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Rifat Özbek, Spring/Summer 1991

Lucy Adjoa Armah

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Rifat Özbek’s spring/summer collection of 1991 exemplifies his ability to successfully commoditize the very essence of ethnicity without alienating the young, creative, Western urbanites who were his collaborators and would eventually become his customers. This situates him as an early agent in the emergence of a cosmopolitan aesthetic in fashion. As today’s industry becomes increasingly provincialized and the big four fashion capitals have to cede some of their influence to satellite sites, Özbe

Shape/Volume

Lucy Adjoa Armah

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

To fully understand the significance of “volume” in fashion, it is necessary to discuss everything from the exaggerated shoulders in the trend for tailored power dressing in the 1980s to the unconventional draping and pleating of Issey Miyake. The prism of volume enables the unpacking of aesthetic traditions in dress and fashion that appear to have little in common. When designers utilize volume, they are often presenting a fantasy from a distant land or a reimagined time. When individuals choose

Minimalism

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Since the early twentieth century, the fashion pendulum returns periodically to minimalism, with its focus on simple lines, geometric shapes, architectural tailoring, and high-quality fabrics. Early renowned minimalist designers include Madeline Vionnet, who in the 1910s was known as the “architect among designers,” and the style reached widespread popularity with Coco Chanel’s Little Black Dress in the 1920s. American designers such as Claire McCardell incorporated minimalistic principles in gar

Fashion and Surrealism

Victoria Rose Pass

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Surrealism, as an artistic movement, emerged in Paris in 1924 with the publication of the Surrealist Manifesto by the writer André Breton (1896–1966), but artists and writers had exhibited this sensibility long before. The notion of the uncanny is at the heart of surrealism. At its most basic, the aesthetic of the uncanny celebrates the beauty of combining images which are irreconcilable: the real and the imagined, the live and the dead, the organic and the inorganic. The uncanny is also at the c

Hanae Mori, Fall/Winter 1985

Nadya Wang

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Hanae Mori (born 1926) is a Japanese designer who was the first Asian woman to become a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris in 1977, following the opening of her haute couture atelier in the city in the same year. Before establishing herself in Paris, she built a successful career as a fashion and costume designer in Japan. Her fall/winter 1985 haute couture collection is typical of her expansive oeuvre, which combines precise Parisian tailoring with a Japanese aesthetic.

Red

Jane Webb

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Wearing red is always meaningful but can be contradictory—it can stand for being good or bad, symbolize opposite ends of opinion in the political spectrum, take you home, or drive you to madness. That red is one of the oldest significant colors, yet remains dynamic and contemporary, is the greatest contradiction of all. In this article we consider whether despite its perpetual appearances on the catwalk in various guises, as singular and collective, abstract, decadent, primal, nostalgic, and spor

Fashion and Its Discontents: The Aesthetics of Covering in the Netherlands

Annelies Moors

Source: Islamic Fashion and Anti-Fashion. New Perspectives from Europe and North America 2013

Book chapter

A convenient starting point to discuss the fashion-Islam nexus is the eight-page article ‘Hip with the Headscarf’. Appearing in 1999 in the weekend magazine of an upscale Dutch daily, Volkskrant Magazine, this article started with the observation that ‘more and more women with headscarves wear fashionable styles of dress and lots of make-up’ (Jungschleger and Riemersma 1999). Next to portraying a number of young women wearing such fashionable styles, it also presented the points of view of ‘expe

Landscapes of Attraction and Rejection: South Asian Aestheticsin Islamic Fashion in London

Emma Tarlo

Source: Islamic Fashion and Anti-Fashion. New Perspectives from Europe and North America 2013

Book chapter

The most obvious feature of dress is its proximity to the body and the intimacy of our relationship to it. Whilst sociologists of the wardrobe rightly remind us that some clothing remains forever unworn or may be kept only for special occasions, it is nonetheless true that it is through being worn that dress springs into life and attains its primary purpose. This intimate relationship between our bodies and our clothes is not, however, without potential conflict. Bodies animate clothes, but they

