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Dress Thinking: Disciplines and Indisciplinarity

Jonathan Faiers

Source: Dress History. New Directions in Theory and Practice 2015

Book chapter

This chapter will consider some of the pioneering works in the field of dress history. Although these works predate any notion of interdisciplinarity, I believe they achieve an enviable ‘indisciplinarity’, a condition that offers an alternative to the contemporary disciplinary side-taking threatening to cannibalize our field. Before proceeding any further, however, it should be made clear that this chapter is in no way intended to be some sort of polemic against the current state of dress studies

Comparing Designers

Tony Glenville

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Conclusion

M. Angela Jansen

Source: Moroccan Fashion. Design, tradition and modernity 2015

Book chapter

The main aim of this research has been to analyse Moroccan fashion as a materialization of social, cultural, political, economic and religious developments in Moroccan society, because until now Moroccan fashion has been predominantly studied as physical objects in which the materials and construction of the garments have been given primacy over their social and cultural meanings. Simultaneously, this research has aimed to contest prevailing misconceptions concerning traditional dress as being st

Introduction

M. Angela Jansen

Source: Moroccan Fashion. Design, tradition and modernity 2015

Book chapter

It is only in the past fifteen years that ‘fashion of traditional dress’ gained the attention of social scientists, simply because it was considered a contradictio in terminis. It was probably John Flügel (1950 [1930]: 129–30) who set the trend in the 1930s by introducing his dichotomy ‘fixed’ versus ‘modish’ costume, whereby ‘fixed costume changes slowly in time, and its whole value depends, to some extent, upon its permanence’. Modish costume, on the other hand, he explains, ‘changes very rapid

Fashion and Anthropology

Brent Luvaas

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Anthropologists have largely shied away from the study of fashion, preferring to focus their attention to dress on those everyday items that define an individual as part of an enduring cultural tradition. Only in the last two decades, as anthropologists have shifted their attention to global processes, have they begun to look at fashion specifically as a site of critical enquiry. As they do so, they bring with them a disciplinary attention to the messy and contradictory lived experiences that mak

Introduction: Dress History Now: Terms, Themes and Tools

Charlotte Nicklas and Annebella Pollen

Source: Dress History. New Directions in Theory and Practice 2015

Book chapter

Terminology is a perpetual difficulty in the study of dress history: how should ‘dress’, ‘fashion’, ‘clothing’ (or ‘clothes’) and ‘costume’ be defined and distinguished from each other? In current scholarship, how do ‘dress history’, ‘fashion history’ and ‘fashion studies’ differ? The meanings of these words and phrases overlap and interconnect, their definitions continuing to challenge researchers (Cumming 2004: 8, 15; Harte 2009: 176; Taylor 2013: 26). Joanne Eicher and Susan Kaiser both emphas

Dots in Fashion

Jo Turney

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Spots, dots, spheres, circles, and even “splats” are central to the expression of fashion as fun. With reference to 1950s bobby-soxers and nostalgic soda fountains, child-like innocence, summer vacations, dance, and escapism in general, spotty fashion has, since the 1970s, embraced humor and playfulness. Yet, prior to this date, dots in fashion and in representation in general have negotiated a paradoxical relationship with taste, encompassing both the naive and the sophisticated, which has incre

Bibliographic guide

The word “media” is the plural form of “medium,” from the Latin, meaning “middle” or “middle layer.” Thus, a medium is much like a middleman, a conduit that serves to “lead” or “bring together.” In fashion, each medium functions to hold and deliver information: visual, textual, cultural.

Bibliographic guide

Research in sustainable fashion examines relevant issues from perspectives including theoretical, cultural, social, design-led, industry-based, educational, economic, and psychological. For reasons that might be purely serendipitous, but indicating much underlying research activity, 2008 was a significant year for scholarly publications on sustainable fashion. Comprehensive texts by two UK design-based academics, theorist Kate Fletcher (2008) and practitioner Sandy Black (2008), articulate and ad

Bibliographic guide

Dress, along with cloth, textiles, and adornment, has been an important part of the study of material culture in anthropology since the early times of the discipline, when the focus was on cross-cultural variation and the relationships between different parts of culture and their changes. Some earlier studies aimed specifically to record the significance of material culture in the face of change in a manner that sometimes has been described as “salvage anthropology.” A later generation of anthrop

Bibliographic guide

Trend forecasting looks into the shifts in cultural, economic, and technological contexts to predict how people will behave in the future in terms of their consumption patterns. Trend forecasting is especially vital for creative domains like fashion. Fashion is also one of the most visible media for trends as it reflects the change in the collective aesthetic through multiple mediums. The successful prediction of future fashion trends requires research across multiple industries and contexts. Int

Bibliographic guide

Sources employed for the study of dress history include documents, visual representations, and material artifacts. Documents include all manner of written records such as wills, inventories, wardrobe accounts, bills of sale, advice on dressing, as well as eyewitness accounts of how people dressed in the past. An early example would be the Roman historian Tacitus, who described the dress of the inhabitants of central Europe in Germania in 98 C.E. The visual record includes paintings, drawings, eng

Bibliographic guide

Western subcultural style uses the dressed body as a place of social critique and artistic expression that does not follow the conventions of mainstream style. Subcultural dress can also demonstrate lifestyle and community participation, as well as individual experiences that pertain to the subcultural interests. Scholarship on the dress practices of punk, goth, hip-hop, hippie, and other underground lifestyles has shown that subcultural dress can be a catalyst for change in the mainstream fashio

