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Donna Summer

Amanda M. B. Pajak

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Donna Summer (1948–2012), born LaDonna Adrian Gaines of Boston, Massachusetts, was titled the “Queen of Disco” during her lifetime and beyond. Predominantly active as a singer-performer during the disco era of the mid- to late 1970s, Summer’s vocal talent and performance aesthetic defined an era of music in addition to an evolution of fashion tied to the hedonistic nightlife of New York City and Los Angeles that was synonymous with the excess and extravagance of the decade. During live performanc

Fashion and the Time of Modern Femininity

Ilya Parkins

Source: Poiret, Dior and Schiaparelli. Fashion, Femininity and Modernity 2012

Book chapter

Peter Osborne asks, ‘What kind of time does modernity inscribe?’Osborne, The Politics of Time, p. 5. His book-length answer is foundational in a small but crucial body of literature about the temporal character of modernity. This literature establishes that the basic challenge of modern temporal consciousness is its reflexivity: modernity becomes the first era equipped to recognize itself as an era, and to distinguish itself from earlier eras—the past—while opening toward the future.In discussing

Elsa Schiaparelli: Glamour, Privacy and Timelessness

Ilya Parkins

Source: Poiret, Dior and Schiaparelli. Fashion, Femininity and Modernity 2012

Book chapter

The opening lines of Schiaparelli’s 1954 autobiography, Shocking Life, are curious. Referring to herself in the third person, as she does intermittently throughout the text, Schiaparelli writes, ‘I merely know Schiap by hearsay. I have only seen her in a mirror.’ElsaSchiaparelli, Shocking Life (1954; reprint, V&A Publications, 2007), p. vii. Here, with surprising bluntness, she sets herself up as someone who is ‘split’, having a rich inner life characterized by multiple visions of self.For a tho

Christian Dior: Nostalgia and the Economy of Feminine Beauty

Ilya Parkins

Source: Poiret, Dior and Schiaparelli. Fashion, Femininity and Modernity 2012

Book chapter

Dior’s initial stylistic ‘innovation’, though, had a complex temporal logic. As the strong reactions to it—both favourable and unfavourable—testified, it undeniably represented a return of a much older, if not precisely historically definable, silhouette. Its temporality was captured in an apparent contradiction: embraced as ‘revolutionary’, the New Look’s groundbreaking quality derived from its unabashed reclaiming of what might be read as a more conservative, older ideal of feminine beauty. Jus

Azerbaijan—Urban Dress, the 1920s to the Twenty-First Century

Djurdja Bartlett

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Azeri (Azerbaijani ethnicity) aristocracy and the nascent bourgeoisie and intelligentsia gradually introduced elements of Western styles into their dress beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, when the region was still part of the Russian tsarist empire. Europeanized dress was one of the elements within a wider discourse that challenged the old way of life and its long-held traditions and proposed modernization in all the fields of society. A new role for women was on the agenda of secular

Belgium

Karlijn Bronselaer

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

Encyclopedia entry

Belgium played a vital role in the industrialization of the European textile industry. Belgian society changed very quickly due to industrialization during the first half of the nineteenth century. From about the 1820s on the fashionable silhouette in West Europe was the hourglass. Although the average Belgian had neither time nor money for fashion, improved production methods and sewing machines made corsets more affordable. Later, the Art Nouveau or Jugendstil movement (ca. 1890–1920), with its

Body and Beauty

Patrizia Calefato

Translated by Sveva Scaramuzzi

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

Encyclopedia entry

The concept of human “race” was extended for the first time from its meaning of “lineage” or “descent” by Georges Cuvier (1769–1823) who gave it a classificatory, hierarchical meaning. During the nineteenth century, this conception led to racial biology and eugenics. Notwithstanding the researchers’ intentions, the idea of “race” constituted the basis for nineteenth- and twentieth-century racist ideologies. The idea of feminine beauty also evolved in relation to the genesis of racism. Fashion bec

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

Dress Reform

Patricia A. Cunningham

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

Encyclopedia entry

Throughout the nineteenth century and in the early decades of the twentieth century, the basic silhouette of women’s dress in the United States went through many changes. Many people accepted this ever-changing succession of fashions as a natural phenomenon, an inevitable outward expression of progress; fashion was a sign of modernity. The changing styles of dress and its silhouette were largely dependent on various undergarments—corsets, petticoats, crinolines, bustles, and other supporting devi

Body and Dress

Angela Durante and Jenny Ellison

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

Encyclopedia entry

All human cultures engage in some form of dress and adornment. Although our bodies and the items we put on them might appear to be separate, they in fact have a great deal in common and are considerably intertwined. A dressed body represents a complex set of negotiations between an individual, the fashion system, and the social context in which they exist. Codes of dress set parameters but do not entirely determine how individuals dress. The body and dress are mutually constitutive—dress adds soc

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

Sexualization of Preteen Girls in Norway

Mari Rysst

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

Encyclopedia entry

Between 2000 and 2006, the ideals of teenage culture and youth influenced fashion for female children as well as grown women. The age group between nine and twelve years, the so-called tweens, has been the topic of recurrent debates in Western media discourses as they are viewed as acting “older than their age.” The expression points to the existence of cultural norms concerning age, dress codes, and appearance related to social classification. The concern is particularly addressed to girls when

Research Approaches

Lise Skov and Marie Riegels Melchior

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

Encyclopedia entry

Dress and fashion are rich and varied fields of study. Some scholars refer to them as “hybrid subjects” because they bring together different conceptual frameworks and disciplinary approaches, including those from anthropology, art history, cultural studies, design studies, economics, history, home economics (in the early twenty-first century more likely to be known as “family and consumer studies” or “human ecology”), literature, semiotics, sociology, visual culture, and business studies. Invari

