS: AN EXPLORATION INTO THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COSTUME AND COUTURE
live on in many cultural manifestations; she will be represented, continue to be developed, but may be removed from the ideals of what she stood for. Despite this, she should be recognised in the future as the strong female heroine and heretic that has influenced costume and couture since her canonisation in 1920.
REFERENCES BARTHES, R. (2009) MYTHOLOGIES. LONDON: VINTAGE BOOKS. BOURDIEU, P. (1984) DISTINCTION: A SOCIAL CRITIQUE OF THE JUDGMENT OF TASTE. LONDON: ROUTLEDGE. BOURDIEU, P. (1993) ‘HAUTE COUTURE AND HAUTE CULTURE’, IN BOURDIEU, P. SOCIOLOGY IN QUESTION. LONDON: SAGE. BREWARD, C. (2003) FASHION. OXFORD: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS. CLARK, J. (2011) RE-STYLING HISTORY: D.V. AT THE COSTUME INSTITUTE. IN VREELAND, L. ED. DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL. NEW YORK: ABRAMS. EVANS, C. (2009) FASHION AT THE EDGE: SPECTACLE, MODERNITY AND DEATHLINESS. NEW HAVEN, MA: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS. JOSEPH, J. (2006) CHRISTIAN DIOR COUTURE BY JOHN GALLIANO. AVAILABLE FROM WWW.STYLENOIR.CO.UK/CHRISTIANDIOR-COUTURE-BY JOHN-GALLIANO/ (ACCESSED 3 NOVEMBER 2014). MORTON, C. (2006) CHRISTIAN DIOR, AUTUMN/WINTER 2006-7 COUTURE. AVAILABLE FROM: WWW.VOGUE.CO.UK/ FASHION/AUTUMN-WINTER-2006/COUTURE/ CHRISTIAN-DIOR (ACCESSED 3 NOVEMBER 2014). TOPLIN, R. (2009) HISTORY BY HOLLYWOOD. 2ND EDITION. CHICAGO, IL: UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS PRESS. WARNER, M. (1981) JOAN OF ARC: THE IMAGE OF FEMALE HEROISM. LONDON: WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON.
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E. Moses and Son: the Jewish tailors who pioneered mass-market tailoring
In the history of men’s fashion the London firm of E. Moses and Son occupies a unique yet under-acknowledged position. From the opening of their first shop in 1829, through to the death of Isaac Moses Marsden in 1884, the Jewish tailoring firm developed a highly successful business that dominated the ready-made tailoring market, transformed the industry and challenged the social values of the time. This dissertation makes a detailed exploration of the business by conducting an in-depth analysis of the achievements, attributes, methods and impact of the company. The research investigates how E. Moses and Son became the first commercially successful mass-market men’s tailoring firm by providing affordable, accessible and desirable clothing for all classes, and aims to situate them within the history of men’s fashion. Against a backdrop of social, geographical and economic change, brought about by industrialisation and which undermined the traditional structure of the English class system, Moses recognised a growing appetite for the consumption of new affordable and accessible,
fashionable clothing. They pioneered a new business model that brought down the cost of fashions by favouring low margins and a high turnover. This was achieved by adopting new production processes, modern retailing methods and implementing an aggressive marketing strategy that reached a vast majority of London’s population and appealed to a mass-market by promoting classlessness. Moses recognised that in order to achieve a mass sales strategy, built on a solid foundation of investment and expansion, it would be necessary to devise a radical and aggressive marketing strategy. Through their marketing, Moses and Son were able to imprint themselves firmly in the minds of potential customers as the primary and supreme providers of massproduced inexpensive men’s tailoring. Moses succeeded in creating a looming presence for the business, both through their buildings, which were designed inside and out to embody the vision of their new retailing methods, and through a multifaceted advertising campaign that was aimed at reaching a vast majority of London’s citizens by capitalising on the ever
growing popularity of the printed press and by skilfully aligning themselves with popular activities and popular culture.
the old craft methods used by traditional English tailors. They obtained discounts on fabrics and other material through their bulk orders and forged family ties and business links with Jewish suppliers and wholesalers. In addition to this, they reduced the workload involved in the making process, by handing over more responsibility to the customer, encouraging them to measure themselves using their rules for self-measurement (see figure 3) and providing them with fitting rooms and large mirrors. In this way they created a new kind of shopping experience that laid the foundations for destinational department stores of the twentieth century.
From their relatively humble beginnings in a poor Jewish region of East London, E. Moses and Son underwent extensive and rapid expansion and in 1846 their show-shop in Aldgate became the largest clothing outlet in England. They went on to open a further four enormous UK branches and cement themselves as the preeminent British readymade retailer of menâ€™s tailored clothing within the period. E. Moses and Son was publically accused of achieving their low prices by underpaying workers, and this is largely how they have been remembered by historians. However, the research for this study has found no solid proof of these allegations. Instead it finds that they brought down the cost of producing clothing by utilising new ideas within tailoring and production that favoured science, mathematics and the division of labour, which were suited to their cultural background, over
Moses published numerous booklets biannually in line with the new seasonal stock. With titles including the Dressing Room Companion (1847) Paragon of Excellence (1848) and the Treasury of Taste (1849), these books served as an equivalent to a mail order catalogue. They offered guides to self-measurement, along with recommendations about new styles, and allowed for rural customers to order and receive tailored garments by post. Beyond this
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practical function these booklets served as another platform for Moses to advertise their products and further elevate the status of their brand. They also promoted new ideas about the role of fashion in society. Analysis of the later booklets show that Moses’ aim was not only to make fashionable clothing available to all but also to educate the public on the importance of appearance in breaking down social barriers by visually blurring class lines. In 1864 Moses published The Philosophy of Dress, a twenty eight page essay which argued for clothing to be considered, not only for the purposes of protection and decoration, but also as a valuable and effective tool for communicating aspirations and effecting change in society. Moses borrowed many of the ideas for his Philosophy of Dress from earlier theorists such as Thomas Carlyle,
treated fashionable garments; he sought to make them commercial by simplifying and rebranding them for the masses. The research for this dissertation shows that E. Moses and Son was not just a cog in the wheel or a product of their time, and that their significance within the history of men’s fashion has been much under-acknowledged. In their heyday they played many important roles; During the 1840s they became the preeminent men’s tailoring business in London, pioneering new and innovative methods of production, retail, display, marketing and distribution. In the 1850s they became fashion connoisseurs, offering guidance on style and fashions of the day. By the 1860s they were fashion theorists and educators, taking ideas that contemplated fashion philosophically and simplifying and re-
but what he did in his publication was bring philosophical ideas, which contemplated the power and significance of clothing, to the mainstream by de-complicating and repackaging them in an accessible and amusing form. In this way Moses treated ideas about clothes in the same way as he
branding them for mass-consumption.
E. MOSES AND SON: THE JEWISH TAILORS WHO PIONEERED MASS-MARKET TAILORING
1 SKETCH OF E. MOSES AND SON’S NEW OXFORD STREET BRANCH. ARTIST AND DATE UNKNOWN. HELD AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON
MOSES AND SON, E. (1844) THE PRIDE OF LONDON. LONDON: E. MOSES AND SON.
2 REVERSE OF PLAYING CARD ADVERTISING E. MOSES AND SON (DATE UNKNOWN). HELD IN PRIVATE COLLECTION 3 E. MOSES AND SON’S GUIDE TO SELF-MEASUREMENT TAKEN FROM THE PRIDE OF LONDON (1844): 28 HELD IN THE GUILDHALL LIBRARY 4 TITLE PAGE FOR THE TREASURY OF TASTE (1849) HELD AT THE GUILDHALL LIBRARY 5 TITLE PAGE FOR THE LIBRARY OF ELEGANCE (1852) HELD AT THE GUILDHALL LIBRARY
MOSES AND SON, E. (1846) PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. LONDON: E. MOSES AND SON. MOSES AND SON, E. (1847) FASHIONS FAVOURITE OR MART FOR THE MANY. LONDON: E. MOSES AND SON. MOSES AND SON, E. (1848) THE DRESSING ROOM COMPANION. LONDON: E. MOSES AND SON. MOSES AND SON, E. (1849) THE TREASURY OF TASTE. LONDON: E. MOSES AND SON. MOSES AND SON, E. (1852) THE LIBRARY OF ELEGANCE. LONDON: E. MOSES AND SON. MOSES AND SON, E. (1863) GOSSIP ON DRESS. LONDON: E. MOSES AND SON. MOSES AND SON, E. (1864) THE PHILOSOPHY OF DRESS LONDON: E. MOSES AND SON..
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Power Dressing: exploring masculinities and social constructs in colonial India
In nineteenth century India, dress was transformed into a tangible manifestation of the power dynamics at play within the context of colonial India. Nicholas B. Dirks has written, ‘Empire was always a scandal for those who were colonized. It is less well known that empire began as a scandal even for those who were colonizers’ (2006 p.7). The adoption of native dress and participation in the local social and cultural practices was perceived as scandalous to the extent that this practice was considered detrimental to the authority of the East India Company and subsequently in 1830 the employees of the Company were officially banned from wearing native dress at public functions (Cohn, 1996). The intention of my dissertation was to explore the nuances of this specific sociocultural practice in which the officers of the
in this subject. While Dalrymple discusses the cultural exchange of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, Emma Tarlo (1996) has written about the shift in the attitudes of the British towards native men’s dress and its gradual effeminate characterisation. The British increasingly sought to distance themselves from their Indian subjects, which was achieved by maintaining differences in dress and customs (Tarlo, 1996). The subject of my dissertation is situated between issues raised by Dalrymple and Tarlo.
East India Company were engaged.
with how the officers of the East India Company adapted their notion of masculinity to a different cultural environment. The adoption of native dress by British men was also indicative of aspiring to a higher social status, within their immediate cultural vicinity. Elizabeth Collingham (2001) has argued that
The description of a hybrid lifestyle that the officers of the English East India Company would have been living in the late eighteenth century, as depicted in William Dalrymple’s book, White Mughals (2002) spurred my interest
The limited availability of visual evidence of British Officers in native clothes led me to explore issues of masculinity and class aspirations and their significance for the Company Officials who chose to wear Indian clothing. In my dissertation I was concerned
the British administration, period, saw itself as the and legitimised its rule by to adopt a range of Indian
in the early colonial new Indian nobility allowing individuals practices.
