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Fashion and Anthropology

Brent Luvaas

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Anthropologists have largely shied away from the study of fashion, preferring to focus their attention to dress on those everyday items that define an individual as part of an enduring cultural tradition. Only in the last two decades, as anthropologists have shifted their attention to global processes, have they begun to look at fashion specifically as a site of critical enquiry. As they do so, they bring with them a disciplinary attention to the messy and contradictory lived experiences that mak

Bibliographic guide

In response to the question of what is the social psychology of dress, one first needs to address two related questions: what is dress and what is social psychology? The term dress has been defined by dress scholars Mary Ellen Roach and Joanne Eicher (1992) as the total arrangement of outwardly detectable body modifications and all material objects added to it in the form of body supplements. Body modifications are transformations made directly to the body and include making changes of color (e.g

Bibliographic guide

Fashion as a research topic has been marginal and never been popular or mainstream in the field of social sciences. It was a topic often taken up by philosophers and moral/social critics in the first half of the nineteenth century, such as René König. Fashion scholars such as Yuniya Kawamura, Gilles Lipovetsky, Sandra Niessen, Anne Brydon, and Elizabeth Wilson have pointed out the academic devaluation of the topic. But with a growing number of academic journals and publications on fashion and dre

Fans, Music, Clothes and Consumption

Janice Miller

Source: Fashion and Music 2011

Book chapter

For many writers who focus on fandom, this relationship is made manifest in the greater part by the engagement of fans with consumption and consumer culture. Perhaps even more accurately, it is through patterns of consumption that fan identities are marked out and made visible (see for example Sandvoss 2005; Hills 2002; Jenkins 1992; Toynbee 2006). This, therefore, suggests that contemporary notions of fandom may share a link to industrialized economies and thus to the cultures of consumerism whi

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

Children’s Wear in Australia

Michelle Bakar and Vicki Karaminas

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

Encyclopedia entry

Sydney department store mail order catalogs and clothing advertisements from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries provide information regarding clothing available for Australian children. However, they refer mainly to the relatively affluent middle class. Australian life was often more informal than North American or British life; the climate necessitated practical styles. Turn-of-the-century catalogs assumed that English tastes would appeal to Australians and that mothers primarily

The Wool Industry in Australia

Prudence Black and Anne Farren

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

Encyclopedia entry

That the wealth of Australia rode “on the sheep’s back” is a well-known expression. In particular, it has been Merino wool (a thick fine fleece suited to weaving into quality fabric) for the international and increasingly global clothing market that has been Australia’s most significant product. The Merino sheep has been selectively bred for over two hundred years and is recognized worldwide for its uniformly fine and soft fibers. While Australia is home to only a small proportion of the world’s

Ethical Fashion and Ecofashion

Sandy Black

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

Encyclopedia entry

Although the fashion industry is fast-moving and often dismissed as frivolous, it represents one of the major global economic players. Fashion is one of the few remaining craft-based industries, relying on skilled manual labour for manufacturing across its wide spectrum of levels, which raises particular issues for production. There is an urgent need to reconcile ethical, environmental, social, and personal agendas through future product development and manufacturing cycles in the fashion industr

Size and Fit in Industrially Produced Clothes

Karen Borregaard

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

Encyclopedia entry

The defining characteristic of ready-to-wear clothes, which differentiates them from made-to-measure clothes, is that they are produced in standard sizes to fit individuals whose exact body dimensions are not known by producers. The aim of standard sizes is to fit as many in a target group as possible. Size refers to both a garment’s measurements and the way size is communicated to customers. In addition, each ready-to-wear style is produced in a range of sizes, known as a sizing system. The numb

Portugal

Paula C. G. da Costa Soares

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

Encyclopedia entry

Changes in Portuguese dress have closely followed political developments, with the 1974 revolution marking the biggest turning point. During the dictatorship, dress styles were conservative, fashion was class based, and low incomes forced most families to be economical in their consumption of clothes. The 1974 Carnation Revolution led to a revolution in fashion as well, with the emergence of a plethora of informal dress styles that were associated with equality and democracy. In the 1980s and 199

Jews in the Melbourne Garment Trade

Anna Epstein

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

Encyclopedia entry

For a large part of the twentieth century the garment trade was an important industry in the southern Australian state of Victoria. Since clothing was a big part of the country’s manufacturing, the Jews of the garment trade made a large contribution to Australia’s economy. This multifaceted industry had its own economic and social history, gorgeous products, and camaraderie and color at its heart, Flinders Lane. It gave rise to the individualism, flair, entrepreneurial spirit, and sheer fun that

Display Mannequins

Leopoldina Fortunati

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

Encyclopedia entry

Although the dress mannequin is usually considered marginal within the marketing and displaying of fashionable clothing, it can be analyzed as a key cultural artifact in the fashion system. The display mannequin is part of an archaic imagery of humankind, similar to automatons, robots, and dolls. At a metaphoric level, it has an importance in Western culture, because on a symbolic plane the mannequin replaces the human being. In fashion, the mannequin engages in the dialogue between the container

Fashion Forecasting

Ingrid Giertz-Mårtenson

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

Encyclopedia entry

Within the international fashion system, there is a special group of agents working with fashion forecasting. These professional trend agencies produce and sell information to companies in the fashion business, predicting what will be the new trends and the “must-haves” for the coming seasons. As a relatively recent extension of the fashion business, the forecasting industry was first developed in Paris in the 1960s by a group of women designers and stylists who are still industry leaders. Howeve

