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1690–1815: Chinoiserie, Indiennerie, Turquerie and Egyptomania

Adam Geczy

Source: Fashion and Orientalism. Dress, Textiles and Culture from the 17th to the 21st Century 2013

Book chapter

See, mademoiselle, how that goes well with your Chinese-style hairstyle, your mantle of peacock feathers, your petticoat of celadon and gold, your cinnamon bottoms and your shoes of jade…

Benin

Joseph C.E. Adande

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Republic of Benin is bounded in the south by the Atlantic Ocean, in the north by Niger and Burkina Faso, in the east by Nigeria, and in the west by Togo. Thus, it naturally shares both history and culture with the peoples of these neighboring countries. In Benin, clothing, regardless of definition, is as complex and varied as its numerous linguistic groups. In the Benin Republic, Vodun adepts and masquerade performers dress primarily to please their gods and offer them the appropriate manifes

Aboriginal Dress in the Kimberley, Western Australia

Kim Akerman

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

As in most other areas of Australia, the Aboriginals of the Kimberley were traditionally unclothed. For them, dress consisted of headbands and hair belts. Pubic tassels (made by tying multiple strands of spun fur or hair string into a mop, suspended over the genital area) were worn occasionally. Other elements of dress consisted of ornaments made from feathers, fibers, animal teeth, or shell, the use of which was often dictated by the ceremonial and social status of the wearer. More complex ornam

Masquerade and Masked Balls

Ann Ilan Alter

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Performance Dress in Japan

Monica Bethe

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

Encyclopedia entry

In early-twenty-first-century Japan, theater and dance performances range from the avant-garde to traditional performing arts that trace their beginnings to periods spanning over a thousand years. The costumes worn for these traditional performances reflect styles of dress prevalent at various historical periods, though not necessarily the period corresponding to the inception of the art in question. The story of performance costume must therefore be seen against the background of the history of

Okpella

Jean M. Borgatti

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Okpella dress as known from the twentieth century includes both everyday wear and dress associated with ritual and festive events, notably clothing associated with men’s and women’s title taking. For men, this includes garments donned during age-group ceremonies, the preliminary event for all subsequent title taking, as well as the apron and feathered crown worn during the Oghalo ceremony, the completion of which admits them into the body of titled elders who, in the past, formed the ruling counc

The Northwest Coast

Kathryn B. Bunn-Marcuse

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Pacific Northwest Coast has long been known for its elaborate and distinctive art styles. This attention to form and expression is no less true for clothing, especially ceremonial clothing, than for totem poles and masks. On the Northwest Coast clothing conveys identity, status, and wealth among its indigenous people, wrapping wearers in their clan and familial identities. Today, this is most clearly seen in ceremonial regalia worn on important public occasions; but dress has always provided

Masquerade, Theater, Dance Costumes

Herbert M. Cole

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

African masquerades, perhaps the continent’s premier art form, play grandly with illusion, ambivalence, and paradox. Masks and masquerades are both more, and less, than what they appear to be. Their illusionist play can be comic and lighthearted, or deeply serious, but always it is creative and imaginative, art and artifice. Never is it ordinary, and usually it is deeply meaningful and sometimes powerfully instrumental. Masquerades both create and help organize values and knowledge, and they are

Igbo in Nigeria and Diaspora

Herbert M. Cole

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

One of the largest populations of West African peoples at over twenty million, the Igbo have a history of dress and personal decoration lasting over one thousand years. The archaeological sites of Igbo Ukwu, dating from the ninth and tenth centuries c.e., begin this record in the heart of Igbo country, twenty-five miles (forty kilometers) east of the Niger River and about one hundred miles (one hundred sixty-one kilometers) north of the Atlantic Ocean. Although the documentation is largely blank

Masquerade Dress

Cynthia Cooper

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Masquerade rituals and entertainments popular in North America were initially derived from European tradition and fashionable practices. Mummering and Mardi Gras, both forms of masked celebration that had roots in the Middle Ages in Europe, took on their own unique character in the specific regions of Canada and the United States where they persisted. When the European vogue for public masquerade declined at the beginning of the nineteenth century in favor of private fancy dress balls and parties

Torres Strait Islander Dress, Australia

Anna Edmundson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Torres Strait is a narrow underwater shelf connecting the northernmost tip of mainland Australia to the Gulf of Papua New Guinea. Torres Strait Islanders are the indigenous people of the region, which forms part of the Australian state of Queensland. The term ailan kastom (island custom) is used to denote those products and practices that are unique to the Torres Strait Islands, including dress.