The life of Sir David Ochterlony resembled that of many seasoned officers of the East India Company. Ochterlony was an interesting figure, completely immersed into India’s cultural environment. While in Delhi, he liked to be addressed by his full Mughal title, Nasir-ud-Daula (Defender of the State) and lived a lifestyle that resembled that of a Mughal gentleman, which included his own personal harem (Dalrymple, 2002). Ochterlony had developed a fondness for the hookah, nautch girls and Indian costumes and became a popular figure in the capital, Delhi (Dalrymple, 2002). In the image of Sir David Ochterlony surrounded by the elites of Delhi (see figure 2) the artist has exaggerated some of the features of native dress, the contrasts in the dress of Ochterlony and the nobles demonstrate that ornamental dress could easily have been imitated. The significance of display in colonial India was not lost on Ochterlony; as Collingham (2001) has stated the British in India
saw themselves as successors to the Mughal elite and hence surrounded themselves with the signifiers of nobility. Culture plays a vital role in shaping ‘Masculinities’ at different times, in different circumstances and places, by individuals and groups (Beynon, 2002). John Beynon (2002) has argued that men are not born with masculinity; they are acculturated into it and it is composed of social codes of behaviour, which they reproduce in culturally appropriate ways. Officers of the East India Company who had adopted native men’s dress were attempting to reconfigure their notions about what constituted masculinity, in a different culture. Rather than simply trying to look like the natives the men that adopted a native lifestyle through dress were emulating a kind of masculinity that could only be identified with the upper echelons of society. The East India Company officers who adopted native clothing did so out of choice; a contrast to the societal and Company specifications that dominated the way they dressed in their
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homeland. The practice of adopting different style and/or dress was a widespread practice and something that the men of the East India Company shared in common with their fellow countrymen. The figure of the ‘macaroni’ in eighteenth century England, demonstrates that those men who chose not to conform to the hetero-normative codes would often be marginalised and termed ‘effeminate’ by the society at large (McNeil, 2009). While the adoption of native attire by British officers did not begin as an ‘oppositional dress’ (Wilson, 1985), by the nineteenth century that is what it came to represent, irrespective of the intentions of those who donned native clothing. No discussion about the attire of the English colonizers can be complete without an examination of military uniforms. Amy Miller (2007) has argued that male dress, particularly heavily regulated uniforms demonstrated the shifting benchmarks of masculinity and provided an insight into what British society valued as the ‘ideal man’ in this period. Eighteenth century uniforms functioned as a visual marker for rank and status, not only within the military but also within mainstream British society (Miller, 2007). Miller (2007) has argued that there was a need for demarcation due to the growing concerns within Britain, where the social hierarchy had become more fluid and the appearance of higher social rank was easier to attain. The uniform therefore served to reinforce the social rank of the commissioned officers, portrayed increasingly
as a moral and masculine figure in the early nineteenth century (Miller, 2007). Elizabeth Collingham (2001) has stated that Company officials who displayed themselves as part of the new Indian aristocracy used India as a space where they could reconstitute themselves as persons of rank. This dissertation examined how the appropriation of Indian dress by British officials of the East India Company opened discussions of culturally specific masculinities. Those who openly adopted a native lifestyle that included dress were often described by their contemporaries as ‘going native’ (Dalrymple, 2002). Wearing Indian styles became increasingly seen as a sign of eccentricity and even became a cause of discredit in the nineteenth century (Tarlo, 1996). Dress has played a vital role in the process of cultural integration in India for centuries and in the period of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century it embodied the complex process of colonialism. My aim has been to discuss the importance of imagery. While the primary research for this project did not yield any new information, the lack of available materials allowed for a deeper analysis of the extant information and theories on this subject. This dissertation is small attempt to add to the limited academic literature on Indian men’s dress.
POWER DRESSING: EXPLORING MASCULINITIES AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS IN COLONIAL INDIA
1 SIR DAVID OCHTERLONY (1758-1825). OCHTERLONY IS WEARING THE BADGE OF THE GCB, AWARDED IN 1816 FOR HIS SERVICES IN THE ANGLO-NEPAL WAR, C.1818. COURTESY OF THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD, FOSTER 1063.
BEYNON, J. (2002) MASCULINITIES AND CULTURE. NEW YORK: OPEN UNIVERSITY PRESS.
2 A EUROPEAN, PROBABLY SIR DAVID OCHTERLONY (1758-1825), IN INDIAN DRESS, SMOKING A HOOKAH AND WATCHING A NAUTCH IN HIS HOUSE IN DELHI, C.1820. COURTESY OF THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD, ADD.OR.2.
COHN, B. S. (1996) COLONIALISM AND ITS FORMS OF KNOWLEDGE: THE BRITISH IN INDIA. PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS. COLLINGHAM, E.M. (2001) IMPERIAL BODIES: THE PHYSICAL EXPERIENCE OF THE RAJ C. 1800-1947. CAMBRIDGE: POLITY PRESS. DALRYMPLE, W. (2002) WHITE MUGHALS: LOVE AND BETRAYAL IN 18TH CENTURY INDIA. LONDON: PENGUIN BOOKS. DIRKS, N.B. (2006) SCANDALS OF EMPIRE, INDIA AND THE CREATION OF IMPERIAL BRITAIN. U.S.A: FIRST HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS. MCNEIL, P. (2009) MACARONI MASCULINITIES. IN MCNEIL, P. & KARAMINAS, V. EDS. THE MEN’S FASHION READER. OXFORD: BERG. MILLER, A. (2007) DRESSED TO KILL: BRITISH NAVAL UNIFORM, MASCULINITY AND CONTEMPORARY FASHION 1748-1857. LONDON: NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM. TARLO, E. (1996) CLOTHING MATTERS: DRESS AND IDENTITY IN INDIA. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS. WILSON, E. (2003) ADORNED IN DREAMS. NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.: RUTGERS UNIVERSITY PRESS.
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Masculinity and Dressing the Everyday in This is England
This is England (2006), directed by Shane Meadows is set in unidentified town in the Midlands in 1983; a time where racial and xenophobic influences were abundant, mass unemployment was everywhere and ‘Thatcher’s Britain’ was to blame. The plot of this film centres on the transformation of protagonist Shaun, from invisible bullied child of a single parent family to the youngest member of the local skinhead gang.
kids... starting to coexist and go out together’ (Meadows and Kermode, 2007).
There is a sense of authenticity within the narrative of the Last of England; there are no famous actors, no Hollywood settings, and the cast and settings are designed to recreate small town life and to show the harsh reality of an era and location in which racist views were prevalent. The skinhead look in the film was perfected by costume designer Jo Thompson.
Skinheads evolved out of the mod subculture in the late 1960s and their clothing was a combination of slim fitting suits, creased cigarette trousers and two tone shoes drawn from both mods and Jamaican rude boys. According to Nick Knight (1982), in establishing their own style, skinheads adopted elements of mod style and combined them with traditional working clothes; they then borrowed certain influences from the West Indian blacks and became skinheads. By the 1970s the fashion of the skinheads was becoming more definitive and decisive. The skinhead haircut itself was generally a grade 2 or 3 close shave for men, and for women, a shorter, cropped or feathery style. Levi’s jeans were cropped
Meadows strives to make his voice heard through this rite of passage narrative based on his own upbringing and his interactions with skinhead culture. He argues that people seem to have forgotten, or don’t even know, the whole nature of what the skinhead subculture was born out of; ‘white kids working with black
to the top of a pair of Doc Marten boots and worn with braces, button down collar shirts or Fred Perry polo shirts, Baracuta ‘Harrington’ jackets and sometimes a pork pie hat (that had been appropriated from the West Indian rude boys). The style was an exaggerated version of the traditional unskilled laborer”
(Travis and Hardy, 2012: xiII). Ben Sherman, as a shirt brand, worn mostly with the button down gingham shirts: traditionally, the bigger the check on the shirt, the higher position in a gang you held. In the post-punk revival phase of skinhead history, the subculture became associated with right wing politics, even though the original skinheads had little or no interest in racism and violence but were a ‘working class delinquent subculture’ (Travis and Hardy, 2012: xiii).
2014). The iconic style became known as the ‘Harrington’ in 1964; taking its name from the protagonist Rodney Harrington played by Ryan O’Neale in 1960s American drama Peyton Place in which regularly wore the jacket. However its associations altered when it was ‘Adopted during the 1960s by mods and skinheads’ meaning that, ‘the Harrington jacket has a unique street credibility’ (Hopkins, 2011 p.44).
In This is England the Harrington jacket is a key statement of the narrative as well as a pivotal element for the decade. Originating in Manchester in 1937 by Baracuta founders John and Isaac Miller (who originally made raincoats for Burberry and Aquascutum before branching out on their own) it was known firstly
Within the narrative of the Last of England, there are variations of the Harrington to highlight particular social statuses. According to Varichon (2006) colours of the Jacket can connote a person’s mood, their social standing, political alignment or personal preference. Pundir argues that ‘Fashion colour symbols arise from cultural
as the ‘G9’. According to Schneider in the Gentleman’s Gazette, the jacket was originally designed for golfers (the ‘G’ in G9 stood for golf). At the time, Golf was an exclusive preserve of the wealthy and upper classes and the Harrington became regarded as an object of aspiration and upward mobility (Schneider,
norms that have consistent meaning over time… fashion colours persisted for decades and developed deep symbolic meaning (2007 p.264). Skinhead couple Woody and Lol both wear black Harrington jackets, though lined differently: gang leader Woody’s with orange and his girlfriend Lol’s with the traditional red
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checked lining. Both black jackets give the wearer authority and power. Actively racist Combo, who was formerly gang leader and recently released from prison wears a bold red Harrington jacket. Eiseman believes that ‘physiologically red is a call to the adrenaline glands to get the body and senses activated’ and that ultimately the colour depicts a life of either ‘life sustaining blood or life threatening bloodshed’ (2006 p.7). The red colour, demonstrates Combo’s lifestyle as an attention seeker who is not only aggressive but also demanding and strong willed. Combo encourages movement yet only at his command – he is controlling, a danger full of high energy. The colour blue as worn by Shaun is the polar opposite of Combo’s red. It is a colour that has come to be known as representing trust, reliability, honesty and responsibility. It symbolises someone who detests confrontation, remains nostalgic and is particularly inflexible when it comes to change. Shaun is guided by the misdemeanours of Combo and though he does react violently in his verbal remarks, his actions never match these. Shaun spends the majority of his time living in the past; longing for his father who was killed during the Falklands War, telling his mum
“I wish dad was here”. For this reason, Shaun struggles to adapt to any drastic changes that take place. Elizabeth Wilson (2013) has described aspects of fashion as having or fitting into ‘the look’. Men, both on and off screen became the bearer of ‘the look’. This is England is about how groups follow subcultural and social trends, attempting to fit in and find a selfidentity. The Harrington jacket identifies each gang member as having a certain look or particular interests that enable them to be defined as a ‘skinhead’ within the struggles of working class men. Being ‘fashionable’ and fitting in to the gang is key to the narrative, and at one point this is made clear whilst Shaun undergoes his transformation from ordinary schoolboy, being bullied for wearing flares, to a mini skinhead in the making; Woody even tells him that without a Ben Sherman shirt, he will have to leave as he wouldn’t be a fully-fledged gang member. One of the most aesthetically pleasing concept of This is England is the way in which group members indicate both their individual characters and their sense of belonging through their Harrington jackets.
MASCULINITY AND DRESSING THE EVERYDAY IN THIS IS ENGLAND.
IMAGES 1 LINE UP OF CAST FROM THIS IS ENGLAND
REFERENCES EISEMAN, L (2006) COLOUR – MESSAGES AND MEANINGS: A PANTONE COLOUR RESOURCE. OHIO: HAND BOOKS PRESS. HOPKINS, J. (2011) BASIC FASHION DESIGN 07: MENSWEAR THAMES & HUDSON. LONDON. KNIGHT, N. (1982) SKINHEAD. OMNIBUS PRESS. LONDON PUNDIR, N. (2007) FASHION TECHNOLOGY – TODAY AND TOMORROW. MITTAL PUBLICATIONS. NEW DELHI. SCHNEIDER, S “THE HARRINGTON JACKET GUIDE” GENTLEMANS GAZETTE 2014 AVAILABLE AT WWW. GENTLEMANSGAZETTE.COM/HARRINGTONJACKET-BARACUTA-G9-GUIDE/ (ACCESSED ON 02 NOVEMBER 2014). SHANE MEADOWS AND MARK KERMODE ON THE CULTURE SHOW UK 2007, VIDEO, THE CULTURE SHOW, APRIL 2007. WWW. YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=P8Z8U7IZRE8 (ACCESSED 18 AUGUST 2014). TRAVIS, T. AND HARDY, P (2012) SKINHEADS – A GUIDE TO AN AMERICAN SUBCULTURE ABC CLIO. CALIFORNIA. VARICHON, A (2006) COLORS: WHAT THEY MEAN AND HOW TO MAKE THEM. HARRY N ABRAMS. VIRGINIA. WILSON, E (2013) ADORNED IN DREAMS: FASHION AND MODERNITY I.B.TAURIS. LONDON.