Germany

Irene Guenther

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

Encyclopedia entry

German dress in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was closely linked to French–German relations. Critics disapproved of affluent German women’s fondness for French styles. During the Napoleonic wars, German rural folk dress often featured prominently at national festivals, manifesting patriotism. Ironically, it was with the French occupation during this time that German fragmentation consolidated, bringing a sense of “Germanness.” Industrialization occurred rapidly in the German states. Afte

Secondhand Clothing

Karen Tranberg Hansen

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

Encyclopedia entry

Secondhand clothing constitutes a global market of commerce and consumption that has a long but changing history with complex links to garment production, tailoring, and couture. In Europe and North America, secondhand clothing was an important source of clothing well into the nineteenth century, until mass production and growing prosperity enabled more and more people to purchase brand-new rather than previously worn garments. During Europe’s imperial expansion, the trade in secondhand clothing

Class

Elizabeth D. Lowe

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

Encyclopedia entry

To understand the current relationships between class and dress in the United States and Canada, it is necessary to review the most important theories that have been put forth about class and dress in Western Europe. There are nearly as many opinions about the nature of class as there are people. These opinions vary widely, ranging from, “class explains everything” to “it no longer exists.” To many, social class has become just a metaphor for varied access to resources, a way to describe the unev

Aging

Nora M. MacDonald

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

Encyclopedia entry

Clothing serves as a source of ego support, self-image enhancement, social acceptability, and personality expression throughout a person’s life. Problems occur, however, when appropriate clothing is not available or marketed to certain segments of the population, particularly older persons and those with a disability. Design problems may relate to the fit, cut, function, and appropriateness of the item(s), while marketing problems may relate to communicating the product(s) to the consumer. Fashio

Vintage Dress

Maria Mackinney-Valentin

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

Encyclopedia entry

The term vintage generally refers to the revived use of certain secondhand clothes, shoes, and accessories primarily originating from the twentieth century. From being a subcultural phenomenon in the mid-1990s, vintage became a mainstream trend in Euro-American markets around the beginning of the twenty-first century. Vintage can be seen as a paradoxical fashion phenomenon in the sense that it assumes durable qualities similar to those of vintage cars and wine, while fashion is often defined by t

Trends

Maria Mackinney-Valentin

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

Encyclopedia entry

One of the defining features of fashion can be said to be the constant change in its visual expression. The term trend is often employed to describe the motor that drives fashion; it can refer to both fashion change (innovation) and fashion adoption behavior (diffusion). A trend may involve a certain item of dress, a way of wearing an item, or a certain style, silhouette, material, color, or pattern. In fashion theory, fashion process and fashion cycle are sometimes used as synonyms for trend.

Globalization and Dress

Margaret Maynard

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

Encyclopedia entry

The trading of articles of dress, cloth, body adornments, precious stones, oils, and perfumes across wide areas of the globe, whether by sea, river, or overland routes, has taken place for centuries. All manner of cultural transfers and modifications of dress have eventuated because of migrations, diasporic movements, and subjugation of peoples. Something very different, though, is the globalization of dress, the increasing dominance of mass-produced standardized clothing across the world, which

Dress and Time

Margaret Maynard

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

Encyclopedia entry

Beliefs about time as a social phenomenon underpin and help explain practices of dress, comportment, and behavior around the globe. Time is always coextensive with how, when, and why humans design, fabricate, and wear garments and accessories. The long-standing dominant Eurocentric approach to the study of dress and fashion has been the chronological method. However, doing the reverse—assuming the role of a “dress genealogist” and analyzing ways twenty-first-century clothing can be traced back to

Italy

Elisabetta Merlo and Francesca Polese

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

Encyclopedia entry

If we use the expression Italian fashion to indicate the production of garments and accessories that are marked by distinctive and unique features universally associated with Italian culture and identity, then such a phenomenon appears only well after the political unification of the country (1861) and indeed is barely discernible prior to World War II. Moreover, even once the creations of Italian couturiers became celebrated in international markets beginning in the 1950s, Italy’s fashion scene

Hispanic and Latino American

Josephine M. Moreno

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

Encyclopedia entry

The heritage of Latinos living in the United States and Canada is a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, European, Native, African, Asian, and other ancestry. Dress needs vary widely and are influenced in part by socioeconomic status, age, income, education, immigration status, faith, popular culture, and gender. Family values and faith play a significant role in Hispanic families and influence dress purchases, particularly for special occasion wear. Latinos also tend to be brand-conscious. Although a

United States World War II Clothing Restrictions

Jennifer M. Mower and Elaine L. Pedersen

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

Encyclopedia entry

In April 1942, four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the War Production Board issued Limitation Order 85 in order to conserve fabric needed for the war effort. The purpose of the order was to ensure that no major style changes in women’s wear would occur during the war. However, consumer apparel continued to be marketed throughout the war, though often the marketing efforts were patriotic. For example, The New York Times, 19 August 1942, reported that New York fashion designer Jane Engel

Urban Fashion Culture in Australia

Juliette Peers

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

Encyclopedia entry

Australian men’s and women’s fashions between 1870 and 1945 were rich, complex, and volatile. Clothing and textiles were a central pivot of settler society, from the social life of the small urban or rural elite, to the daily grind of thousands of factory hands in large cities. Despite the strong gender divide in Australia, fashionable dressing was not simply a female pursuit. Fewer men’s clothes have been collected, however, and they can be hard to identify as made in Australia unless specifical

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