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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

Marilyn Monroe

Joanne B. Eicher

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, sometimes using Baker (1 June 1926–5 August 1962), began her career as a model. Signing a film contract in 1946, she played minor roles, receiving attention for her beauty, curvaceous body, and mode of dressing. With prominence, she became a sex symbol. She adeptly helped create her visual persona by learning makeup and strategic wardrobe techniques. She relied on costumers like William Travilla to help construct her image in films like Gentlemen Prefer

Bill Blass, Spring/Summer 1993

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection was a bit of a departure from Bill Blass’s previous collections, with critic Cathy Horyn noting that some of the pieces “seemed to come from out of the blue.” It took place in the designer’s showroom. The clothes were similar to what other designers were doing at the time, being feminine, blousy, and sheer. There were elements of overt sexiness, with a bubblegum pink dress edged in black lace and an ensemble of a black-and-white striped cardigan with the top buttons left open pair

Versace, Fall/Winter 1997 Couture

Tessa Maffucci

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

In July 1997, Gianni Versace presented his final couture collection at the Ritz Hotel in Paris just days before he was murdered. The theme of his final show seemed eerily prescient. Many of the models were dressed in black and several of the pieces were adorned with the motif of a Byzantine cross. Even a wedding look, worn by Naomi Campbell, hinted at feelings of the occult. Yet this final haute couture collection was a continuation of the subjects and details he had explored throughout his entir

Betsey Johnson, Spring/Summer 1986

Veronica Maldonado

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Presented at the Palladium nightclub in New York City, Betsey Johnson’s spring/summer 1986 collection depended on many of her signature tropes—her usual use of romantic stylings such as petticoats, crinolines, bustiers, and lace combine with kitschy accessories like kitchen utensils, baggie boxes as hats, baby bottle earrings, and feather dusters, creating a look that teases ideas of the feminine—the romantic femininity of the materials and silhouettes mixes with the traditionally female role of

Bibliographic guide

In academic literature, the words “sex” and “gender” have specific meanings that are interchangeable in popular usage. To the scholar, “sex” is used to denote biological categories (male, female); “gender” is used for distinctions in role, appearance, and behavior that are cultural in origin, but stemming from an individual’s sex (masculinity and femininity). In practice, these classifications are more complex; recent scholarship has begun to take into consideration the fact that biological sex i

Book chapter

Such subtleties can speak volumes. As John Berger (1972) has established, it is at the level of representation that the ‘normal’ position of women is established, controlled and managed, since seeing repeated images which show the same patterns of behaviour come to define our sense of how things ‘should be’. Thus, such images or representations are the way in which we give meaning and order to the world (see Hall 1997). In an analysis which centres on the female nude in the historical trajectory

Spectacle and Sexuality: Music, Clothes and Queer Bodies

Janice Miller

Source: Fashion and Music 2011

Book chapter

In a band which might be understood to have a close relation to the emo subculture, whether technically part of it or not a creative focus on notions of death and deathliness would seem wholly appropriate. Growing partly out of the American punk scene of the 1990s and partly also a substrata of goth, emo shares similar ‘primary values … expressed through visually perceptible aspects of personal style: dress, coiffure, jewelry and tattoos and other bodily modifications. Goths are determined to fac

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

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

Islam and Islamically Correct Dress (Hijab)

Fadwa El Guindi

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

Encyclopedia entry

As a term and dress form, Islamic dress came into common usage in the mid-1970s, when college youth in urban centers of Egypt began to appear in what they called Islamic dress, a practice that gradually spread internally in Egypt across cities and social strata, and elsewhere in the Arab and Islamic world. The manifestation of the emergent Islamic movement in the form of a new type of dress and associated comportment among male and female college youth took society and even the religious authorit

Roma Dress

Iulia Hasdeu

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

Encyclopedia entry

Documentation mentioning the Roma’s presence in Europe dates from the fourteenth century. Originally from India and Persia, many Roma were located in East Europe for centuries, enslaved in Moldavia and Walachia. Following the abolition of slavery, many Roma migrated throughout Europe, mostly westward. Unlike those in the west, most East-European Roma are permanently settled, largely in Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and the former Yugoslavian republics. Roma groups significantly differ from one anot

