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Dress as Political Ideology in Rabelais and Voltaire Utopias

Shoshana-rose Marzel

Source: Dress and Ideology. Fashioning Identity from Antiquity to the Present 2017

Book chapter

François Rabelais (1494–1553), a major French RenaissanceRenaissance writer and humanist, dedicated five novels to a family of giants and their adventures. Although these books are written in an amusing and satirical vein, through them Rabelais denounces Middle Ages backwardness and promotes Renaissance values; according to David M. Posner, “[t]he comic or parodic aspects of the text are, for Rabelais, inseparable from the hermeneutic act, and are essential both to accurate reading and to a recog

Fashion in Balzac’s Paris

Valerie Steele

Source: Paris Fashion. A Cultural History 3rd Edition 2017

Book chapter

La toilette est l’expression de la société.

La Mode Retrouvée

Valerie Steele

Source: Paris Fashion. A Cultural History 3rd Edition 2017

Book chapter

Chacune de ses robes m’apparaissait comme une ambiance naturelle, nécessaire, comme la projection d’un aspect particulier de son âme.

Superman: Codifying the Superhero Wardrobe

Barbara Brownie and Danny Graydon

Source: The Superhero Costume. Identity and disguise in fact and fiction 2016

Book chapter

Superman’s othernessotherness is firmly established in a costume that is identical from day to day. Wearing only one costume, Superman reduces his core values to a single, consistent message which is not compromised by daily adjustments to his wardrobe. This kind of “distinctive persistent dress,” finds Gregory Stone (1981, p. 144), is more commonly associated with professional responsibilities than with personal identity, and so through consistency of dress, Superman presents himself as acting i

Superheroes and the fashion of being unfashionable

Barbara Brownie and Danny Graydon

Source: The Superhero Costume. Identity and disguise in fact and fiction 2016

Book chapter

Those superhero costumes that remain most static over time are largely symbolic. When costumes are utilitarian, as with Iron Man (character)Iron Man’s suit, extreme transformation is justifiable as a technological development. By contrast, the costumes of Superman (character)Superman and Wonder WomanWonder Woman, which do little to enhance their performance, remain relatively consistent. Such garments function through stylistic or, following Barthes, RolandBarthes, linguistic expression, more tha

Walter Van Beirendonck

Paula Alaszkiewicz

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Narcotics and Jazz: A Fashionable Addiction

Alphonso D. McClendon

Source: Fashion and Jazz. Dress, identity and subcultural improvisation 2015

Book chapter

There has been a narrative of narcotics in American popular culture. Narcotics are one of the five classes of drugs regulated by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in the United States. Classified as a Schedule I substance under the CSA, 21 U.S.C. § 812, heroin has “a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision” (Drug Enforcement Administration 2012a).

Celebrity and Fashion, Past and Present

Pamela Church Gibson

Source: Fashion and Celebrity Culture 2012

Book chapter

‘Celebrity culture’ in a recognizably modern but still rudimentary form could be said to have emerged in the late eighteenth century. The period witnessed the new scientific discoveries and consequent technological developments associated with the Industrial Revolution. They would transform Western society from a predominantly rural one into one increasingly centred on urban and industrial life. Some of the new technologies also made possible the wide circulation of printed material—newspapers, b

Artists, Celebrity and Fashion: From Wilde and Warhol to Taylor-Wood

Pamela Church Gibson

Source: Fashion and Celebrity Culture 2012

Book chapter

An installation at the Venice Biennale of 2009 set out to provide a picture of, or commentary on, the contemporary art world. But it proved, in retrospect, as problematic as trying to portray or parody fashion on film. The Dutch and Nordic pavilions were twinned that year, to display linked installations created by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, two artists whose installation ‘The Collectors’ was intended, presumably, to illuminate the activity of that species. The Dutch Pavilion was created

Body and Beauty

Patrizia Calefato

Translated by Sveva Scaramuzzi

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The concept of human “race” was extended for the first time from its meaning of “lineage” or “descent” by Georges Cuvier (1769–1823) who gave it a classificatory, hierarchical meaning. During the nineteenth century, this conception led to racial biology and eugenics. Notwithstanding the researchers’ intentions, the idea of “race” constituted the basis for nineteenth- and twentieth-century racist ideologies. The idea of feminine beauty also evolved in relation to the genesis of racism. Fashion bec

The Miser’s Purse

Laura L. Camerlengo

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Miser’s purses were one of the most popular purse styles in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Crafted in myriad colors and designs, they were made for personal use, as gifts to loved ones, or for commercial sale. These purses were deeply embedded in nineteenth-century popular culture as well. The development of the purse’s form and its social and symbolic roles can be explored by relating references found in nineteenth-century literature and paintings to accounts of these accessories found

Dress in Art: Worldwide

Sandra Lee Evenson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Details about identity are conveyed through dress, which plays an important role in the arts worldwide. The visual arts comprise painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, rendering, illustration, tapestry, mosaic, and masks. Visual evidence of people using dress dates to the Upper Paleolithic, forty-five thousand to ten thousand years ago; the plump stone “Venus Figures” appear to have styled hair and skirts made out of string fringe. In the visual arts dress acts as a shorthand method of co

The Novel and Dress

Clair Hughes

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The stories of Beatrix Potter would have no plots, someone remarked, if the animals had no clothes. This cannot be said of fictional characters in general, but all the same, authors do not usually send their characters naked into the world—dress can play a surprisingly important role in their narratives. The clothes described and illustrated by Potter anchor her animals to a workaday rural society. They bridge the gap between nineteenth-century reality and Potter’s version of it: a miniature worl

