Cultural Studies

Download Body Dressing (Dress, Body, Culture) by Joanne Entwistle, Elizabeth B. Wilson PDF

By Joanne Entwistle, Elizabeth B. Wilson

The physique has lately turn into a favored topic for research, but the function performed through gown in defining the physique has been mostly ignored. This ebook examines the way costume acts at the physique and is imperative to our event of embodiment. a lot of costume research thus far has targeted too seriously at the textual and has missed the sensual nature of donning outfits and their half in our event of embodiment. How outfits 'feel' at the physique is as very important occasionally as how they give the impression of being or what they could 'mean'. Exploring gender, images, cultural heritage and modernity, this e-book bargains with an unlimited diversity of questions inherent in dressing up the physique. From type images and ads within the Nineteen Sixties to modern queer style and switch of the century tailoring, this can be a attention-grabbing and far-reaching assortment.

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Additional resources for Body Dressing (Dress, Body, Culture)

Sample text

De Palancy, who with his huge carp’s head and goggling eyes moved slowly up and down the stream of festive gatherings, unlocking his great mandibles at every moment as though in search of his orientation, had the air of carrying upon his person only an accidental and perhaps purely symbolical fragment of the glass wall of his aquarium . . 4 Elsa Schiaparelli, Pair of Gloves, (1938). Black suede, red snakeskin cording. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Gift of Elsa Schiaparelli. Photo: Lynn Rosenthal (1998).

Either the body is thought to be self-evidently dressed (and therefore beyond discussion) or the clothes are assumed to stand up on their own, possibly even speaking for themselves without the aid of the body. And yet, the importance of the body to dress is such that encounters with dress divorced from the body are strangely alienating. Wilson (1985) grasps this when she describes the unease one feels in the presence of mannequins in the costume museum. The eeriness of the encounter comes from the ‘dusty silence’ and stillness of the costumes and from a sense that the museum is ‘haunted’ by the spirits of the living, breathing humans whose bodies these gowns once adorned.

29 Body Dressing There will always be a human need for clothing both as a protection against the elements and as self-display. But fashion-following, although interesting in what it reveals about the resistance to fixed conceptions of selfhood, and the complexity of modern forms of narcissism and amour propre, would seem to offer to ‘naked subjectivity’ only a very inadequate and threadbare mode of self-extension. In this sense, like so many other aspects of modern consumption, it invites us to think about how we might secure innovation and a non-cyclical mode of existence without social and ecological exploitation; and thus to consider what alternative sources of self-realization and collective belonging might substitute for those currently so reliant upon the acquisition of new style commodities.

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