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The Worn Fan: the embodied experiences of fans and their jerseys
My master’s dissertation interpreted hockey as a messy and complex game seen through the marks left on the jersey. ‘These marks are sensory imprints left on the garment and suggest the life the item has led and can trigger memories and emotions attached to the item’ (Chong Kwan, 2012 p.122). These stains, wear or ‘lack’ (Chong Kwan, 2012 p.122; Townsend, 2011 p.9) thereof, that also includes the ‘ambivalent’ and, as a result, ‘ambiguous’ or ‘multiple’ (Davis, 1992, p.21) ‘act’ of dress (Entwistle, 2000 p.7), recall tales that have been told since the Eaton’s Catalogue started to sell hockey jerseys in 1934. These are the ‘embodied experiences’the lived ‘orientations’ (Entwistle, 2000, p.12, 33) and interactions- of ‘complex’ fans, as they participate in ‘fluid’ ‘neo-tribes’ (Crawford, 2004, p.38, 66), supporting various teams in
and personal self’ as they move in and out of different ‘spaces’ (Entwistle, 2000, p.33). This examination of the historical and contemporary experiences with wear took a multi-disciplinary approach. A qualitative inquiry was conducted from a phenomenological and postmodern perspective that is situated within the disciplines of sociology and material culture. The complexity of the fans and their own experiences were ensured through following Chong Kwan’s work that also took a ‘looser’ (2012, p.124) approach by applying semi-structured interviews to Yale Professor Jules Prown’s form of object analysis that, in this case, considered the wear and tear in the ‘description’ and ‘deduction’ stages of ‘interpretation’ (2001, p.75). As such, nineteen fans of National Hockey League teams from
a different ways in particular contexts. This dissertation argues that the wear seen on the fan jersey in the ‘post-commodity’ (Attfield, 2000, p.145) phase of consumption reveals and creates an embodied experience for fans who negotiate relations within the fabric of the game and the complexities within their ‘social
Ontario and Quebec, Canada were interviewed and forty one hockey sweaters and one American football jersey were examined. The fans’ understandings of what the stains on their jersey meant to these supporters will be discussed in the following sections that explain the complexity of fandom.
This dissertation found that there was a learned understanding of how the jersey is meant to be kept. Ingun Grimstad Klepp argued that since the late 1970s cleaning clothes has become part of the personal and social aspects of dress that has become ‘self-evident’ (2007, p.260). From the interviews it became apparent that jerseys were understood through the normalized ‘codes’ of the ‘quasi-uniforms’- the combination of ‘informal clothing’ (Craik, 2005, p.17)- as, although the visible remnants of the normalised embodied interactions were not easily remembered by many participants stains that were remembered or revealed illustrated the social and personal experiences with, and feelings towards, stains (Attfield, 2000). The memories of previous marks, seen on twentyone year old student Brendan Sheehan’s 2010 Sidney Crosby Team Canada sweater, or the
up the newfound mark on her sweater that she was nervous to wash due to its importance demonstrates the embodied understanding where being dirty is a similar uniform ‘failure’ (Craik, 2005, p.7) to that of wearing a jersey outside of game day. This is as stains bring negative experiences such as the feelings of ‘embarrassment’ (Sheehan to Sheehan, 2014) and/or ‘carelessness’ (Williams to Sheehan, 2014; Klepp, 2007). This negative connotation with the sensorial imprints left on the jersey is due to the complex understandings of fandom.
realisation of new ones such as the wear on fifty-seven year old compliance officer Cecilia Williams’ Chicago Blackhawks sweater reveal what it means to make a mess. Sheehan’s remembrance of and ‘relief’ felt toward a chocolate stain previously seen on the maple leaf crest and Williams’ act of trying to clean
explains, ‘Oh definitely. This [food stain] kinda represents like lazy relaxation and this [puck stain] more represents playing hockey and doing something’ (Jaclyn to Sheehan, 2014). Jaclyn comparing the two stains presents a ‘disembodied’ (Rojek, 2006 p.684) experience as food stains are interpreted negatively on
Supporters who also played hockey demonstrated the complexity of wear and, in turn, fandom. In answering if there is a difference in the stains seen on the crest of her New Jersey Devils jersey, 22 yearold university student and goalie Jaclyn
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jerseys that are special to these fans as they illustrate an experience that is ‘devalued’ in North American society, which is that of ‘bodily pleasure’ and ‘play’ (Throten, 2006 p.297-298) through the act of watching the game or playing video games (Klepp, 2007). While the stains reveal the ambivalence of fandom, the lack of wear and tear also illustrates a complexity of experience. The absence of stains demonstrates different experiences between dressed fans. In the post-commodity period clothing takes many forms and they can continue the embodied experience when the garment hangs in the closet (Attfield, 2000; Banim and Guy, 2001). This use of the sweater is seen in the small amounts of stains on this jersey. The small amounts of cat hairs and a slight, yet familiar, perfume scent that lingered on 60 year old housewife Therese Craig-Paul’s Eddie Belfour Leafs jersey allowed it to be speculated that it was ‘laundered, yet worn’ (Craig-Paul to Sheehan, 2014). However, the lack of wear on this garment was actualised in the interview, having never been cleaned and only being
experienced within the space of the closet, which was a tactic of preservation as CraigPaul noted the jersey to be ‘special’ because her sister, Cecilia Williams, who she does not see often, gave it to her as a present. The lack of wear on the garment demonstrates complex embodied experiences and connections between fans, stains, and others that also extends to the wardrobe. Hockey is a messy and complex game as fans and their lived experiences are ambivalent and ambiguous in their interactions with their jerseys and with others. These stories told by the fans and their stains are important stories to understand the full experience of the game and its participants and their relationship with their hockey jerseys.
THE WORN FAN: THE EMBODIED EXPERIENCES OF FANS AND THEIR JERSEYS
REFERENCES ATTFIELD, J. (2000) WILD THINGS: THE MATERIAL CULTURE OF EVERYDAY LIFE. OXFORD: BERG. BANIM, M. AND GUY, A. (2001) DIS/ CONTINUED SELVES: WHY DO WOMEN KEEP CLOTHES THEY NO LONGER WEAR?. IN: GUY, A., GREEN, E., AND BANIM, M. THROUGH THE WARDROBE: WOMEN’S RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR CLOTHES. OXFORD: BERG. CHONG KWAN, S. (2012) DRAWING ON JULES PROWN’S MATERIAL CULTURE METHOD OF OBJECT ANALYSIS TO INVESTIGATE SENSORY ENGAGEMENT WITH EVERYDAY DRESS. IN: LIFTER, R. WORKING PAPERS IN FASHION STUDIES 2. LONDON: LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION. CRAIG-PAUL, T. (2014) INTERVIEW ABOUT THE EMBODIED EXPERIENCE OF HOCKEY FANDOM. ORILLIA, CANADA, 29 SEPTEMBER.
JACLYN. (2014) INTERVIEW ABOUT EMBODIED FAN EXPERIENCE. OTTAWA, CANADA, 23 SEPTEMBER. KLEPP, I.G. (2007) PATCHED, LOUSERIDDEN, TATTERED: CLEAN AND DIRTY CLOTHES. TEXTILE. VOL.5, NO.3, P.254-275. PROWN, J. (2001) ART AS EVIDENCE: WRITINGS ON ART AND MATERIAL CULTURE. NEW HAVEN: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS. ROJEK, C. (2006) SPOTS CELEBRITY AND THE CIVILIZING PROCESS. SPORTS IN SOCIETY. VOL.9, PT.4, P.674-690. SHEEHAN, B. (2014) INTERVIEW ABOUT EMBODIED FAN EXPERIENCE. MISSISSAUGA, CANADA, 30 AUGUST. THROTEN, T. (2006) HOCKEY: A DIVINE SPORT?-CANADIA’S NATIONAL SPORT IN RELATION TO EMBODIMENT, COMMUNITY, AND HOPE. STUDIES IN RELIGION. VOL.35, NO.2, P.291-305.
CRAIK, J. (2005) UNIFORMS EXPOSED: FROM CONFORMITY TO TRANSGRESSION. OXFORD: BERG.
TOWNSEND, K. (2011). THE DENIM GARMENT AS CANVAS: EXPLORING THE NOTION OF WEAR AS A FASHION AND TEXTILE NARRATIVE. TEXTILE. VOL.9, NO.1,P.90-107.
CRAWFORD, G. (2004) CONSUMING SPORT: FANS, SPORT, AND CULTURE. LONDON: ROUTLEDGE.
WILLIAMS, C. (2014) INTERVIEW ABOUT EMBODIED FAN EXPERIENCE. MISSISSAUGA, CANADA, 03 AUGUST.
ENTWISTLE, J. (2001) THE DRESSED BODY. IN: ENTWISTLE, J. AND WILSON, B. BODY DRESSING. OXFORD: BERG. FALL/WINTER (1934) EATON’S. P.269.
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An Analysis of the Vive le Rock/ Punk Rock Disco T-shirt Design by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren
As part of the research for my final project entitled ‘The Influence of Class in the Construction of British Punk Bands’ Style, Aesthetic and Attitude, 1968-1977’, I undertook an analysis of a classic Seditionaries T-shirt design as a demonstration of Dick Hebdige’s (2007 ) assertions concerning the use of bricolage in the development of a Punk aesthetic. This design contains elements taken from many areas; texts and images were lifted or adapted from anarchist bomb building books or US army handbooks and presented alongside pictures of Teddy Boy heroes, rock and roll singers Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. As Paul Gorman discussed in a blog post from 2014, the ‘Vive Le Rock’ title was taken from a film poster advertising the French version of the 1958 film Let’s Rock, and superimposed over a reversed image of Little Richard from the cover of his 1972 record ‘You can’t keep a good man down’. Together with this already diverse range of sources, Westwood and McLaren also utilised slogans and phrases taken from situationist or anarchist texts, reflecting their political standpoint.
One of the focal images in the design on the front of the shirt is that of two bottles bearing the text “The Famous Molotov”, one is labelled “Throwing” and the other “Timing”. Beneath the bottles are instructions for the assembly of a Molotov cocktail:
Quart Bottle (BEER IS BEST) Fill bottle ½ with gasoline and ½ with Styrofoam (break up Styrofoam into small pieces and let mixture sit from 2 to 24 hours, the longer the better (you can use soapflakes instead of Styrofoam) -Advantages- Can be used immediately/ Disadvantages/ not as explosive in either case should be sticky. In either case solution should be sticky. Soak a tampax or rag in gasoline, keep part of it 3-4 inches outside bottle
and make sure bottom is below gasoline level. Light the Tampax and throw. The cocktail THE COCKTAIL WILL NOT EXPLODE UNTIL
BOTTLE BREAKS. SO BE SURE YOU THROW IS AGAINST SOMETHING HARD. Timing- instead of tampax use M-80 (firecracker) put lit cigarette on fuse of M-80, when the cigarette burns down in 11 minutes, the M-80 explodes breaking the bottle and exploding the gasoline- no throwing needed. You have 11 minutes to the scene.
Researchers such as Gorman (2014) and Wilson (2004) have attributed the bomb building instructions and images in this design to The Anarchist Cookbook, a text written in reaction to the Vietnam War (Powell, 1971). Perhaps this is due to the title appearing in large letters in the design for the back of the shirt. However, the text in this design bears little resemblance
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to the instructions contained in the book. Whilst some references are similar - both refer to the use of a “quart bottle” and gasoline soaked rags - the text from The Anarchist Cookbook does not contain the level of detail used in the McLaren and Westwood design (Powell, 1989, p.148). Instead, the text bears a remarkable resemblance to the instructions provided in political and social activist Abbie Hoffman’s 1971 text, Steal This Book. Although the wording in Hoffman’s book is different, he too advocates the use of Styrofoam in the mixture, including the half gasoline and half Styrofoam recipe as described in the design. Hoffman also recommends soap flakes in lieu of Styrofoam, as both these ingredients make the Molotov mixture work similarly to napalm; a fact not mentioned in the design although the ‘sticky’ nature of the mixture is noted. Another
and a firecracker (M-80) or Cherry bomb to ignite the bomb. As well as the similarities in the textual description, the images contained in Hoffman’s book are very similar to those employed by McLaren and Westwood; both containing chunks of Styrofoam, and employing the use of cigarette fuses, something not seen in either the text or the images contained in The Anarchist Cookbook.
crucial element that differs from The Anarchist Cookbook is the inclusion of instructions for ‘timing’ and ‘throwing’ versions of the Molotov cocktail. Although the construction of the Molotov cocktail differs slightly between the Seditionaries design and Hoffman’s instructions, both are in essence the same, employing cigarettes to delay the explosion,
Powell in the design itself, is also significant as it suggests that they were looking to associate themselves with what is still viewed as an incredibly controversial text. It is often noted by journalists as amongst the possessions of terrorists demonstrating its continued relevance today.