Bibliographic guide

Fashion as a research topic has been marginal and never been popular or mainstream in the field of social sciences. It was a topic often taken up by philosophers and moral/social critics in the first half of the nineteenth century, such as René König. Fashion scholars such as Yuniya Kawamura, Gilles Lipovetsky, Sandra Niessen, Anne Brydon, and Elizabeth Wilson have pointed out the academic devaluation of the topic. But with a growing number of academic journals and publications on fashion and dre

Bibliographic guide

]Introductory texts on world religions are numerous and generally offer a selection of definitions—from the classic to more contemporary approaches that attempt to embrace all religions under a problematical single all-encompassing definition. In the study of religion, theoretical frameworks vary from the sociological, psychological, and anthropological to the neurophysiological; there are also those from studies in religion. Scholars of religion Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Segal, in A Concise

Bibliographic guide

A number of scholars have helped to develop the field of aesthetics of dress using a multidisciplinary approach. An early literature review was completed by dress scholars DeLong et al. (1974). Marilyn Horn (1975), also a dress scholar, approached the study of clothing as an interdisciplinary topic. Later, DeLong and Ann Marie Fiore (1994), seeking to provide a better understanding of aesthetics of dress, edited a compilation of papers that included a variety of perspectives. Fiore, Patricia Kiml

Bibliographic guide

In response to the question of what is the social psychology of dress, one first needs to address two related questions: what is dress and what is social psychology? The term dress has been defined by dress scholars Mary Ellen Roach and Joanne Eicher (1992) as the total arrangement of outwardly detectable body modifications and all material objects added to it in the form of body supplements. Body modifications are transformations made directly to the body and include making changes of color (e.g

Bibliographic guide

In academic literature, the words “sex” and “gender” have specific meanings that are interchangeable in popular usage. To the scholar, “sex” is used to denote biological categories (male, female); “gender” is used for distinctions in role, appearance, and behavior that are cultural in origin, but stemming from an individual’s sex (masculinity and femininity). In practice, these classifications are more complex; recent scholarship has begun to take into consideration the fact that biological sex i

Introduction to Subcultural Body Style

Therèsa M. Winge

Source: Body Style 2012

Book chapter

After World War II, subcultures surfaced with prominence in urban spaces within Western culture (Thompson 1998). Scholars speculate that these subcultures formed because of shared issues and common needs that set them apart from mainstream culture and society (Cohen 1955). Over time, the term “subculture” gained negative connotations for four primary reasons. First, the very term “subculture” has a prefix of “sub,” which suggests something lower or below. Second, subculture members often come fro

Subcultural Body Style History

Therèsa M. Winge

Source: Body Style 2012

Book chapter

From the time we are born, the human body is modified for physical, spiritual, psychological, social, and cultural transformations. In fact, prehistoric mummies found in recent years suggest that body practices, modifications, associated supplements, and rituals were significant in the earliest of human cultures (Winge 2003). In 1991 a frozen Stone Age male mummy was found in the Ötztal Alps. Nicknamed Ötzi, this mummy shows evidence of possibly the earliest body modifications ever discovered. Re

A Comparative Exploration of Dress and the Presentation of Self as Implicit Religion

Eileen Barker

Source: Dressed to Impress. Looking the Part 2011

Book chapter

The study from which most of the caricatures are drawn ought perhaps to be introduced in general terms before turning to their implicit religion. It was a study that was, very broadly speaking, concerned with science and religion (both being widely defined). More precisely, my thesis was that the pluralism of ideological positions in modern society had created an embarras de choix in which just about the only expert who is officially sanctioned for his (or, occasionally, her) true, independent kn

‘Gestus’ Manifests ‘Habitus’: Dress and the Mormon

Douglas J. Davies

Source: Dressed to Impress. Looking the Part 2011

Book chapter

The essential base of the Mormon approach to dress begins in what might appear strange to some non-Mormons, in that the body, itself, is a form of dress. According to LDS ideology there existed, eternally, what is called intelligence. This intelligence came to take a form through a birth, brought about by the Heavenly Father in the context of eternity, and resulting in a spirit-child with a spirit-body. This is set within an underlying scheme called the plan of salvation. It involves spirit-child

An ‘Informalizing Spurt’ in Clothing Regimes: Court Ballet and the Civilizing Process

Norman R. Gabriel

Source: Dressed to Impress. Looking the Part 2011

Book chapter

The aim of this chapter is refine the model of long-term social processes proposed by Elias (1994) in the Civilizing Process by concentrating on one particular development in the early history of ballet, the transition from court to romantic ballet during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in France. According to Carter (1998), dance historiography has suffered from a veneer of glamour, myth and mystery: she argues that the focus on the history of stars and the self-promoting mythologization

Land of Hip and Glory: Fashioning the ‘Classic’ National Body

Alison Goodrum

Source: Dressed to Impress. Looking the Part 2011

Book chapter

The fashion brand Burberry with its signature check fabric has recently been labelled as the ‘spinster of the high-street’ (Independent on Sunday August 1998: 3). As an iconic British fashion label, such an association has far-reaching implications since this famous Burberry check, as a national symbol, is viewed as representing all that is backward-looking, stuffy and prim. From this, we see that representing ‘Britishness’ through the medium of clothes is a problematic task. The politics and plu

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