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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

Skinheads

Else Skjold

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The skinhead style emerged in the 1960s in London as a fusion between “rude boy” style and “mod” style, and is as such a subgenre of the working-class street style that emerged after World War II. The name of the style refers to the characteristic shaved hairdo, which is often associated with racism and violence. But actually, the style is a characteristic example of the bridging between black and white cultures that goes back decades, even hundreds of years, in Western menswear. Stylistically, i

The Healthy Body and the Politics of Fitness

Geraldine Howell

Source: Wartime Fashion. From Haute Couture to Homemade, 1939–1945 2012

Book chapter

Evacuation

Geraldine Howell

Source: Wartime Fashion. From Haute Couture to Homemade, 1939–1945 2012

Book chapter

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

Balkan Outlaws and Bandits

William Bartlett

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

Encyclopedia entry

Medieval Balkan societies were predominantly rural. Gradually conquered by the Ottoman Turks from the mid-fourteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries, they were increasingly taxed during Ottoman rule in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Tax exemptions were gradually rescinded, leading to the growth of banditry. The bandits, known as gusars, hajduks, klephtes, or uskoks, were often men unable or unwilling to pay increased taxes, who had been expelled from their land or had escaped from serfd

Poland: Ethnic Dress

Anita Broda

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

Encyclopedia entry

It is generally considered that peasants’ dress became distinct from that of other classes beginning in the fifteenth century. Dress quickly became a symbol of group values. A phenomenon typical in Polish folk culture was the borrowing of elements from higher classes, seen in folk dress with rich baroque detail. The peak development of folk dress in many parts of Poland occurred in the second half of the nineteenth century and was connected with peasants being granted the freehold of land; festiv

Working-Class Dress

Barbara Burman

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

One of the most marked gulfs between the appearance of working people and their employers was the use of livery for retainers and household servants. This practice of providing uniform clothing in the colors and style of a particular household was used to augment wages, and it served to embody hierarchy by distinguishing between employees and employer and between ranks of employees themselves. Livery was in widespread use during the period, as it had been since medieval times. It was far from uni

Hungary: Ethnic Dress

Ágnes Fülemile

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

Encyclopedia entry

Throughout most of its history Hungary had a predominantly agrarian economy. The institutions of the feudal system had been only gradually eliminated during the nineteenth century. The dress of common people was strongly independent of general fashion influences. In Hungary there was a deep social gap between classes, and the dress of the agrarian population became modernized later than that of city dwellers. The most flourishing period of regional peasant dress was the nineteenth and early twent

Trickle-Down

Susan B. Kaiser

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Class, Work, and Dress

Alexandra Kim

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

Encyclopedia entry

During the nineteenth century, clothing in West Europe was inextricably linked to a person’s class and occupation. Dress was constantly used to determine a person’s social status. Although there were obvious variations in occupational dress across the Continent, a worker’s clothing—whether in the countryside or the city—would have clearly indicated his or her place in the social hierarchy. Changing work patterns, a growing informality, and the fragmentation of the class structure in the twentieth

Migrant Workers, Production, and Fashion

Sandra Klopper and >Fiona Rankin-Smith

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

Encyclopedia entry

South Africa’s migrant labor system first began in the 1850s when African men from rural communities flocked to the newly discovered diamond and gold fields on the Witwatersrand in search of work. Originally miners brought their own clothing to work in the mines, primarily shorts. Eventually the mining companies, to protect their human resources, decided it was in their best interest to provide rubber boots, coveralls, and hard hats to protect miners working in a very dangerous occupation. By the

Chinese Dress in Singapore

Chor Lin Lee

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

Encyclopedia entry

Singapore developed into a multicultural pluralistic society by the second half of the nineteenth century, so it would be hard to imagine the Chinese community there to be homogeneous. Two distinctive Chinese communities could be identified, depending on their levels of familiarity with Singapore and hence Southeast Asia and the length of their association there—the Peranakan (native-born, or Straits Chinese) and the sinkeh (newcomers). The way women from these Chinese communities dressed was ill

Social Class and Clothing

Katalin Medvedev

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Social class is a system of multilayered hierarchy among people. Historically, social stratification emerged as the consequence of surplus production. This surplus created the basis for economic inequality, and in turn prompted a ceaseless striving for upward mobility among people in the lower strata of society.