The use of bomb building imagery would have been particularly provocative at the time of this design’s release around 1977, due to the IRA bomb attacks that were prevalent in mainland Britain throughout the 1970s. This further served Westwood and McLaren’s desire to shock the wider public. The fact that Westwood and McLaren chose to use Hoffman’s images and text as the basis for their design, yet credit
AN ANALYSIS OF THE “VIVE LE ROCK/ PUNK ROCK DISCO” DESIGN BY VIVIENNE WESTWOOD AND MALCOLM MCLAREN
A mixture of politics, music, film, and improvised munitions, this design perfectly represents the notion of bricolage in relation to the development of a Punk aesthetic. The images and text featured in this design originated from a wide range of sources and differing time periods, some contemporary and others more historic. Furthermore, these texts and images were adapted to reflect the aesthetic that Westwood and McLaren were attempting to create and define through the clothing sold at their Seditionaries boutique at 430 Kings Road from 1977 to 1980.
IMAGES 1 BACK OF T-SHIRT 2 FRONT OF T-SHIRT 3 MOLOTOV THROWING, FROM HOFFMAN STEAL THIS BOOK 4 MOLOTOV TIMING, FROM HOFFMAN STEAL THIS BOOK REFERENCES GORMAN, P. (2014) MALCOLM MCLAREN EXHIBITION: LET IT ROCK X LITTLE RICHARD = VIVE LE ROCK! AVAILABLE AT: WWW.PAULGORMANIS.COM/?P=11577 (ACCESSED 12 OCTOBER 2014). HEBDIGE, D. (2006) SUBCULTURE: THE MEANING OF STYLE. LONDON: ROUTLEDGE. HOFFMAN, A. (1971) STEAL THIS BOOK. NEW YORK: FOUR WALLS EIGHT WINDOWS. POWELL, W. (1971) THE ANARCHIST COOKBOOK. NEW JERSEY: LYLE STUART INC. U.S DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, (1969) IMPROVISED MUNITIONS HANDBOOK. PHILADELPHIA: FRANKFORD ARSENAL. WILSON, A. (2004) NO FUTURE: SEX, SEDITIONARIES AND THE SEX PISTOLS. LONDON: THE HOSPITAL.
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Black Out: the black female model in Vogue magazine, 2007–2014
This dissertation comes out of a long standing engagement with issues of Fashion, ’race’ and representation. From ‘all black’ magazine issues to ‘all black’ catwalk presentations, the dissertation is concerned with a contemporary ‘moment’ when the black female model dominated the Fashion scene. Harnessing the often neglected definition of ‘black’ as a ‘complete absorption or saturation of colour’ (The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 2004, p140), the term Black Out draws on the specific ‘moment’ that developed after legendary black model Naomi Campbell accused Vogue magazine of ‘sidelining’ ‘black beauty’ (Crilly, 2007). Instigating a snowball effect that exposed the historic exclusion of the black female from ideas of fashionability, beauty and desirability
four editions of Vogue magazine between September 2007 - March 2014. Categorising the results into themes that focused on the black female model in either a solo or grouped aesthetic, the images are related to the wider discussion that pays attention to the specific socio-political landscape and the popular cultural context which provided the right conditions for this ‘moment’.
(Cheddie, 1994), this dissertation analyses the media commentary that propelled the debate alongside the fashion editorial pages of Vogue magazine to explore the effects of this significant chapter in Fashion. It is based on a ‘mapping’ project that saw an extrapolation of all fashion editorials featuring a black model across
model’s known relationship with Fashion (Summers, 1998; Arogundade, 2000; Thomas, 2000; Edwards, 1995). Instead, striving to act as a critical space for expansive dialogue, it is the intention of this dissertation to ask what has happened since major interventions such as the publication of Vogue Italia’s ‘Black
Having observed the movements of this discussion over a seven year cycle, this dissertation was concerned with the totality of this ‘moment’ and intends to reveal a detailed picture of key events. Aiming to tease out and identify the particular narratives that created and reflected the Black Out, this study hoped to go beyond the stories of prejudice and celebration that often define the black female
PARIS VOGUE 11%
AMERICAN VOGUE 51%
ITALIAN VOGUE 26%
ONE OF MANY 56% BLACK & WHITE 11%
BRITISH VOGUE 12%
Issue’ in July 2008. By examining the process of continuously shifting boundaries of inclusion/ exclusion, this dissertation also strives to unravel how the fashion industry navigates the complex interplay of signifiers that arise when the black model is positioned in the contemporary landscape of Fashion and discuss whether real change has resulted from this ‘moment’ or whether the cyclical recurrence of the debate is likely to go on, and on.
IMAGES 1 PERCENTAGE OF EDITORIALS FEATURING BLACK MODELS PER VOGUE EDITION 2 PERCENTAGE OF EDITORIALS FEATURING BLACK MODELS PER CATEGORY REFERENCES AROGUNDADE, B. (2000). BLACK BEAUTY. PAVILION: LONDON CHEDDIE, J. (1994). ‘LADIES FIRST: RACE, FASHION & BLACK FEMININITY’, VERSUS 2, PP. 34-37. CRILLY, R. (2007) ‘CAMPBELL RAILS AT VOGUE FOR MODELS WITH WHITE SKIN. THE TIMES [ONLINE], 20TH AUGUST 2007. AVAILABLE AT: WWW.VNNFORUM.COM/ SHOWTHREAD.PHP?T=55060. (ACCESSED 20 JUNE 2012) EDWARDS, A. (2001) ESSENCE: 25 YEARS CELEBRATING BLACK WOMEN. EDITED BY HINDS, P. M. NEW YORK: HARRY N. ABRAMS, INC. SUMMERS, B. (1998). SKIN DEEP: INSIDE THE WORLD OF BLACK FASHION MODELS. AMISTAD PRESS: NEW YORK. THOMAS, D. (2000). SOULSTYLE: BLACK WOMEN REDEFINING THE COLOUR OF FASHION. UNIVERSE: NEW YORK.
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The Silence of the Rags
What happens when poverty and consumption meet in the glossy pages of a fashion magazine? What happens when the flashlights of the fashion world shine on the homeless body? Although not widely spread, Homeless Chic is a phenomenon that, from the early 2000s, has repeatedly appeared in fashionable environments. From designer catwalks to double page spreads in magazines, the homeless were given a place within the discourse of fashion. Homeless Chic is not the first Something Chic in the history of fashion. From Hippie Chic to Eco Chic via Heroin Chic, the industry of fashion has managed to attach a Chic to almost anything that seems to be a newcomer to its field. Through this verbal particle, fashion engulfs lifestyles, social issues and health problems, co-opts them and eventually commodifies not only ‘aesthetic innovations from other cultures...or previous temporal contexts’ (Kaiser, Nagasawa and Hutton, 1991 p168), but also, as is the case with the homeless, personal appearance. By means of this apparently simple association, the
discourse of fashion erases the history of the first term of the binary concept and, no matter what its genesis was, it becomes a trend, a style or both. In spite of its symbolic dimension, an undeniable fact is that fashion is ‘a discourse aimed at selling commodities and a commodity itself’ (Bartlett, Cole and Rocamora, 2013 p.7). As a consequence, ornamented and clothed bodies contribute to ‘the signalling and maintenance of social categories’ (Cheang, 2013 p.36). Hence, fashion is dependent on and favours the modern capitalist society (Bartlett, Cole and Rocamora, 2013; Kawamura, 2005). Homeless Chic then emerges as an oxymoron, as an impossible link between extreme poverty and commodification embodied by elegance. In 2010, journalist Jenna Sauers published ‘The Evolution Of Homeless Chic’ on the website Jezebel. As a concise summary of every collection, editorial and statement correlating homelessness to the fashion industry, the article depicted not only the many controversies associated with the topic, but also how the homeless were and are depicted
in this business. In a timeline that started at the beginning of the twenty first century with Dior by John Galliano’s homeless collection, and ran until 2010 with Vivienne Westwood’s homeless collection, Sauers demonstrated how homelessness became a ‘strangely recurrent’ trend (Sauers, 2010). Although the first appearance of the term Homeless Chic does not appear to be traceable, news and websites on the Internet indicate that this phenomenon started after Galliano’s collection. From editorials to catwalk shows and interviews, Homeless Chic penetrated every corner of the fashion media. Designers John Galliano and Christian Lacroix and models such as Erin Wasson (Dowd, 2000); Sauers, 2010) seemed to agree that the homeless are amongst the most effortlessly stylish individuals. While Lacroix’s statement remained as just words, Galliano and Wasson released collections inspired by the urban poor (Sauers, 2010). In 2010, designers Vivienne Westwood and Patrick Mohr joined the former two with their own collections. Also in 2010, a Chinese homeless man was unveiled as the
ultimate trendsetter. After days of circulating on the World Wide Web, he was baptised ‘Brother Sharp’ (Fauna, 2010). Journalist Clifford Coonan (2010) agrees that Brother Sharp was a representative of Homeless Chic. Along the same lines, the website Homeless Chic portrays ‘people living on the street that exhibit a unique sense of personal style’ (Homeless Chic, 2006). Similarly, the Olsen twins are described by Sauers (2010) as displaying a Homeless Chic style due to their oversized and layered clothing. Homeless Chic’s genesis is certainly unknown, however, what is clear is that the boundaries of this concept are as ill-defined as its origin. While the former term can be used to describe a stylish homeless person, it can also be applied to non-homeless people who resemble the stereotypes of the homeless, and it can also be used in reference to editorials and catwalk shows styled and inspired by the poor’s appearance. Consequently, whenever found in the media, Homeless Chic has demonstrated a dual and versatile nature. It is not just a trend or a style; it is a style-trend.
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There are many ethical issues that surround the relationship between homelessness and fashion; it is possible that these are partly responsible for the lack of scholarly research on this topic. On one side, the ethics of the representation of the poor within an environment of luxury and consumption have to be questioned. On the other, the silence maintained by academia has to be challenged as well. If clothes not only make our bodies visible, but also make them meaningful, the simple fact of being dressed would include a person within the circuit of style-fashiondress (Kaiser, 2012), even when they might not have purchased those garments. Then, why are the homeless not mentioned by fashion academia? A tentative answer could be related to the sensitivities that a topic like homelessness awakens. However, can the seemingly absolute lack of accessible research be due to that one reason? Another potential argument could be the lack of economic capital the homeless have, from which could be concluded that in order to be considered by fashion studies, the subjects (a) have to be able to obtain their clothes through monetary transactions, and (b) they must have the economic capability to be included in the world of fashion(ability). Consequently, is consumption only accomplished via monetary trade? Is fashion only accessible
through that sort of consumption? Is the concept of fashion becoming a conceptual boundary for research? Linking fashion to homelessness is not just a thematic challenge. Instead, it is an attempt at seeing clothes not as socially separating agents, but as that which unifies us. It is a stimulus towards discerning trade from discourse. Homeless Chic is an opportunity to tackle fashion with anti-capitalist eyes.