French Travelers Writing on Russian Dress

Raisa Marduhovna Kirsanova

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Among many French travelers who described Russia’s native attire were artists, politicians, and historians. The most popular memoirs were those of Louis-Philippe de Ségur (1753–1830), French ambassador to Russia under Catherine the Great. The count stated that in Russia, “red” (krasniy) is equivalent to “beautiful” (krasiviy), because, observing the predominance of red in peasant festive dress, he perceived it as the color of national holidays. Court painter Vigée LeBrun (1755–1842), who emigrate

Stitched and Shaped Garments

Kalyan Krishna

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Sewn garments are rarely seen in early Indian sculptures, although they were worn by attendants or foreigners. Stitched garments were allegedly introduced in India in the early Christian era, when tribes migrated from Central Asia, or through the coming of Islam. Early Buddhist literature, however, contains several references to stitched clothing. During the Gupta period (approximately 280 to 550 c.e.), fully tailored, partly stitched, and unstitched costumes were fashionable. By the late twelfth

Edith Durham, Victorian Traveler and Dress Collector in the Balkans

Philippa Mackenzie

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In 1900 Edith Durham followed medical advice to take an annual trip. She traveled to Montenegro, beginning an involvement with the Balkan peoples that lasted the rest of her life. In the next twenty years Durham traveled widely through areas broadly comprising the former Yugoslavia. She documents her early travels in her first book, Through the Lands of the Serb (1904). She was asked to undertake relief work in Macedonia in the winter of 1903–1904. The political situation was increasingly unstabl

Ottoman Dress

Nancy Micklewright

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Ottomans were a world power in the Mediterranean for several centuries, with their empire extending at its height from Tabriz in the east around the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, Egypt, and across North Africa to Algiers. In Europe, they controlled much of Hungary, the Balkans, and Greece. Although it took nearly two hundred years to assemble this vast empire, their role as a world power was assured with their conquest of Constantinople in 1453. From that point until the defeat of the Ottoma

Sources of Information about Dress in Southwest Asia

Tineke Rooijakkers

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Information on dress in Southwest Asia (also referred to as the Middle East or the Near East) is derived from both primary evidence, such as actual textiles and garments or tools for textile production, and secondary evidence, which includes textual and pictographic sources. Textual sources incorporate not only written references to dress in prose or poetry but also laws, trade accounts, inventories, wedding contracts, travelogues, and so on. Depictions of dress can be found in paintings, frescoe

Turkish Costume Albums

Jennifer M. Scarce

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The expansion of the Ottoman Turkish Empire—from modest beginnings in Anatolia during the thirteenth century to control over territories spanning the Balkans, the east coast of the Mediterranean and Egypt, much of North Africa, Iraq, and Arabia by the late sixteenth to early seventeenth centuries—provoked much concern and curiosity among the European states who encountered its power. From the late fifteenth century on, Europeans visited the capital, Istanbul, and the rest of the Ottoman world in

Al-Washsha, a Medieval Fashion Guru

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The early medieval period in Southwest Asia was a time of change, with an increase in wealth and trade, especially via Central Asia with China, along the so-called Silk Road. In addition there was political and social stability following the establishment of the Abbasid dynasty in 749 c.e. The Abbasid caliphate flourished for two centuries before going into decline and was one of the great Muslim caliphates of the Arab Empire, known for its arts, literature, and architectural achievements, and al

Central and Southwest Asian Dress Studies

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

As with many areas of academia, the study of dress is not homogeneous. Many individuals and groups throughout the world are working (and often working in isolation) in the field of Central and Southwest Asian dress. In particular, there are scholars in Iran, Turkey, and parts of the Arab world who have a vast knowledge of their regional forms of dress, but this knowledge, for various reasons, is not widely available. Ironically, although dress is one of the easiest ways to gain access to another

Historical Evidence: China and Inner Asia

John E. Vollmer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

A continuous written record concerning Chinese dress dates back to the fifth century b.c.e. It coincides with, and partially informs, the very extensive archaeological record for China and parts of Inner Asia that came under Chinese control at various times in history. Some of the most ancient records describe the role of appropriate dress in ensuring the efficacy of state rituals. Later, these writings would be used to promote ideals of social order and reinforce the notions of the superiority o

Fashion and Evolutionary Theories in Nineteenth-Century Greece

Artemis Yagou

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The processes of imitation and adaptation are central to understanding creativity. Human cultures evolve through a continuous exchange of ideas, beliefs, habits, and forms. The rise of a Western-type society in Greece in the nineteenth century provides an example of the interplay between different ideas. Dress and fashion in particular constitute a fertile field where such exchanges take place. Exaggerations of Western fashion, as well as in other manifestations of imitating the West, became a so

The Portrayal of Balkan Dress in Western Travel Books

Antonia Young

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Only a few Western travelers have focused specifically on the dress they encountered, and travel books generally devote a very small proportion of their texts and illustrations to clothes or national dress, often observing simply that they were “picturesque” or “colorful.” Most include at least one photograph of a woman in national dress, but without precise information. Many travel writers focused more on architecture, although this can include early dress depicted in frescoes, paintings, and th

Clothing, Class Deception, and Identity in Late Nineteenth-Century Fiction

Rosy Aindow

Source: Fashion in Fiction. Text and Clothing in Literature, Film, and Television 2009

Book chapter

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