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Camouflage on the Catwalk

Ariel Beaujot

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The camouflage pattern that is so ubiquitous in Western clothing styles was developed to hide machinery during World War I; it only became a pattern for clothing for troops in World War II. “Camo” is key for war because it helps items blend into the background and it disrupts the shape of forms. Largely because of Army Surplus Stores, camo became a pattern used in street fashion in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The meaning of camo in this period varied from antiwar protest to a reconnection with n

Men in Skirts

Fruzsina Bekefi

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The male skirt has evolved throughout fashion history. From a traditional form of dress worn in Ancient Greece and Rome, non-bifurcated garments worn by men came to be perceived as a challenge to conventional gender norms in the West. Designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood have used male skirts to interpret masculinity through their designs in the latter half of the twentieth century. In the early twenty-first century, male skirts are gaining traction again.

Victor Victoria

Katy Conover

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Dirk Bikkembergs

Elizabeth Kutesko

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Coco Chanel

Aimee Scott

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Narratives are a way for human beings of the past and present to understand their experiences and guide their actions.Somers, “The Narrative Constitution of Identity,” 613–14. An important metanarrative of Victorian society was the advent of democracy and constitutional government. Every British school child of the nineteenth century knew the progressive narrative of the rise of parliamentary democracy beginning with the Magna Carta, passing through the “Glorious Revolution,” and ending with the

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

White Suited Men: Style, Masculinity and the Boyband

Janice Miller

Source: Fashion and Music 2011

Book chapter

Women are traditionally seen to be subject to the power systems of men—passive, whilst men are active; private, while men are public; ‘fashionable [when] men are not’ (Craik 1994: 170). Clearly, then, both genders have been subjected to expected ways of being and modes of behaviour which are undoubtedly different, but equally limiting. The expectations of appropriate gender behaviour may change over time. Yet when such change happens, what is never eradicated is a sense of a clearly demarcated, i

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 …

Lesbian and Gay Dress

Shaun Cole

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

Encyclopedia entry

Although same-sex sexual activity has been occurring at least as long as the human race has been recording social activity, it was not until the late nineteenth century that terminology based on sexual identity replaced definitions and descriptions of sexual acts. Psychiatrists, sexologists, and human rights campaigners such as Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, and Karl Maria Kertbeny developed notions that same-sex attraction was related to identity and conceived terms such as urn

Fashion and Homosexuality

Shaun Cole

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Even before the twentieth century, transvestism and cross-dressing among men were associated with the act of sodomy. By the eighteenth century, many cities in Europe had developed small but secret homosexual subcultures. London’s homosexual subculture was based around inns and public houses where “mollies" congregated. Many of the mollies wore women’s clothing as both a form of self-identification and as a means of attracting sexual partners. They wore “gowns, petticoats, head-cloths, fine laced

Beards and Mustaches

Caroline Cox

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Rural Dress in Australia

Jennifer Craik

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

Encyclopedia entry

A distinctive Australian sense of dress for Europeans is often considered to be bush wear, that is, clothes that have become synonymous with rural life and the outback. The typical elements of this rural dress include moleskin trousers, elastic-sided boots, cotton or wool shirt, bush jacket (in denim, wool, or leather) or waterproof oilskin coat, and a wide-brimmed felt hat. These garments are typically worn by men, so particular traits of masculinity are woven into the image of Australian bush w

Fashion, Attacks on

Joanne Entwistle

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Understanding the historical condemnations of fashionable dress therefore necessitates an examination of attitudes toward gender, sexuality, and clothes. At the same time that women have long been associated with the making of clothes, with textiles, and with consumption, there has existed also a metaphorical association of femininity and the very idea of fashion. According to Jones (1996, p. 35), “women had for centuries been associated with inconstancy and change,” characteristics that also des

Beauty, Nature, and Equality

Ingun Grimstad Klepp

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

Encyclopedia entry

In the Greek mythical universe, beauty was a gift from the gods, associated with order and cosmos. This mentality was later discredited in Western culture, as physical beauty became considered superficial or even sinful. The situation today is paradoxical: in the world of fairytales, literature, and magazines, beauty is worshipped, yet there is no theoretical reflection around this. One of the main ideals of democracy is the individual’s opportunity to achieve status through actions; hence, empha