THE SILENCE OF THE RAGS
REFERENCES BARTLETT, COLE AND ROCAMORA (EDS.) (2013) FASHION MEDIA: PAST AND PRESENT. LONDON: BLOOMSBURY. CHEANG, S. (2013) ’TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH’: FASHION AND ETHNICITY IN THE VOGUE FASHION SHOOT IN BARTLETT COLE AND ROCAMORA (EDS.) FASHION MEDIA: PAST AND PRESENT. LONDON: BLOOMSBURY. COONAN, C. (2010) ‘HANDSOME CHINESE VAGRANT DRAWS FANS OF “HOMELESS CHIC”’ THE INDEPENDENT. 04 MARCH 2010. AVAILABLE AT: WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK/ NEWS/WORLD/ASIA/HANDSOME-CHINESEVAGRANT-DRAWS-FANS-OF-HOMELESSCHIC-1915812.HTML (ACCESSED: 12 NOVEMBER 2014). DOWD, M. (2000) ‘LIBERTIES; HAUTE HOMELESS’, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 23 JANUARY. AVAILABLE FROM: WWW. NYTIMES.COM/2000/01/23/OPINION/ LIBERTIES-HAUTE-HOMELESS.HTML (ACCESSED: 29 OCTOBER 2014). FAUNA (2010) ‘BROTHER SHARP: BEGGAR HAILED MOST HANDSOME, FASHIONABLE’, CHINASMACK. 26 FEBRUARY. AVAILABLE AT: WWW.CHINASMACK.COM/2010/PICTURES/ CHINESE-BEGGAR-BECOMES-FAMOUSONLINE.HTML (ACCESSED: 12 NOVEMBER 2014).
KAISER, S.B. (2012) FASHION AND CULTURAL STUDIES. LONDON: BLOOMSBURY. KAISER, S. B., NAGASAWA, R. N. AND HUTTON, S. S. (1991) ‘FASHION, POSTMODERNITY AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE: A SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONIST FORMULATION’, SYMBOLIC INTERACTION, 14(2), PP. 165-185. KAWAMURA, Y. (2005) FASHION-OLOGY: AN INTRODUCTION TO FASHION STUDIES. OXFORD: BERG. SAUERS, J. (2010) ‘THE EVOLUTION OF HOMELESS CHIC’, JEZEBEL. 19 JANUARY 2010. AVAILABLE AT: WWW.JEZEBEL. COM/5452006/THE-EVOLUTION-OFHOMELESS-CHIC/ (ACCESSED: 12 NOVEMBER 2014). HOMELESS CHIC (2006) AVAILABLE AT : WWW.HOMELESSCHIC.COM/ (ACCESSED: 6 JANUARY 2015).
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Percy Savage: master of Public Relations
Before I started my MA at the London College of Fashion, I undertook a fashion styling course in the same college. Because my previous experience was related to the visual aspects of fashion I became interested in how advertisements work, how fashion media works, and how the audience sees images and in turn themselves become customers. Fashion Public Relations has acted as a connecting bridge between the producer and the customer. The work they perform is to bring the right information to the target customers in order to build a better brand impression, and thus lead to product consumption.
portfolios of his advertising work and his personal diaries.
My dissertation has extended my interest in how fashion media works, but has focused specifically on the area of fashion PR. It was based on an examination of the archive
Following the Second World War, the global fashion industry in the 1950s was dominated by Paris, although America started to display new creativity and energy supported by its vast domestic market. The fashion industry in Paris in the 1950s and 1960s was ruled by the couture houses. It was during this boom period of the ‘Golden Age of Haute Couture’ (Wilcox 2007) that Percy Savage arrived in Paris. Savage’s journey started in Paris, but not his entire story happened there. For almost a decade he worked in the city, at Lanvin and Nina Ricci, where he introduced the American style of fashion promotion and played a large part in the industry’s evolution that led to an established fashion PR position
collection of Australian born PR expert Percy Savage, who worked in Paris in the 1950s and in London from the 1970s to the 1980s. This collection was donated to London College of Fashion’s (LCF) archives by Savage’s friend Marcus Grey in 1990s, and comprises of a large collection of photographs, magazines,
being standard in all the fashion houses. In 1974 moved to a resurgent London where he faced a challenge not only for himself, but also for London and its fashion industry. His idea of launching the early model of London Fashion Week - The London Collection - gave the ‘new wave’ of fashion designers in London
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in the 1970s a new opportunity to promote the unique character and strengths of the British fashion industry. This dissertation firstly aimed to lay out the time-line of Savage’s career, describing what he achieved in each period based on the available archival evidence, primarily held in the LCF archive. Secondly it examines Savage’s contribution to The London Collection exhibition, and thirdly analyses his methods in order to show the history of the development of the fashion PR industry from the 1950s to the 1980s. Bourdieu’s theories about field and cultural capital (2009, 2010) were applied to explain Savage’s ideas about fashion PR and fashion promotion. Based on the available materials, the first objective was to analyse the extensive oral history interviews conducted between Savage and Dr Linda Sandino in 2004. Interviews conducted with Savage’s friend Marcus Grey and filmmaker Winston Cuthbert, who made a documentary about Savage) helped fill the gaps in Savage’s life story left by the archive material. The second objective
was to combine the information to form a triangulated body of research which included additional information sources. Due to the varied nature of the information and sources of evidence, the analytical methodologies vary to include textual analysis, visual analysis and analysis of oral interviews; all of which have been used in the dissertation. Theories around advertising (Nixon 2003; Winters and Goodman 1986) were used to assess how Savage developed his career, and writings on celebrity culture (Rojek 2001; Church Gibson 2013) were applied to investigate Savage’s role as fashion intermediary. Although Percy Savage has now been almost forgotten by the industry to which he contributed, his substantial achievements are undeniable. His personal story is a reflection of fashion history itself during the period between 1950s and the mid 1980s. The intention of my research with, and on, his archive collection, his interview and the documentary film was to fill in the historical void that has been caused by this unfortunate collective memory loss.
PERCY SAVAGE: MASTER OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
1 NATIONAL LIFESTORY COLLECTION
BOURDIEU, P. (2009) THE FIELD OF CULTURAL PRODCUTION. CAMBRIDGE: POLITY PRESS.
2 THE LONDON COLLECTIONS MAGAZINE 3 PERCY SAVAGE AND MODELS
BOURDIEU, P. (2010 ) DISTINCTION. OXFORD: ROUTLEDGE. CHURCH GIBSON, P. (2012) FASHION AND CELEBRITY CULTURE. LONDON: BLOOMSBURY. ROJECK, C. (2001) CELEBRITY. LONDON: REAKTION BOOKS. WILCOX, C. ED (2007) THE GOLDEN AGE OF COUTURE: PARIS AND LONDON 1947-57. LONDON: V&A.
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The Launch of Vogue Ukraine
Ukraine may still mean “on the edge of something big”, except now it’s not Russia, its fashion. - Fashionista, 2013
For the past eighteen months, Ukraine has been a constant presence within the Western media, for its political corruption and conflicts with Russia; however, this article provides a brief insight into an alternative side to Ukraine, that is, its emerging fashion industry, and namely, the launch of Vogue Ukraine in March 2013. In March 2012 the Condé Nast chairman, Jonathon Newhouse, stated that ‘Ukraine is ready for Vogue’, and in March 2013 the publishing house launched its first issue of Vogue Ukraine. The Vogue brand encompasses, creates, and somewhat prescribes what is, and isn’t, fashionable within contemporary, Western, society. Therefore, the introduction of a Vogue in Ukraine can be considered symbolic, not only because of the power the Vogue brand wields, but also, it has been argued, fashion magazines aid the
symbolic production, or the aura, attached to designer brands (Rocamora, 2009, p.55). The designer brand’s appeal is not an intrinsic or natural attraction, however, as a society, individuals and organisations attach meaning, aura, and prestige to products. In order for meaning and prestige to be unquestioningly associated with certain brands, the product that the brand produces, must transubstantiate its physical form and become symbolic. The products themselves can only transubstantiate when the consumers are aware of the manufactured meaning, therefore, designer products only hold their symbolic status asserting connotations in societies that have been trained to perceive them as such. With this in mind, the Guardian journalist, Jess Cartner-Morely, states ‘here’s a simple test of the economic development and consumer sophistication of a nation: visit a newsstand, and look for a copy of Vogue’ (2013). The growth of a Ukrainian middle class, and the increasing presence of Western luxury
designer brands within the Ukrainian market, has meant that Ukraine is now regarded as an appropriate country to launch a Vogue. Thus, Condé Nast has accepted Ukraine as modern enough to have a profitable Vogue edition, as discussed by Masha Tuskanova, Vogue Ukraine’s editor:
Every year people from Condé Nast International were coming to Ukraine to investigate how the market was developing, to see the stores, to talk to retailers and advertising people. Every time, they went back saying that Ukraine was not ready. - Tuskanova cited in Fashionista, 2013
to develop an approach to fashion, rather than purely being trend focused (Solovey to Solomka, 2014). The role of Vogue Ukraine, Solovey explained, is about more than fashion, it provides its readership with an education into living a certain lifestyle, ‘[Vogue] is something that makes you feel certain ideas’, and eventually leads to a Ukrainian Vogue woman who is ‘smart, beautiful and culturally aware’ (Solovey to Solomka, 2014).
The Western designer brand appeal has,
While Jonathon Newhouse stated ‘Kiev is booming, and there is a strong market demand for luxury products and the experience Vogue can offer the reader’ (cited in Alexander, 2012), Tanya Solovey explains that Vogue Ukraine remains incomparable with that of U.S. Vogue. The main reason being, fashion retail is still not as developed an industry in Ukraine as
according to Condé Nast, penetrated into Ukrainian consumer thinking, and now Vogue Ukraine can teach its readership ‘good’ taste. The Vogue Ukraine features editor, Tanya Solovey, explained that the aim of Vogue Ukraine was to teach its readership how
it is in Western countries, resulting in a less profitable Vogue edition than its American, French, or British counterparts (Solovey, to Solomka, 2014). Of course, no one expected Vogue Ukraine to be profitable in its first year, however, the contribution of Vogue to
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establishing a fashion industry in Ukraine will aid the development and autonomy of the country. Ukraine’s presence in the global fashion sphere is developing and becoming increasingly visible; Kyiv is host to two fashion weeks and has seen the opening of numerous luxury malls. Arguably, Vogue Ukraine will play a crucial role in the development of a successful Ukrainian fashion industry: ‘In a couple of years, Ukrainian fashion will have its own face,’ (Tuskanova to Wilson, 2013).
THE LAUNCH OF VOGUE UKRAINE
REFERENCES ALEXANDER, E. (2013) VOGUE UKRAINE. VOGUE [INTERNET] AVAILABLE FROM: <WWW.VOGUE.CO.UK/NEWS/2012/06/11/ VOGUE-UKRAINE-TO-LAUNCH> (ACCESSED 5TH SEPTEMBER 2014). CARTNER-MORELY, J. (2012) FROM THAILAND TO UKRAINE: A COUNTRY’S IN VOGUE WHEN IT HAS ITS OWN VOGUE. THE GUARDIAN. DECEMBER 19TH. AVAILABLE FROM: <WWW.THEGUARDIAN. COM/WORLD/2012/DEC/19/FASHIONVOGUE-MAGAZINE-THAILAND-UKRAINE> (ACCESSED 8TH SEPTEMBER 2014). ROCAMORA, A. (2009) FASHIONING THE CITY: PARIS, FASHION AND THE MEDIA. LONDON: I.B.TAURIS. SOLOVEY, T. (2014) INTERVIEW WITH THE OLEXANDRA SOLOMKA. LONDON, AUGUST 25TH. [TANYA SOLOVEY IS VOGUE UKRAINE’S FEATURES EDITOR]. TUSKANOVA, M. IN WILSON, E. (2013) UKRAINE GETS ITS OWN VOGUE. NEW YORK TIMES. MARCH 11TH [INTERNET] AVAILABLE FROM: <WWW.RUWAY.BLOGS.NYTIMES. COM/2013 /03/11/UKRAINE-GETS-ITS-OWNVOGUE/?_PHP=TRUE& _TYPE=BLOGS&_ R=0> (ACCESSED 8TH SEPTEMBER 2014). TUSKANOVA, M. IN FASHIONISTA, (2013) AN INTERVIEW WITH VOGUE UKRAINE’S FIRST EDITOR IN CHIEF, FASHIONISTA. [INTERNET] AVAILBLE FROM: <WWW.FASHIONISTA. COM/2013/02/NEW-KID-ON-THE-BLOCAN-INTERVIEW-WITH-VOGUE-UKRAINESNEW-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF> (ACCESSED: 10TH SEPTEMBER 2014).