Cross-Dressing in Indonesia

Marianne Hulsbosch

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

Encyclopedia entry

In Indonesia cross-dressing is a complex phenomenon, distinct from cross-dressing in Western societies. In Indonesia it often forms part of rituals, festivities, and sociocultural roles; there are several gender types besides the commonly understood male–female division. The most recognized is waria, male individuals displaying characteristics normally considered female and thought to have a “woman’s soul”; they are often associated with popular entertainment. Waria see themselves as assuming fem

Dress, Undress, Clothing, and Nudity

Frederick John Lamp

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

Encyclopedia entry

The concepts of nudity and dress are burdened with implicit moral and cultural connotations as well as the subjectivity of the viewer. As a binary conception applied to the tropical non-Western world by European observers, nudity is entangled in a multitude of ideas about the self and the other, often pejorative to a greater or lesser extent, and inherently misconceived. A more accurate Western understanding of non-Western dress and nudity must take into account the existing and historical Wester

Porn Chic

Annette Lynch

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

Encyclopedia entry

The mainstreaming of pornographic imagery into fashion and popular culture at the turn of the millennium in Britain and the U.S. signaled a dramatic cultural shift in the construction of both femininity and masculinity. For men and women, raunch became the new cool. This article draws from a diverse range of examples including film, popular tabloids, campus culture, mass-media marketing campaigns, Facebook profiles, and art exhibits to explore expressions and meanings of porn chic as embodied wit

Feathered Lingerie: From the Stage to the Bedroom

Jean McElvain and Angelina Jones

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

Encyclopedia entry

In the United States circus theater began about the time of colonization, and in 1825 the introduction of portable tents and the construction of the transcontinental railroad made shows widely available. Women were an integral part of the circus, and their brazen and often-dangerous performances were a curiosity that drew patrons. However, the transient nature of circus performers, as well as the exhibitionism played out during their routines, often situated female performers as immoral. The ense

Japanese Men’s Fashion Magazines

Masafumi Monden

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Japanese market for men’s fashion magazines has been flourishing. Japanese men’s fashion magazines are not only numerous but also diverse, with stylistic categories that closely correspond with specific reader demographics. The significance of these Japanese men’s fashion periodicals is highlighted by the domination of fashion over lifestyle content. Another notable characteristic is the unique utilization of dokusha models (amateur models; a literal translation would be “reader models”), who

Fineboys

Masafumi Monden

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

Encyclopedia entry

Subcultural Dress

David Muggleton and Dunja Brill

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

Encyclopedia entry

A subculture can be defined as a group with particular shared cultural features that distinguish it clearly from other subcultures and both the specific milieu (parent culture) and wider society (dominant culture) from which it emerges. The definition of culture on which this notion of a subculture is based is borrowed from anthropology and is taken to mean a whole way of life of a society or particular section thereof, depending on the level of analysis. A subculture can therefore be seen as a d

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;

Footwear

Elizabeth Semmelhack

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

Encyclopedia entry

Traditional footwear in Asia is diverse and reflects historical and cultural developments across this vast region. While most footwear has its origins in the particulars of daily life, such as the rigid-soled boots for northern horse riders using stirrups or rough plaited straw sandals that gave farmers extra traction on wet or slippery surfaces, throughout most societies, decisions about wearing or not wearing footwear, or when to wear it, were determined by other factors, including custom, soci

Fetish Fashion

Valerie Steele

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Face Veils

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

A face veil is a separate garment that is used to cover all or part of the face, usually that of a woman. Ethnic and cultural origins often play a prominent role in whether a woman wears a face veil, and what type. Some groups have insisted on women being veiled because their presence is a sexual distraction to men. Veiling is also used to indicate the physical status of a female, that is, to show if she is in the fertile phase of her life. In patriarchal societies, veiling is sometimes linked to

Eastern Europe and the Politics of Costume at the Eurovision Song Contest

Dean Vuletic

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s biggest popular music contest and one of its most-watched televised events; held annually since 1956, in the early twenty-first century it has a global viewership in the hundreds of millions. In this contest, songs are selected at national preliminaries and then sent to an international final, where they are ranked by juries and viewers from the participating countries (until the late 1990s, national juries awarded votes, but since then televoting by the

Eros and Liberty at the English Masquerade, 1710–90

Terry Castle

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

Book chapter

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