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Kurt Cobain

José Blanco F.

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, was born on 20 February 1967 in Aberdeen in the state of Washington. He became the salient figure in grunge music, a style that developed in the Pacific Northwest of the United States in the middle of the 1980s and achieved global popularity in the early 1990s. Grunge is a style of alternative rock based on accented percussion, heavy electric guitar riffs, electronic distortion, and loud—often howling—vocals. Nirvana, formed in 1988, became one of the most

Marlon Brando

Stephanie Kramer

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The white T-shirt, the biker jacket, jeans: these three items have become so ingrained in menswear’s fashion lexicon that it is almost difficult to conceive the relative newness of these classic wardrobe staples within the context of menswear’s history. In fact, it is perhaps even more difficult to fathom what the fate of these integral menswear items would have been without the legendary style impact of Marlon Brando. One of the most influential and celebrated American screen and stage actors of

Marithé + François Girbaud (house)

Sandra J. Ley

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Blue

Shari Sims

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Blue ranks as one of the most variegated shades of the fashion palette, from palest sky blue to blue-black navy. The wild plants (indigo) and precious gems (lapis lazuli) once used to create blue dyes have given way, for the most part, to synthetic chemicals. Designers have channeled bright blues during seasons of vivid coloration, or subtle washes of blue to suggest “no-color” color, with some of the richest colorations used in head-to-toe ensembles. Whether in the blue jean revolution of the 19

Greasers

Else Skjold

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

“Greasers” were devotees of a subcultural style originally for young, working-class men (later also women) that emerged in the 1950s in the United States. The word “grease” refers to the wax or pomade used to make the characteristic hairdo of the look, which also typically included biker boots, jeans, T-shirts, and leather jackets. Groupings of greasers would often appear in motorcycle gangs around the emerging rock ’n’ roll scene, and parts of the subculture formed the motorcycle club “Hell’s An

As the chapters in this volume show, at the current conjuncture, an astonishing number of people in a striking number of cultural contexts have come to deploy jeans as a symbol of movement between social worlds and boundary crossing – be it generation, gender, culture, religion or class-inflected boundary crossing. In a world characterized by intensifying exchange and transposable goods, produced by the now ‘virtually universal intersection of (cultural) structures’, blue jeans seem to epitomize

Adapting Georg Simmel’s classic reflections on fashion, Daniel Miller and Sophie Woodward (2007: 341-2) have suggested that the near-global ubiquity of jeans offers people different ways of negotiating the conflicting socio-cultural forces of conformity and individuality. In Woodward’s British study, for instance, using a familiar and hardly spectacular example, jeans provided a ‘relief from the burden of mistaken choice and anxious self-composition’ that women continuously felt (Miller and Woodw

The Limits of Jeans in Kannur, Kerala

Daniel Miller

Source: Global Denim 2011

Book chapter

Within the context of a study of global denim, South Asia is significant in representing perhaps the only remaining major region of the world where the wearing of jeans remains relatively uncommon. No one place can stand for South Asia, but an advantage of Kannur, a town in northern Kerala, is that at least for that state, it represents in the minds of its inhabitants, a clear position midway between the cosmopolitanism of the metropolis and the conservatism of the countryside. As such, many peop

For reasons concerning the politics of power governing the site I had chosen to do my fieldwork on, I was told by the party’s manager that I should not talk to the dancers at the events. If I wanted to do my research there I should carry it out in a discreet and silent way. Not daring to question this, I went to the top of the stand facing the dance floor and started to watch the festivities from there. My project of considering the objects through their materiality and agency had to be postponed

How Blue Jeans went Green: The Materiality of an American Icon

Bodil Birkœbwk Olesen

Source: Global Denim 2011

Book chapter

First they built the country’s infrastructure, then they populated it with a collective identity

The Jeans that Don’t Fit: Marketing Cheap Jeans in Brazil

Rosana Pinheiro-Machado

Source: Global Denim 2011

Book chapter

In the Denim Manifesto anthropologists are challenged to study denim – something that is commonplace in our everyday lives but notably absent from ethnographic analyses. As a manifesto, the authors refute the ontological philosophical logic that an element, such as clothing, that is located on the surface of bodies is intrinsically a superficial problem. Instead they consider the philosophical implications of the use of jeans – a clothing resource that resolves the anxiety and the contradictions

Indigo Bodies: Fashion, Mirror Work and Sexual Identity in Milan

Roberta Sassatelli

Source: Global Denim 2011

Book chapter

Pondering over her wardrobe, Francesca, a stylish, freshly graduated woman in her mid-twenties, says that, whilst they are ‘vital’ to her, ‘Denim jeans just sit with the rest [of her clothes]: they are just in the middle of the mess, but I take them out much more often, so always know where they are’ (Interview 15). These few words allude to the particular position that jeans – normal and yet special – occupy in young people dressing practices. This partly reflects what youth from Milan participa

Diverting Denim: Screening Jeans in Bollywood

Clare M. Wilkinson-Weber

Source: Global Denim 2011

Book chapter

During a research visit to Bombay in 2008, I asked a young costume assistant, as we sat talking in a suburban Bombay coffee house, how often she had sourced jeans for films. She replied: ‘Denim is big in films. Our actors are wearing denim throughout the film. They have to have jeans, unless they are wearing a suit. I cannot think of a film where we haven’t used jeans, even actresses.’