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Sites of Sight: vision and space in the labyrinth of fashion display
Reviews of fashion exhibitions in museums frequently compare the visual impact and atmosphere of the curated displays with the spaces of fashion retail. This signals a tension between the commercial and the curatorial and a blurring of institutional lines. Rather than accepting these issues as having arisen within the fashion exhibition, this dissertation excavates a structuralist ‘archeology’ of their intertwined history. By focusing on specific sites of fashion display, it approaches fashion as a practice that is both visual and spatial. Identifying a history of the conflation of institutional perception relies on art historian Jonathan Crary’s argument (1988; 2001) that vision has a fundamental historic character. An extrapolation of this claim would suggest that the way in which the displayed fashion object is seen and perceived participates in a specific cultural history of vision. In order to evaluate this notion, historic and contemporary experiences of vision in spaces of fashion display are considered in relation to one another. The investigation of multiple sites and periods is assisted by a theoretical framework
composed of concepts put forth by poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire, cultural critic Walter Benjamin, philosopher Michel Foucault, art historian Jonathan Crary, and museum studies scholar Tony Bennett. Establishing the inextricability of vision and space, it becomes the lens through which subsequent analysis is conducted. The focus of the historic investigation is mid-nineteenth-century Paris and London. Within this setting, three institutions are of paramount importance for their role in the creation of a visual practice of commodity consumption. These are the museum, the international exhibition, and the department store. As deeply intertwined sites, they form a triangle of shared influence, manifestation, and legacy, and are regarded as having developed and codified a way of seeing and perceiving displays of culture and commodities. Adapting the collective role of the three sites to the contemporary arena, the theoretical notions and historic manifestations of issues related to vision, space, and institutional ideology inform the tensions between the commercial and the curatorial in fashion exhibitions. The
translating of practices from one time period into another is supported by fashion theorist Caroline Evansâ€™ appropriation (2003) of Walter Benjaminâ€™s notion of history, time, and space as a labyrinth, which, she argues, offers a means to fluctuate between two distinct time periods. As the museum, international exhibition, and department store are either past or present sites of fashion display, they constitute a labyrinth. Considerations of recent museum-like exhibitions in department stores allow for this issue to come full circle and turn back on itself, completing the cycle of the labyrinth. Through a spatial and temporal progression, the historically and culturally specific ways of seeing the commodity display are imported from one site into the next, ultimately contributing to the blurring of institutional lines and fuelling of tensions that often pervade museum fashion exhibitions.
1 WORKING CHEMATIC FOR THEORY
BAUDELAIRE, C. (1995) THE PAINTER OF MODERN LIFE AND OTHER ESSAYS. TRANSLATED BY MAYNE, J. LONDON: PHAIDON.
2 WORKING SCHEMATIC FOR TRIANGULATION AROUND THE ‘LABRYNTH’
BENJAMIN W. (1999) THE ARCADES PROJECT. TRANSLATED BY EILAND, H. AND MCLAUGHLIN, K. CAMBRIDGE: BELKNAP PRESS. BENNETT, T. (1995) THE BIRTH OF THE MUSEUM: HISTORY, THEORY, POLITICS. LONDON: ROUTLEDGE. BENNETT, T. (2006) ‘CIVIC SEEING: MUSEUMS AND THE ORGANIZATION OF VISION’ IN MACDONALD, S. (ED.) COMPANION TO MUSEUM STUDIES. NEW YORK: JOHN WILEY & SONS. CRARY, J. (1988) ‘TECHNIQUES OF THE OBSERVER’, OCTOBER 45, PP. 3-35. CRARY, J. (2001) SUSPENSIONS OF PERCEPTION: ATTENTION, SPECTACLE, AND MODERN CULTURE. CAMBRIDGE: MIT PRESS. EVANS, C. (2003) FASHION AT THE EDGE: SPECTACLE, MODERNITY AND DEATHLINESS. NEW HAVEN AND LONDON: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS. FOUCAULT, M. (1970) THE ORDER OF THINGS: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE HUMAN SCIENCES. LONDON: NEW YORK: ROUTLEDGE. FOUCAULT, M. (1986) ‘OF OTHER SPACES’. TRANSLATED BY MISKOWIEC, J. DIACRITICS, 16(1), PP. 22-27. FOUCAULT, M. (1972) THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF KNOWLEDGE; AND, THE DISCOURSE ON LANGUAGE. TRANSLATED BY SHERIDAN SMITH. A. M. NEW YORK: PANTHEON BOOKS. FOUCAULT, M. (1991) DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH. TRANSLATED BY SHERIDAN, A. LONDON: PENGUIN BOOKS.
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Junk Anew: sustainable dress in the Bahamas
The dissertation of the same title is an investigation into the Bahamian straw industry and how this has been utilised for centuries, alongside second hand clothing and waste materials, in the development of a sustainable dress practice. A history of plantation failure and agricultural difficulty within the Bahamas caused the enslaved population to be partly abandoned by plantation owners and left to their own devices. The need to survive enabled them to develop their abilities to create home wares and dress items out of plant fibres and waste materials that could be sold at markets. Strict racial codes and social edicts caused straw work to be viewed as an activity of the poor and lower classes even though the selling of these items enabled the descendants of enslaved Africans to be in a position to generate their own income and elevate their social status. The straw industry is purported to have been started in the 1720s by the first wife of Governor George Phenney, although it is reported that the native Arawak population as well as the
enslaved Africans were weaving straw before this time (bahmasnet.com; Saunders 2003). Straw in the Bahamas is taken from the leaves of the Silver Palm tree. The leaves are dried, stripped and sometimes dyed before being plaited (woven) into long rolls that are then used to make bags, hats or shoes (Fig 1). Items of clothing were not only fashioned out of the available flora and fauna, many slaves and their descendants used materials from old flour or grain sacks to make necessary items of clothing. The fabric was initially a coarse hessian that would contain chicken or hog feed and would be printed with the company branding and sometimes instructions for reuse (McKenzie to Kirkland, 2014). However by the 1930s and â€˜40s the reuse of fabric from food packaging had become a marketable commodity as grain sacks that came into the islands from the USA where made of high quality, patterned and colourful cotton fabric that had been designed for the purpose of being reused for clothing (Glinton-Meicholas to Kirkland, 2014) (Fig 2). Straw weaving happens all over the Caribbean,
but the history of the Bahamas has enabled the development of straw work to become a viable domestic industry worthy of merit as it has generated substantial incomes for many people and their families (Hamilton 2014). Despite this many of the descendants of straw plaiters have not taken up the craft themselves. Straw, having paid for many an education, is still seen as a poor personâ€™s activity and so the educated become disinterested in its continuation. This poses a problem for many of the current straw plaiters and straw vendors who fear a disintegration of their industry. As it currently stands the straw industry has failed to appeal to the younger generation or compete with the rise in digitised technology, much to the lamentation of Bahamian cultural organisations and commentators. Bahamian designers and artists such as Harl Taylor Bag and Muffin Fernander have used straw plaiting to great affect with the creation of bow ties, waistcoats and dresses and believe that investment into the industry is needed to generate interest and create employment for young people. Research into this area has prompted me to
explore the possibility of curating an exhibition of dress items made from plaited straw and waste materials (Fig 3). The exhibition would demonstrate to young people how traditional and non-traditional sustainable and waste materials can be used in a contemporary fashion context. Accentuating the history, culture and aesthetics of straw plaiting will also highlight the potential of the craft and educate people about sustainable practices in the Bahamas.
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JUNK ANEW: SUSTAINABLE DRESS IN THE BAHAMAS
1 BAHAMIAN STRAW; FROM THE SILVER PALM TREE TO THE PLAITED ROLLS THAT ARE USED TO MAKE ACCESSORIES. PHOTOGRAPH: AUTHOR (THIS IMAGE MADE UP OF THREE IMAGES: PALM TREES WITH PALM LEAVES BELOW, BASKETS TO RIGHT TO MAKE UP ON IMAGE)
BAHAMASNET.COM (2006) ‘COLUMBUS AND THE STRAW LADY’. AVAILABLE AT: WWW.BAHAMASNET.COM/BAHAMAS_ VACATION_GUIDES/PRPREVIO_ISSUES/ WHAT_TO_DO_NASSAU_ARCHIVES/ WHAT_TO_DO_NANASS_JULY_2006/ COLUMBUS_AND_THE_STRAW_LADY_635. HTML (ACCESSED DECEMBER 25TH 2014).
2 IMAGE OF LADIES IN DRESSES MADE FROM GRAIN SACKS FROM THE UNITED STATES CIRCA 1940S. AVAILABLE AT: HTTPS://BLOG.ETSY.COM/EN/2011/ FEED-SACKS-A-SUSTAINABLE-FABRICHISTORY/ ACCESSED 26TH J ANUARY 2015
GLINTON-MEICHOLAS, P. (2014) INTERVIEWED BY TELEICA KIRKLAND, MONDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER 2014.
3 DRESS MADE FROM PLAITED STRAW AND WASTE PACKAGING MATERIAL. PHOTOGRAPH: COSTUME INSTITUTE OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
HAMILITON, K. (2014) STRAW! A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE STRAW CRAFT INDUSTRY IN THE BAHAMAS. 2ND EDN. NASSAU: ONE RIB PUBLICATIONS. HAYWOOD COUNTY LINE (N.D.) PENELOPE GOLLAND MAULE LOVICKPHENNEY JOHNSTON. AVAILABLE AT:WWW. HAYWOODCOUNTYLINE.COM/ PENELOPEGOLLAND.HTML (ACCESSED DECEMBER 25TH 2014). MCKENZIE, N. (2014) INTERVIEWED BY TELEICA KIRKLAND, THURSDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER 2014. SAUNDERS, G. (2003) BAHAMIAN SOCIETY AFTER EMANCIPATION.2ND EDN. KINGSTON: IAN RANDLE PUBLISHERS.
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Cristóbal Balenciaga: volume and fit
Claire Wilcox (2007) curator of the exhibition The Golden Age of couture: Paris and London 1947-1957 argues the Golden Age of Couture began with Christian Dior’s New Look in 1947 and concluded with his death in 1957. Following the tradition set by couturiers, such as Lucille, earlier in the twentieth century designers looks were given evocative names such as ‘Promenade’, ‘Bernique’ and ‘Rue des Ciseaux’. Dior named his 1947 collection ‘Corolle’, it being dubbed ‘New Look’ by the fashion press. However, this ideology was not adopted by all couturiers.
practically number them, categorised by the year and season. As a result, the press did not know how to ‘read’ them and meant they had to invent ‘their own suitably evocative names.’ The styles that featured in the magazines were the ones which were ‘considered revolutionary or saleable’ (Miller, 2007:32).