Dress as Costume in the Theater and Performing Arts

Sandra Lee Evenson

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

Encyclopedia entry

In costume, individuals become characters of plays. Dressing for the performing arts works the same way. The performing arts include theater, dance, opera, films, television, and the circus. Costumes are made up of supplements to the body such as gowns and wigs, also including body modifications like makeup. Stylized Japanese Noh masks completely transform actors and constitute artwork in themselves. Throughout most of the history of theater, actors had to supply their own makeup and costumes, bu

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

Cameroon

Christraud M. Geary

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Cameroon blends West and Central Africa, extending from the Atlantic Coast to Lake Chad, bordering on six countries. Dress and ways to manipulate the body vary widely among the population. Religion and history influenced choices to adopt, maintain, or discard forms of dress. Indigenous African religions with annual and life-cycle ceremonies, accompanied by masked rituals in some regions, demanded ritual dress and costumes. Throughout the nineteenth century, local materials were used in the produc

Fancy Dress

Anthea Jarvis

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The morally questionable masquerade became unfashionable by 1820, but European society’s love of fancy dress continued. To accord with the new mood of decorum, fancy balls became the fashion, given either in private houses or as large-scale civic fund-raising events. Masks disappeared, and costumes were based on historical characters (many from Shakespeare’s plays or Sir Walter Scott’s novels), Turkish and Greek dress inspired by Byron’s poems, or the peasant dress of Spain, Italy, and Switzerlan

Introduction to the Dress of the Pacific Islands

Adrienne L. Kaeppler

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Pacific Ocean covers one-third of the earth’s surface and is inhabited by hundreds of cultural groups. Some twenty-five thousand islands, ranging from tiny specks of coral to the large island of New Guinea, are occupied by physically diverse peoples, many of whom have mixed and intermixed. Environments range from snowy mountains to raging volcanoes, from steaming rain forests to parched deserts, from coral atolls to volcanic outcrops. These Pacific Islands are usually divided into three histo

Twenty-First-Century Qatari Abayeh Fashions

Christina Lindholm

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

Encyclopedia entry

Women in Qatar, like many other conservative Muslim Middle Eastern countries, dress in a black robe, the abayeh, and long headscarf, the shaylah. They are adhering to the Qur’anic directive to dress modestly and interpret this as wearing all-covering robes and concealing their hair. There is little agreement on why the women “cover.” Some scholars state that it provides privacy and protection from the eyes of male strangers. Others believe that by wearing plain, anonymous robes, women protect men

Bilas: Dressing the Body in Papua New Guinea

Michael Mel

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Papua New Guinea is a nation of some six million people in the twenty-first century and lies at the western end of the Pacific Ocean, north of Australia. It is the eastern half of the whole island of New Guinea, which is the second-largest island in the world after Greenland. It gained political independence from Australia in 1975. The nation has always both intrigued and fascinated people with one unusual factor: There are over eight hundred distinct languages spoken. This is an indication of th

Fancy Dress: African Masquerade in Coastal Ghana

Courtnay Micots

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Fancy Dress is a lively secular masquerade performed on the coast of Ghana, West Africa. The majority of the young men and women who participate identify themselves as Fante, an Akan subgroup dominating the Central Region. Members from Effutu, Ahanta, Ga, and other coastal communities are also involved. In the early twenty-first century, Fancy Dress has become an integral part of local celebrations such as Easter, Christmas, New Year’s Day, harvest festivals, and members’ funerals. Fancy Dress st

Masquefest 2012

Courtnay Micots

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Guinea

Mohamed N’Daou

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Guinea is a country surrounded by Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra-Leone; it shares history with each of these countries that has influenced Guinean modes of dress up to the present day. From the eleventh century to the late nineteenth century, Guinea was an ensemble of separate animist and Islamic precolonial kingdoms, each of them diverse ethnic groups that the French colonizers transformed into a colonial nation called French Guinea from 1895 to 1958, after whic

Children’s Masquerade Costumes

Simon Ottenberg

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Children’s masquerades in Africa south of the Sahara most often occur in the western and central areas—the major regions of adult masquerading—although some are found in southern Africa. Most performances are by boys; while girls’ masquerades are rarer, they have not been as well reported in the past due to gender bias. In children’s masquerades, as in adult ones, the performers’ dress and mask are generally considered as a whole and have one name. Child masqueraders may play musical instruments

Carnival

Lidia Sciama

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

Encyclopedia entry

As anthropologists have found, people’s desire to abandon their workaday persona and temporarily adopt a different identity seems near universal. Carnival offers a ritual framework for people to act out their desires for alternative selves. Hierarchies are temporarily upturned; by acting as a safety valve, such reversals do not permanently change the social structure but reassert its validity at the end of the Carnival season. The Venice Carnival (for which the first written reference dates back

Asmat Dress

Pauline van der Zee

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Asmat people live along the southwest coast of New Guinea. In this extremely damp, swampy climate, being unclothed is more practical than wearing garments. Besides, in a society where experiencing danger is common, clothes can be troublesome because they may easily catch on rough undergrowth and thorny plants. Until the 1960s Asmat men left their genitals uncovered and children and women went partly naked. Westerners thus reported that they wore nothing, but the Asmat themselves believed thei

Costume for Dance

Helena Wulff

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

Encyclopedia entry

The appearance of the tutu (a stiff, delicate ballet skirt made of tulle), together with pointe shoes (which enable ballerinas to dance on pointe, that is, on the tip of their toes) in 1832 in Paris marked the turning point for costumes used for different types of dance in West Europe. Dance costumes have been included in chronological accounts listing ballet and contemporary dance production credits and have also been studied as costumes and garments in their social and cultural contexts, often

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