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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

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 …

Indigo

Tineke Rooijakkers

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

Encyclopedia entry

Indigo is a chemical substance made from indigotin, which produces a blue color. It can be used to dye textiles, but also paper and even skin. It is the only natural dye that can produce a colorfast blue that does not fade through sunlight. It is impossible to distinguish between indigotin obtained from woad and from Indigofera plants, as the result is chemically identical. This fact, combined with the relative scarcity of early archaeological textiles, makes reconstructing the early history of t

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

Camisas Nuevas: Style and Uniformity in the Falange Española 1933–43

Mary Vincent

Source: Fashioning the Body Politic. Dress, Gender, Citizenship 2002

Book chapter

This blue shirt was to become crucial to the party’s identity. Yet, this clothing of the Falange – so dramatic in the visual evidence of the period – goes almost unmentioned in historical studies.This reflects a more general lack of attention; Graham and Labanyi (1995) has nothing on dress or fashion while Rodgers (1999) has a single entry. Adopting a shirt as party or militia uniform was, of course, a self-conscious homage to Italian fascism (Pemartín 1941: 44–5). It meant action: wearing that s

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