Book chapter

I wear his jeans when I’m on my own in my flat … I don’t know why … I guess it makes me feel like I’m still close to him, kind of comforted …

Fake Branded Clothing in Post-Socialist Romania

Magdalena Craciun

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

Encyclopedia entry

Fake branded clothes, mostly of foreign origin, ranging from cheap versions to high-quality copies and seconds of originals with imperceptible defects, can easily be found in Romania in open-air markets or well-established shops, in shop windows or “under the counter,” and in many people’s wardrobes. Behind such goods, there are various interconnected phenomena—for example, an informal economy, opportunities, compromises, and constraints in post-Socialist consumption, as well as the increasing so

Subcultural and Alternative Dress in Australia

Glynis Jones

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

Encyclopedia entry

From the beginning of European settlement in New South Wales in 1788, Australians were using alternative forms of dress, body decoration, and modification, visibly expressing individual and collective identities, aesthetic codes, values, beliefs, and cultural experiences different from the dominant culture. Some developed personal style statements, and others have been part of collective subcultural expressions linked to interests, lifestyles, and philosophies. Most have been youth-generated, chi

Antifashion

Susan B. Kaiser and Ryan Looysen

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

Encyclopedia entry

Antifashion has variously been used to describe everything from countercultural and subcultural styles to traditional or classic forms of dress. Its use has implied an assumption that it is possible to be outside of fashion, but a workable definition suggested by Elizabeth Wilson is “oppositional dress,” that is, dress that opposes mainstream fashion. An example of antifashion is the zoot suit, which, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, became a popular fashion for many African American jazz music

Gender

Gertrud Lehnert

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

Encyclopedia entry

The basic distinction between female and male dress in the Western world is between women’s skirts and men’s bifurcated trousers. Only in the twentieth century was this abandoned—but in one direction, since, even today, men do not wear skirts, despite some attempts by fashion designers. This does not indicate that trousers are more natural for men, but that in the West, they denote supremacy and masculinity. From the late Middle Ages onwards, increasing emphasis was put on gender differentiation

Subcultural Dress

David Muggleton and Dunja Brill

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

Encyclopedia entry

A subculture can be defined as a group with particular shared cultural features that distinguish it clearly from other subcultures and both the specific milieu (parent culture) and wider society (dominant culture) from which it emerges. The definition of culture on which this notion of a subculture is based is borrowed from anthropology and is taken to mean a whole way of life of a society or particular section thereof, depending on the level of analysis. A subculture can therefore be seen as a d

Jeans

Clare Sauro

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The first true “jeans” were created in 1873 by Jacob Davis, a Nevada tailor, who went in with Levi Strauss, a San Francisco merchant, for the patent. The pair received a patent for the addition of copper rivets at the pocket joinings of work pants to prevent tearing—a boon to the many California miners and laborers. The first jeans Levi-Strauss and Co. produced were available in brown cotton duck and blue denim and were known as waist overalls (the name jeans not adopted until the mid-1900s). In

Global Denim

Daniel Sophie

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

Encyclopedia entry

Although blue jeans appear to be the most common garment worn in today’s world, accounting for nearly half of what people wear in many countries on a given day, there is almost no literature on denim in the contemporary world. The Global Denim Project was established to try and explain why people wear denim. Arguments from history or commerce are insufficient to explain. Instead this article reflects on four key qualities. That the bulk of denim is cheap and generic rather not designer produced.

Children’s Clothes

Viveka Berggren Torell

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

Encyclopedia entry

The notion that children represent the future has influenced children’s dress for a long time. During the Enlightenment, childhood started to be seen as an important, separate period in a person’s life that ought to be devoted to a playful existence. At that time, philosophers advocated clothes allowing free movement of the body, to make it possible for children to develop according to their “inner path” and thereby become sensible adults. These ideas later reverberated in the twentieth century,

Jeans

Phyllis G. Tortora

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

Encyclopedia entry

The evolution of blue jeans from ordinary working dress into an international fashion classic began in California shortly after the start of the Gold Rush of 1849. Levi Strauss was a Bavarian immigrant seeking to expand the New York–based family-run dry goods business. Strauss arrived in San Francisco in 1853 and established a wholesale fabric supply house. One of his customers was Jacob Davis, a tailor who made blue denim work pants for miners and other laborers. Responding to complaints about p

Levi Strauss & Co.

Lauren D. Whitley

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

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