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

Queer Dress in Australia

Peter McNeil

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

Encyclopedia entry

The history of queer dress in Australia resides in the unpublished documentation and memories of gay, lesbian, and transgender people. Changing understandings of sexual practice have affected queer dress codes and bodily appearance. Australia’s queer history extends back to convict days, when the social concept of homosexuality was nonexistent, and further back to same-sex rituals and relationships forming part of some indigenous cultures. Most surviving evidence of queer coteries is metropolitan

Gender

Susan O. Michelman and Kimberly Miller-Spillman

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

Encyclopedia entry

Gender remains the basic distinction in dress, currently and historically, in American and Canadian society. Masculinity or femininity is reflected in the presentation of dress by the individual and is categorically interpreted by others according to societal norms. Gender is determined psychologically, socially, and culturally and refers to acceptable behavior and dress for males and females. Gender, and by extension dress, is a social and cultural construction. Viewing gender as a fluid concept

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Persons

Andrew Reilly

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

Encyclopedia entry

Reliable information about dress in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT) community has become available only recently. For many years negative attitudes held by much of the non-LGBT population resulted in beliefs and stereotypes that were often superficial and inaccurate. Research into the dress of members of the LGBT community is now providing a more detailed and nuanced view of the subject. When a person “comes out” or acknowledges an LGBT identity, it is often a mixed blessing;

Men’s Fashion Magazines

Else Skjold

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

Encyclopedia entry

Men’s fashion magazines in the twenty-first century are basically a mirror image of women’s fashion magazines. Both follow exactly the same principles in relation to seasonal cycles, circulation, marketing, objectives, the fashion industry, and, of course, consumers. Until recently, however, men’s fashion magazines differed substantially in relation to both content and development for various reasons.

Looks and Appearance

Baldesar Castiglione

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

Book chapter

‘I remember your saying earlier that this courtier of ours should be naturally endowed with beauty of countenance and person and with an attractive grace. Well, I feel sure that I possess both grace and beauty of countenance, and that's why so many women, as you know, are madly in love with me. But when it comes to the beauty of my person, I am rather doubtful, and especially as regards these legs of mine which do not seem to me to be as good as I would wish; still, as to my chest and so on, I am

The Renaissance Beard: Masculinity in Early Modern England

Will Fisher

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

Book chapter

This essay builds on Judith Butler's recent theoretical work in Bodies that Matter by suggesting that the sexual differences that “mattered” in early modern England are not exactly the same as those that “matter” today. In particular, it suggests that facial hair often conferred masculinity during the Renaissance: the beard made the man. The centrality of the beard is powerfully demonstrated by both portraits and theatrical practices. Indeed, virtually all men in portraits painted between the mid

Becoming Neo: Costume and Transforming Masculinity in the Matrix Films

Sarah Gilligan

Source: Fashion in Fiction. Text and Clothing in Literature, Film, and Television 2009

Book chapter

Masculine Apparel

Stephen Orgel

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

Book chapter

it was not lawful for women to swear by Hercules, nor to enter into his temple: this was a punishment laid upon that sex, for the insolency of Queen Omphale over Hercules, in causing him so effeminately to serve her.AlexanderRoss, Mystagogus Poeticus, or the Muses Interpreter (London, 1648), pp. 169–70.

Genitals and Legs

Susan J. Vincent

Source: The Anatomy of Fashion. Dressing the Body from the Renaissance to Today 2009

Book chapter

What is the one thing that frogs and properly built men alone have in common? The answer, according to John Doran’s nineteenth-century study of costume history, is calves.JohnDoran, Habits and Men (London: Richard Bentley, 1855), p. 197. For until modernity reinscribed their attractions as female, the desirability of good calves, thighs and legs has been positioned securely within the realm of the masculine. Hidden beneath their enveloping dresses, until the twentieth century women’s legs were al

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