Chanel considered the naming of looks to be ‘seamstressy’ and preferred to number them (Musée Galleria 2014b). Curators of the recent Paris exhibition, Les Années 50 observed that during the Golden Age, some couturiers
It is therefore no coincidence that in the same year as Dior’s New Look, Balenciaga’s ‘barrel’ line was featured in the fashion press. The press considered the barrel line to represent an alternative vision of fashion, drastically different to the one promoted by Dior. However, former curator at Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum, Miren Arzalluz (2011) considers that many people did not understand the unique approach to fashion and femininity that Balenciaga was trying to
gave new styles letters or numbers, which tried to articulate lengths and movements the couturiers wanted their lines to create (Musée Galleria 2014b). Senior curator of fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Lesley Ellis Miller observed that similar to Chanel, Balenciaga did not name his lines. Instead he preferred to
achieve. Unlike some designers, Balenciaga’s collections did not radically alter season to season and instead formed part of his progressive research of the silhouette, evident long before 1947. However, at this point it can be argued, what the press highlighted was the moment when the silhouette became
more a cohesive, synthesised vision of his earlier research; something Miller (2007) attributes to the application of heavier weight fabrics that allowed Balenciaga to apply his formative training in tailoring to create the inflated, structural forms, which stood away from the body. The fashion press coined terms for these highlighted styles, which have since become intrinsically linked as descriptors for the garments: the ‘cocoon’ (or barrel line coat) the ‘semi-fitted’ suit, ‘tunic’ dress, and ‘sack’ dress. However, in order to further academic research into Balenciaga’s innovative silhouettes, these terms need to be used with caution, since these descriptors, as despite their influence ‘do not always respond to rigorous technical description – if ever’ (Arzalluz to Spencer,
opportunity for the continued investigation of Balenciaga’s silhouettes and has offered the starting point for continued research, by first seeking to establish a trajectory of development. The emergence, evolution and dissemination of the barrel line silhouette were investigated both historically and with specific reference to Balenciaga’s own experimentation. The barrel line marked the beginning of a decade of experimentation. During this period the press highlighted these styles as being revolutionary. However, features which would become characteristic in 1947, were evident in Balenciaga’s earlier experimentation.
2014). In order to properly deconstruct the meanings of the terms, Arzalluz made the valid argument for the need for ‘specific research into the issue of language in the fashion press’ (Arzalluz to Spencer, 2014). The present research has identified the
approach to the research of dress history. Additionally, the approach challenged the hero worship of the couture garment and sought to challenge the dominancy of Dior in the legacy of the Golden Age of Couture.
A triangulated approach to the research demonstrated the advantages of the comparative analysis of sources, and favored a multi-methodological and interdisciplinary
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JOUVEE M-A. (2005) BALENCIAGA. NEW YORK: ASSOULINE.
ARZALLUZ, M. (2011) CRISTÓBAL BALENCIAGA. THE MAKING OF A MASTER (1895-1936). LONDON: V&A PUBLISHING. ARZALLUZ, M. (2014) INTERVIEW WITH HELEN SPENCER. LONDON, 31ST JULY. [MIREN ARZALLUZ IS FORMER CURATOR AT THE CBM AND RESEARCHER]. CRISTÓBAL BALENCIAGA MUSEOA (2014) MUSEUM GUIDE. SPAIN: NEREA CRISTÓBAL BALENCIAGA MUSEOA. BALENCIAGA: CRISTÓBAL BALENCIAGA MUSEOA. (2011) GETARIA, SPAIN: CRISTÓBAL BALENCIAGA MUSEOA; DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIÁN, SPAIN: NEREA ; NEW YORK, N.Y.: DISTRIBUTED IN THE U.S.A. BY THAMES & HUDSON, C2011. ELLIS MILLER, L. (1993) CRISTÓBAL BALENCIAGA. LONDON: BATSFORD. ELLIS MILLER, L. (2007) CRISTÓBAL BALENCIAGA (1895 - 1972). THE COUTURIERS’ COUTURIER. LONDON: V&A.
JOUVEE M-A. (1988) CRISTÓBAL BALENCIAGA. PARIS: EDITIONS DU REGARD GOLBIN, P. (2006) BALENCIAGA PARIS. LONDON: THAMES AND HUDSON. LES ANNÉES CINQUANTES (2014) [EXHIBITION]. MUSÉE GALLERIA, PARIS. 12TH JULY 2014–2ND NOVEMBER 2014. MUSÉE GALLERIA (2014A) LES ANNÉES CINQUANTES: LA MODE EN FRANCE 19471957. PARIS: PARIS MUSEÉS MUSÉE GALLERIA (2014B) LES ANNÉES CINQUANTES: LA MODE EN FRANCE 19471957. EXHIBITION LEAFLET. PARIS: PARIS MUSEÉS WILCOX, C. (ED). (2007) THE GOLDEN AGE OF COUTURE: PARIS AND LONDON: 19471957. LONDON: V&A
CRISTÓBAL BALENCIAGA: VOLUME AND FIT
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A Possible Narrative: fashion collection and cinematic narrative, from Prada to Antonioni
In thinking about the production of fashion and film today, besides the technological advances that we have witnessed while purchasing a garment or watching a film, it seems we have already been aware of all the elements that constitute these two during the past decades. Since the fashion show and the feature film originated at almost the same time, the commodity of moving image or style is rooted in an awareness that constantly leads us to enhance our daily experience by following their different creative directives. However, such creation within these two ‘orders’ has never been formulated in a vacuum, but in a process of historical construction directed towards the production of meaning: ‘It is of course true that an artist’s purpose may be served by telling a story, but this is only one of the possible modes of representation offered
of narrative became an approach to fashion design that codified and unified its products, not only through economic response but also political and cultural intervention. The formation of ready-to-wear collections in the fashion industry or in art-house cinema prevailed in the 1960s film industry with their received critiques of structuralism which just illuminate, in a dialectical way, how the historical convention of understanding those things constructing our knowledge became rules for the next stage of re-construction; a circulation of innovation. As Psarra argued, referencing Hillier, these rules operate as hidden structures with which we think that ‘tell us how things are to be assembled, and work below the level of consciousness’ (2009 p.5).
to him today’ (White, 1978:43). Nevertheless, this dissertation work addresses an interest in just such a possibility of ‘telling a story’, or narrative, to ‘make the past a living presence to their contemporaries’ (ibid).
dissertation addresses Miuccia Prada’s debut collection and Michelangelo Antonioni’s trilogy (L’avventura (1960), La Notte (1961) and L’eclisse (1962)) in a discussion of Italian fashion and film. On the one hand, the narrative strategy towards cinematic referencing in the case of Prada reflects the fact that historicity
It is crucial to understand that the concept
As result, it is not at random that this
fulfils its requirement in searching for an ideological reinterpretation throughout the development of national industry. On the other hand, besides such strategic manipulation of the signifier and signified, there was something always beyond control; the capacity of visual representation that prioritizes literature, nominated in Thompson’s (1986) ‘excess’, or in Metz’s (1991) ‘image discourse’, ‘autonomous shot’. As a result, it is this capacity in which we make a connection with Antonioni’s trilogy. As Arrowsmith implied, he did ‘not treat the film as an art, rather as a visual art of signs’ (Arrowsmith, 1995 p.8). His treatment in the resolution of seemingly uncontrollable visual signs in terms of narrative articulates, on the one hand ‘modernity’ and on the other it provides an ontological correspondence in thinking of other design approaches. Jones (1992 p.10) asked whether design is an art, a science or a form of mathematics, and he further argued that designers are forever bound to treat as ‘real’ that which exists only in an imaged future; they have to specify ways in which things foreseen can be brought into
existence. The narrative which resides in a condensed form as a frozen image evokes, for the audience, its predecessors. One could never forget that in such condensation, at the level of aesthetic similarities, an iconic approbation was resolved by the (Barthes, 2011) mechanism in the contrasting use of textiles, colours. In the same way, the use of costume or symbolic images is inserted into the narrative through the female flâneur (Moses, 1975) who wanders through urban and peripheral space in Antonioni’s trilogy. On the level of formal similarities, the historical knowledge of the flâneur, of the development of the Italian ready-to-wear industry, of the rejection of French couture house and of the acceptance of American leisure and sportswear style, are all resolved by pastiche; the incorporation of uniform, the decorative accessories and the modification of a way of wearing. One could also argue that in Antonioni’s films, each image aesthetically appropriates other art forms: the framing of landscape that evokes Giorgio de Chirico’s surrealist paintings; the memorable
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architecture of the Pirelli Tower designed by Gio Ponti; or the costume designs of Adriana Berselli. The whole package - through the mode of pastiche - constitutes his cinematic language. The images show that such cinematic language has been methodologically appropriated by this fashion designer into her own narrative: the model of a rational planning process that produces a well-designed and well-ordered world (Margolin, 1989 p.1). From the film-still like campaign of Miuccia Pradaâ€™s debut collection to the trilogy of Michelangelo Antonioni, this narrative circulated from the 1960s to the 1980s. Without any discontinuity, both of them articulate the notion of modern Italy, particularly within Northern Italian where both the economic boom and the expansion of consumerism, as the outcome of capitalism, were experienced at that particular historical juncture.
IMAGES 1 FILM STILL FROM Lâ€™ECLISSE (ANTONIONI, 1962) WITH MONICA VITTI 2 LOOK FROM PRADA FALL WINTER 1988 FASHION SHOW: BLACK V-NECK TOP
A POSSIBLE NARRATIVE: FASHION COLLECTION AND CINEMATIC NARRATIVE, FROM PRADA TO ANTONIONI
REFERENCES ARROWSMITH, W. (1995) ANTONIONI: THE POET OF IMAGES. OXFORD: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS. BARTHES, R. (2011) CAMERA LUCIDA: REFLECTION ON PHOTOGRAPHY. NEW YORK: HILL AND WANG. JONES, J. C. (1992) DESIGN METHODS. 2ND EDITION NEW YORK: JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC. METZ, C. (1991) FILM LANGUAGE: A SEMIOTIC OF THE CINEMA. CHICAGO: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS. THOMPSON, K. (1986) THE CONCEPT OF CINEMATIC EXCESS IN ROSEN, P. (ED) (1986) NARRATIVE, APPARATUS, IDEOLOGY: A FILM THEORY READER. NEW YORK: COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS. MARGOLIN, V. (1989) DESIGN DISCOURSE: HISTORY, THEORY, CRITICISM. LONDON: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS. MOSES, G. (1975) L’ECLISSE: OPENING SEQUENCE. NEW YORK: MACMILLAN FILMS, INC. PSARRA, S, (2009) ARCHITECTURE AND NARRATIVE: THE FORMATION OF SPACE AND CULTURAL MEANING. NEW YORK: ROUTLEDGE. WHITE, H. (1978) TROPICS OF DISCOURSE: ESSAYS IN CULTURAL CRITICISM. LONDON: JOHN HOPKINS PRESS.
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Of Elegance in Absence
‘What is elegance? How is elegance created?’ These questions are often unanswered by fashion scholars and more often unasked. This article will endeavour to suggest a possible answer, taking as an example a brand that claims to embody values such as sophistication, exclusivity, luxury, timelessness, discretion; Bottega Veneta. The English word ‘absence’ derives from the Latin word absentia (Collins, 1997). Following the suggestion of the Italian philosopher
one object to suggest another that is missing. To say it in another way they work precisely because the real object or meaning is absent, which is to say they work ‘in absentia’. The same thing can be said for other concepts such as elegance. This article aims to show the way in which the production of exclusivity and elegance in fashion is to be found in what is ‘subtracted’ from the final product.