The Nazi Aesthetic in Fashion

Laura Klosterman Kidd

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

Encyclopedia entry

Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime influence many aspects of popular culture, including fashion. The Nazi aesthetic is an artistic and ideological style created by Adolph Hitler, which characterizes the idealization of the male human form, violence, the heroic ideal, and Aryan mythology. This style was critical in the design of the Nazi machine, especially architectural and transportation design, the visual arts, politics, and the propaganda of the Third Reich. Less well documented has been the use

Overview of Korea: Modern

Min-Ja Kim

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Gapsin Reform in 1884, prompted by a coup d’état staged by a group of reformists called the Progressives, initiated the transformation of Korea into a modern society by diffusing foreign ideas and cultures. Western fashion, as a symbol of modernization, became widespread in everyday life, supplanting the traditions that had dominated Korea’s clothing system for hundreds of years. During the twentieth century, the five-thousand-year-old traditional dress culture was made over through an accult

Fashion, Dress, and Interior Spaces

Peter McNeil

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

Encyclopedia entry

Clothes are animated by bodies moving in space, and attitudes toward work and leisure that have changed dramatically across culture and time. In early modern Europe until the eighteenth century, sumptuary laws extended well beyond dress to even the type of finish and materials used in interior design. Other societies, including China and Thailand, continuously attempted to control these appearances. In England in the post-Restoration decades, very wealthy women exhibited new independence in the d

The Medieval Aesthetic Sensibility

Umberto Eco

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

Book chapter

When the Scholastics spoke about beauty they meant by this an attribute of God. The metaphysics of beauty (in Plotinus, for instance) and the theory of art were in no way related. ‘Contemporary’ man places an exaggerated value on art because he has lost the feeling for intelligible beauty which the neo-Platonists and the Medievals possessed… . Here we are dealing with a type of beauty of which Aesthetics knows nothing.E. R.Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, translated by Will

Art and Life

Johan Huizinga

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

Book chapter

Il te fauldra de vert vestir,

The Upward Training of the Body from the Age of Chivalry to Courtly Civility

Georges Vigarello

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

Book chapter

From the Middle Ages on, every failure of physical uprightness has been attributed to two main categories: the stigma of deformity, sanctioned by the attention given to strength and aesthetic qualities, and the lack of the proper deportment prescribed mainly by socialized ethics. In both cases, however, medieval comments were unpolished and hasty, even weak compared with those which would be made in the sixteenth century. The strongest and most valiant knight was lost if disabled – “he falls to t

From Thrift to Fashion: Materiality and Aesthetics in Dress Practices in Zambia

Karen Tranberg Hansen

Source: Clothing as Material Culture 2005

Book chapter

Zambia is one of the world's least developed countries. This was not always the case, but the economy has been on a downward slide since the mid-1970s. Between 1980 and 1994, Zambia received numerous structural adjustment loans from the World Bank and its sister agency, the International Monetary Fund. Today Zambians are poorer, on a per capita basis, than they were at independence from British colonial rule in 1964 (UNDP 2001). Yet the enormous crossover appeal of secondhand clothing cannot be e

Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics of the Turkish Headscarf

Özlem Sandıkcı and Güliz Ger

Source: Clothing as Material Culture 2005

Book chapter

There are two passages in the Koran that address proper behaviour between men and women who mix outside kinship bonds, including ways of clothing and adornment:

Looking Good: Feeling Right – Aesthetics of the Self

Sophie Woodward

Source: Clothing as Material Culture 2005

Book chapter

Through considering the material microscopics of particular women's personal aesthetic, the focus is upon how clothing mediates this relationship between the individual woman and the outside world. The assemblage of outfits involves negotiating whether an outfit is ‘really me’ and equally the expectations of the occasion of wearing, and the gaze of those present. The process of combining items to be worn involves the process of constructing the individual in the eyes of others. In tracing a ‘pers

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