Dress and Culture in Greenwich Village

Deborah Saville

Source: Twentieth-Century American Fashion 2008

Book chapter

Editors’ Introduction: When the Gilded Age ended on the eve of the First World War, some Americans expressed dissatisfaction with the conventional life. Intellectuals in Greenwich Village in New York City began to practice alternative lifestyles based on radical feminism and new psychological thought. As discussed by Deborah Saville, their style, identifiable as American bohemian, signified their ideological leanings. Young Greenwich Village women’s style included artists’ smocks, peasant blouses

Introduction

Yuniya Kawamura

Source: Fashion-ology. An Introduction to Fashion Studies 2005

Book chapter

The terms ‘fashion’ and ‘clothing’ tend to be used synonymously, but while fashion conveys a number of different social meanings, clothing is the generic raw materials of what a person wears. The term ‘fashion’ in English, or ‘la mode’ in French, stands out from the other words, such as clothes, garment, attire, garb, apparel and costume, which are often referred to in relation to fashion.

Background Reading

Samantha Holland

Source: Alternative Femininities. Body, Age and Identity 2004

Book chapter

Since the key overall theme of the research is femininity (how it is rendered, played out, resisted and understood), here I review ideas about and definitions of femininity and how these definitions do (or do not) link to the research. ‘What is femininity?’ is a question which has exercised feminist writers for decades and many feminist writers have attempted to pin down the elusive concept of femininity. For example, Brownmiller asserts that ‘femininity, in essence, is a romantic sentiment, a no

Categories of Unconventional

Samantha Holland

Source: Alternative Femininities. Body, Age and Identity 2004

Book chapter

I have always felt that I was different, you know. I never ever fitted into those patterns, the proper girl pattern … it’s like a paper pattern, I see it in my mind, there are particular lines you have to stay in, and you end up making just this very particular outfit … maybe there are three choices in the packet but they’re all dead similar

Introduction

Jennifer M. Jones

Source: Sexing La Mode. Gender, Fashion and Commercial Culture in Old Regime France 2004

Book chapter

An immoderate fondness for dress, for pleasure, and for sway, are the passions of savages; the passions that occupy those uncivilized beings who have not yet extended the dominion of the mind, or even learned to think with the energy necessary to concatenate that abstract train of thought which produces principles. And that women, from their education and the present state of civilized life, are in the same condition, cannot, I think, be controverted. To laugh at them then, or satirize the follie

‘The Epidemic of Purple, White and Green’: Fashion and the Suffragette Movement in Britain 1908–14

Wendy Parkins

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

Book chapter

The suffragettes were not the first to mobilize practices of display for political purposes. As Lisa Tickner (1988: 55–7, 62–3) has noted, the influence of labour tradition and earlier suffrage campaigns on suffragette practices such as banner making, street oratory and Hyde Park gatherings was clear. But symbolic forms of political practice comprised a tradition of radical protest at least as far back as the French Revolution (Hunt 1984: 52; see also Introduction) and it is to that period that o

Tailoring the Nation: Fashion Writing in Nineteenth-Century Argentina

Regina A. Root

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

Book chapter

In The Empire of Fashion, Gilles Lipovetsky (1994) pursues the evolution of modern democracy through the history of dress. He traces the rise of nationalist sentiments to the creation of national forms of dress in Europe of the Middle Ages. Fashion, he argues, ‘helped reinforce the awareness of belonging to a single political and cultural community.’ He continues: As a collective constraint, fashion actually left individuals with relative autonomy in matters of appearance; it instituted an unprec

From Closet to Wardrobe?

Jan Winn and Diane Nutt

Source: Through the Wardrobe. Women’s Relationships with Their Clothes 2001

Book chapter

The popular image of the lesbian has moved from the manly, riding-crop-wielding Radclyffe Hall type, through the dungareed man-hating feminist to designer dykes and leather girls. Lesbianism has a new non-transgressive image in the media, and the lesbian world is doing its damnedest to fight off any smudges of feminism and aim for a sexuality as outlawish as that of gay men. (Ainley, 1995, p. 1)

Book chapter

The acclaimed transsexual and cultural theorist Sandy Stone makes the following comment on the relationship between performer and audience established by Orlan’s surgical project ‘The Reincarnation of Saint Orlan’: ‘It’s a fine edge to walk between holding one’s audience in thrall, or sending them rushing for the exits, or making them puke on their shoes. The trick is to hold them in thrall and still have them puking on their shoes. Orlan approaches this ideal more closely than any performer I ha

In my discussions of Orlan’s art practice in previous chapters, I have often described her works and performances as postmodern, without discussing further the contested history of this term. For many people, ‘postmodern(ist)’ and ‘postmodernism’ are words that have acquired so many multiple and conflicting meanings that they have become overinflated and lost their currency. In one sense too, ‘postmodern’ has simply turned into a conventional way of historicizing the contemporary, and to tag Orla

Veiling and Feminism

Fadwa El Guindi

Source: Veil. Modesty, Privacy and Resistance 1999

Book chapter

Three major events occurring in succession demonstrate this shiftThe jubilation among Arab populations, including those in the Gulf countries, over Iran’s recent (June 1998) victory over the United States in the recent World Cup held in France is another manifestation of the shift. Further, the decision by the United Nations General Assembly on 7 July 1998 that granted Special Status to Palestine (alongside the Vatican and Switzerland) is a crucial development. in the regional political landscape

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