Changes in Gender in Socialism

Katalin Medvedev

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

Encyclopedia entry

All ideologies strive to project a visual representation, and Socialism was no exception. Socialist subjects were expected to transform the world, and their ideological makeover included their appearance. Socialism sought to transcend class as well as gender differences and was geared toward suppressing individuality and propagating collectivism. The dress of a Socialist subject was intended to make a clear political statement and express loyalty to the Socialist regime. The regime focused on the

Latvia: Ancient and Ethnic Dress

Ieva Pigozne-Brinkmane

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

Encyclopedia entry

Between the seventh and thirteenth centuries, the territory known in the early twenty-first century as Latvia was inhabited by its indigenous people, the Baltic and Finno-Ugric tribes. Evidence of dress can be found from archaeological excavations. Men and women wore clothing made at home from locally grown flax and fleece; accessories were made from leather and furs of domestic and wild animals. The primary garment was a long-sleeved collarless linen tunic, long for women, shorter for men. Men w

Cypriot Dress

Euphrosyne Rizopoulou-Egoumenidou

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

Encyclopedia entry

Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean, on the threshold between the Orient and the Occident. Different rulers from east and west have left their mark on the local culture and dress. European influence was prevalent during the period of the Lusignan (1191–1489) and Venetian (1489–1570) rule and remained traceable through the Ottoman rule (1571–1878). Out of this period, during which Oriental influence was strong, emerged the traditional Cypriot dress of modern times. The island entered

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

England

Naomi E.A. Tarrant

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

Encyclopedia entry

In 1800, the people of England dressed in the general West European clothing style that was worn by all fashionable people. Wealth determined what a person could afford to wear but not the style. There was no folk dress, so the general impression was that wealthy people wore the same styles as their workers, with only the quality showing the difference. The poor acquired garments from secondhand clothes dealers or as gifts from wealthier family members or friends, charities, and employers, as wel

Hungary: Urban Dress, 1948 to 2000

Tibor Valuch

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

Encyclopedia entry

Dress customs in Hungary changed markedly at the turn of the 1950s. The Hungarian Fashion Designers’ Union stated that a modern designer’s task was not to dream up dress fantasy for a few stylish ladies, but to design attractive, practical clothes for millions of working women. Magazines for woman offered practical advice on altering outdated bourgeois clothes and suggested that the dress of today’s woman was practical, healthy, and pretty, and that the big stores served the interests of working

Estonia: Ethnic Dress

Ellen Värv

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

Encyclopedia entry

Estonia’s position, between east and west, has influenced the evolution of traditional dress. In the thirteenth century Estonia became a German province, with sharp national and class distinctions, ethnic dress denoting low status and national identity, while the few Estonians achieving higher status became Germanized. For centuries the main raw materials for clothes in Estonia were flax and wool; finer linen was for festive clothing. Clothes were decorated mainly by peasant women, complicated de

Slovakia: Ethnic Dress

Patricia Williams

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

Encyclopedia entry

Slovakia is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Europe, slightly larger than Switzerland. Slovaks have retained an enduring sense of their ethnicity, as manifested in the preservation of the Slovak language despite a turbulent history of foreign control and deprivation. They were under Hungarian and Austro-Hungarian rule from the tenth century until 1918, but, although their territory was called Upper Hungary, Slovaks never identified themselves as Hungarian, maintaining their Slovak iden

Slovenia

Janja Žagar

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

Encyclopedia entry

Slovenia is a country at the center of Europe, sharing borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia. Its diverse terrain includes a coast on the Adriatic Sea and an inland landscape of mountains, valleys, lakes, and forest; climate types range from sub-Mediterranean on the coast, continental with hot summers and cold winters inland, and alpine in the mountains. It has had a complicated political history, being subject over the last 250 years alone to many different power structures—among the

Gendered Space in Renaissance Florence: Theorizing Public and Private in the “Rag Trade”

Carole Collier Frick

Source: Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion 2nd Edition 2009

Book chapter

The field of Renaissance studies is one of the oldest areas of historical inquiry, dating from the fifteenth century itself, which may partially explain its cultural impact on Western civilization ever since.An earlier version of this article was delivered at the CHODA Conference, Courtauld Institute, London, in July 2004. I am grateful for the very helpful contributions of Sophie White, and also the two anonymous readers for the journal of Fashion Theory for their insights and suggestions to thi

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