Emilio Garroni (1995), who dedicated several studies to the discipline of aesthetics, any idea of totality is only understandable if we conceive totality itself as a balance between something that is present and something that is missing. In other words the missing element, the absence, is as important as the visible and tangible presence. This characteristic indicated by Garroni is certainly visible in some artworks where the meaning is suggested not by what is seen, but by what remains hidden from, or rather denied to, the gaze. One may refer to the White Canvases produced by the pop artist Robert Rauschenberg since 1951 (Dorfles, 1961), which, amongst other things, represent the act of painting reduced to its basic act. Another more abstract example of absence is the use of metaphors in literature. Metaphors are in fact allusions; they invoke
called ‘renunciation’. In his pioneering work Psychology of Clothes, Flügel proposes the idea of a Great Masculine Renunciation. Men, says Flügel, ‘abandoned their claim to be considered beautiful. They henceforth aimed at being only useful’ (1950 p.111). What happened according to Flügel, is that the French revolution imposed a new set of priorities and values such as equality and brotherhood amongst men. The direct effect of this has been that men renounced lavish displays of their status, leaving these displays entirely to women’s way of dressing. When Flügel introduced the idea of Masculine renunciation (1950) he agreed that feminine fashion remained the site for the display of the household’s status, but also for the display of one’s beauty. But have men really forsaken their vanity and, to use Flügel terms, ‘narcissism’?
Absence is deeply intertwined with what the British psychoanalyst John Carl Flügel
In his account on dandyism Roland Barthes (1967) noted that the Dandy embodies the opposite of fashion because dandyism is based on the personalisation of the outfit, whereas fashion is based on newness. For the fashion addict, clothes should be fresh and virtually unworn; they should never take the shape of who wears them. For the dandy, on the other hand, clothes should ‘never’ look new. They must mold onto the body of their owner. Barthes (1967) reports the fact that George Bryn ‘Beau’ Brummel, probably the
just re-negotiated the terms for the pursuit of these values through detail and through understatement. It can be also said that with the sunset of lavish displays for men, society witnessed the dawn of a new concept of elegance based on simplicity and austerity. However the same can be said for female’s outfits. Since the early twentieth century clothes became plainer and gradually less lavish even for women. Chanel is only the most notable example of that change. If there has ever been a renunciation then it was not
first of all the dandies, was used to asking his butler to wear his new clothes before him, to give them a ‘worn’ look. The dandy is, then, the internal resistance to Masculine Renunciation, being at once perfectly integrated in the system and yet so focused on his own narcissism. The dandy, indeed, not only accepts the three piece suit, that after the French revolution became the masculine uniform, but elevates it to a sort of religion, taking care of every small detail. Embracing a deconstructionist perspective, it can be said that by taking the bourgeois’ uniform to its extreme point, the dandy generates the eccentricity that the Masculine Renunciation was meant to avoid.
only masculine, but feminine as well, and in both cases renunciation to eccentric displays coincided with sophistication and elegance. Less started to mean more.
It seems now clear that men have not forsaken their beauty and narcissism, they
The Italian maison Bottega Veneta, founded in 1966 and led by designer Thomas Maier since 2001 (Colapinto, 2011), can be described as the epitome of the concept of elegance proposed above. Bottega Veneta identifies explicitly with the values identified by Marco Bizzarri in 2011, listed overleaf:
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Bottega Veneta Is
Bottega Veneta Is Not
Concerned with status
The 2014-2015 winter women’s collection is composed of forty outfits. There are several recurring elements amongst the outfits. The collection does not contain any trousers or blazers and all the key items are either dresses or skirts, which are mainly A-line dresses and skirts, with the exception of ten pencil-dresses and pencil-skirts. Namely the majority of the garments tend to be wider at the bottom hem. The hemlines of the garments are of a slightly variable length but they never fall below the calves nor rise above the knees. A recurring element is that almost all the A-line dresses present pleats: in some the pleats are small, in other wide pleats enhance the dynamic look of the dress while in movement. The dresses with wide pleats use heavier and thicker fabrics, mostly wool crepes, whilst the dresses with small pleats use mostly synthetic light fabrics, georgettes, and tulle. This collection is a good example of the way
in which the brand creates its own sense of style. The preciousness of the clothes is not immediately visible, the dresses do not fit too close to the body and the hemlines are never above the knee. All these elements indicate a certain demure idea of femininity, a specific type of feminine renunciation, and it can be proposed that achieving this goal is the first step in the creation of elegance itself. Elegance indeed, for Bottega Veneta, seems to be a presence created by an absence; the absence of vulgarity. When Bottega Veneta was created, its logo was ‘when your own initials are enough’ (Colapinto, 2011), and this because the leather goods produced by the brand do not carry any visible logo. By ‘disappearing’ the brand aims to enhance the sense of style of the wearer. The questions of anonymity, elegance, and absence as a productive force, are certainly too complicated to be explained in the humble
OF ELEGANCE IN ABSENCE
dimension of this article but were explored in my dissertation of the same name. However, something can be suggested, namely that the production of elegance in fashion is often the effect of an absence. By opposing the values to which Bottega Veneta identifies to other values (see above), the Maison is precisely suggesting that each of these are the explicit denial of their opposite. It is because of the absence of ‘ostentation’, for instance, that Bottega Veneta can claim to be ‘luxurious’. It can be proposed thesis that in most cases, elegance, ‘happens’ in absentia. Only people that are not concerned with it can reach it; namely it is a quality that exists only when uninvoked, unspoken. Like silence, once named, elegance, vanishes.
REFERENCES BARTHES, R. (1967) THE FASHION SYSTEM, BERKELEY: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS. BIZZARRI MARCO, (2011) IL LUSSO DISCRETE DI BOTTEGA VENETA CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITI OF MODENA AVAILABLE AT WWW.YOUTUBE. COM/WATCH?V=3CU334JC8KU (LAST ACCESSED 17 NOVEMBER 2014). BOTTEGA VENETA’S CATALOGUE (2014) A/W 2014-2015 PUBLISHED BY BOTTEGA VENETA. COLAPINTO, J. (2011) JUST HAVE LESS, BOTTEGA VENETA’S TOMAS MAIER AVAILABLE AT WWW.NEWYORKER.COM/ MAGAZINE/2011/01/03/JUST-HAVE-LESS (ACCESSED 17 NOVEMBER 2014). COLLINS LATIN DICTIONARY, (1997) HARPER-COLLINS PUBLISHERS. DORFLES, G. (1961) ULTIME TENDENZE NELL’ARTE DI OGGI. MILANO: FELTRINELLI. FLÜGEL, J. C. (1950 ). THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CLOTHES. 1950, LONDON: HOGARTH PRESS. GARRONI, E. (1995) L’ARTE E L’ALTRO DALL’ARTE. SAGGI DI ESTETICA E DI CRITICA, ROMA-BARI: LATERZA.
LORRAINE HAMILTON SMITH
MA HISTORY AND CULTURE OF FASHION
From Kestos to Ultrabra: technological changes to the bra in the UK, 1930–1994
The modern bra is a unique and important garment, providing a woman with support for her breasts but also shaping the female form to the latest fashionable ideal. Although it is important to both fashion history and women’s history, the bra is often overlooked or only discussed from a purely aesthetic or erotic perspective. Taking its starting point as the 1930s - a decade when there was a consensus between designers and manufacturers of what a brassiere should be, and also when its name was shortened to bra - this dissertation looks at the technological developments which led from the subtle uplift of the 1930s to the ego-boosting cleavage of the 1990s, discussing how these developments were used by manufacturers and retailers to sell bras to the consumer. The study ends in 1994, the year Gossard and
available on the history of lingerie, the vast majority of them are not academic texts and are filled with images but little or no references for the reported facts they include. Some books are dedicated entirely to the bra, including the detailed construction manuals aimed at lingerie designers which often include a section on history to provide some background knowledge. However, there is not much space devoted to anything other than design in these books, and even less coverage of the technological developments which made these designs possible. The recurring themes which emerged from the lingerie, bra and textiles books explored in the dissertation’s literature review - including increased interest in comfort and fit, the fragmentation of consumer markets, and the desire to find technological solutions to existing
Playtex fought the ‘battle of the bras’ on the UK’s television screens and billboards.
issues in garment design and care - indicated that brassiere design and the development of manmade fibres are vastly intertwined and have had an influence on women’s lives that is far greater than that of the majority of other individual garments or technologies. This highlights a need for a more comprehensive
Although this topic would appear at first to cover well-trodden ground, closer examination of the literature currently on offer indicates otherwise. While there are plenty of books
and balanced history of the bra, as remarked upon by Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau in the introduction to their detailed book Uplift: The Bra in America:
Previous writers have focused on the brassiere as an object of seduction, glamour or oppression, thereby losing sight of the key people and events in the development of the brassiere as a material and social artefact. [...] Indeed, it is time to shelve the stereotype of the brassiere as oppressive and to take a more balanced view of its development. (2002: xi)
for comparison and the linking of specific garment features to the relevant press and advertising coverage. Archive collections that provided material examples include: the EMAP Archive, held at London College of Fashion; the Marks & Spencer Company Archive held in the Michael Marks Building at the University of Leeds; and the Symington Collection which is held at the Collections Resource Centre, part of Leicestershire County Council Museums Service. In this dissertation, the technological changes are viewed from three perspectives: the garments themselves; the retail experience for the brassiere shopper in the UK; and via advertising.
My research focused on everyday bras rather than expensive high-fashion styles that were manufactured and/or sold in Britain,
Concentrating on the technology used to inform and improve the work of designers and manufacturers during an important period in
using a primarily object-based material culture approach with some textual analysis of books, magazines and promotional material in order to provide context. Object analysis was of great importance so that the technological aspects could be accurately assessed from a primary source. This also allowed
the development of this complex and unique garment proved to be a useful way to focus on the key moments, and to link the various themes which take the bra from concept to customer. Comparing the simplicity of the 1930s Kestos bra to the complex structure of a 1950s underwired style with pre-formed cups
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illustrated how far brassiere technology came in a relatively short space of time. It was evident from the garments viewed during my research that, although technological advancements have played an extremely important part in the development of the bra since 1930, there have been relatively few new features introduced since the late 1970s. Most of the pattern cutting developments in bra cup construction took place from 1930s to 1950s, with underwiring and graded cup sizes becoming features of some styles of bra in the UK towards the end of this period. Padding and pre-forming have also been used since the â€˜50s with colourful printed fabrics and adjustable stretch straps, like those on the majority of twenty-first century bras, available from the 1960s. Advances in moulding technology gave bra wearers seamfree cups in the 1970s but, since then, any new developments appear to have merely been improvements to the comfort of styles and features that were already available. It is particularly interesting that, aside from
the introduction of microfibres in the 1980s (Handley, 1999) - a technological development not represented in any of the archive collections visited - the heavily advertised advances in bra development of the 1980s and â€˜90s were predominantly a matter of marketing hyperbole. Lycra has been used since the 1960s but was promoted to such a level in the 1980s that, to many consumers, it must have appeared to be an entirely new fibre. The same could also be said about the Wonderbra and its almost identical cousin, the Ultrabra, in 1994. The UK advertising campaigns by Playtex and Gossard were so ubiquitous with the prominent billboards and television commercials also being discussed throughout the mainstream media (Green, 1994) - that young women who started wearing bras in the early 1990s could have been forgiven for thinking that the push-up plunge bra was an exciting new development. The story of the technological changes to the bra is one which owes a lot to the skill of pattern cutters and textile chemists plus the creativity of designers, manufacturers
FROM KESTOS TO ULTRABRA: TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES TO THE BRA IN THE UK, 1930-1994
and, occasionally, retailers. However, more recently, it has become a story of the talents of the marketeers who promote new and old products alike to a consumer who is searching for perfection. It would appear that the only technological advancement that bra designers and manufacturers have yet to perfect is that which ensures all-day comfort.
REFERENCES FARRELL-BECK, J. AND GAU, C (2002) UPLIFT: THE BRA IN AMERICA. PHILADELPHIA: UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA PRESS. GREEN, T. (1994) ‘GLANDULAR FEVER’, DRAPERS RECORD, 02 APRIL, PP.20-21. HANDLEY, S. (1999) NYLON: THE MANMADE FASHION REVOLUTION. LONDON: BLOOMSBURY.