Body Dressing (Dress, Body, Culture)

Body Dressing (Dress, Body, Culture)

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1859734448

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

For some time now the body has been a central topic across a range of social science disciplines. Similarly, there has been a growing interest in the cultural meaning of clothing. But curiously, even though people are nearly always clothed, the relationship between dress and the body has been relatively unexplored until now.

Dress is a crucial aspect of embodiment, shaping the self physically and psychologically. From dressing up to dressing down, this book exposes the complex ways that fashions and costumes render the body presentable in a vast range of social situations. It investigates the varied ways in which western and non-western clothes operate to give the body meaning and situate it within culture. The authors consider different approaches to the relationship between fashion, dress and the body, and present new theoretical models for their future study. They demonstrate the importance of the concept of ‘embodiment' to dress and fashion studies.

Exploring gender, photography, cultural history and modernity, this book deals with a vast range of questions inherent in dressing up the body. From fashion photography in the 1960s to contemporary queer fashion and the history of the masquerade, this is a fascinating and far-reaching collection. Its breadth and depth make it essential reading for anyone interested in style, costume, the body, gender or history.

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disruptive, this would seem to indicate that dress is a fundamental aspect of microsocial order. When we dress we do so to make our bodies acceptable to a social situation. Given this issue of social order it seems strange to find little discussion of dress within sociology and other disciplines which have been concerned with this issue on both a macro and microlevel (for example, in the work of Parsons and Goffman). This would seem strange given that the force of pressure on the body to conform

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practice of wearing masks in a non-masquerade context. Masked women in, for instance, London parks would once have been a fairly common sight. However, this cultural practice is not something to be taken for granted. How did it evolve? What was the status and purpose of these masks? Were they meant to provide a real, efficient form of disguise, or are we dealing with a more complex phenomenon? How did they affect patterns of behaviour, i.e. what were the effects these masks had both on their

(1908), The City of the World: A Book about London and the Londoner, London: Thomas Nelson. Saunders, Capt. L.H. (1908), ‘The Outer Man’, The Modern Man (7 November): 24 (December 12): 24. Stokes, J. (1989), In the Nineties, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. West, Shearer (1993), Fin de Siecle, London: Bloomsbury. Wrigley, M. (1995), White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 90–1. 181 This page intentionally left blank Embodying the Single

becomes an haute couture princess. Yet it is not Audrey Hepburn in designer Givenchy’s gown at the film’s conclusion that will inspire future fashion. She is remembered for the black turtleneck and capri pants that she wears to frolic as yet unreformed in the cafés of Paris. Similarly Jean Seberg’s blue and white striped cotton sailor’s jersey seen in Breathless (Godard, 1959) has become an anti-fashion staple, from the boutiques of Agnès B. in the 1970s to the catalogues of J. Peterman in the

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