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Swimwear on the Catwalk, 1980–2000

Ciara Phipps

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This article will discuss the key styles, trends, and designers of women’s swimwear on the catwalk through the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. It will discuss the impact of body image and the associated attitudes toward the body on the development and design of swimwear. The influence of Brazilian swimwear infiltrated Europe and America in the 1970s. The appearance of the tanga on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, alongside the design of the thong by Gernreich in 1974, set in motion the body-baring s

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

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

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

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

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

Cosmetics and Skin Care

Brian Moeran and Lise Skov

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

Encyclopedia entry

Within the area of dress, defined as body supplements and body modification according to Joanne Eicher’s terminology, cosmetics and skin care are a subgroup of nonpermanent body modifications. Admittedly, the issue of permanence is relative; antiwrinkle cream, for example, is intended to have an enduring effect. Also, in some cases, permanent and nonpermanent treatments are interchangeable; skin bleaching or tattoos can replace makeup, and hair removal can be temporary or permanent.

Dress and Art: Western

Sandra L. Rosenbaum

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

Encyclopedia entry

Images of people wearing clothing create an obvious connection between dress and art. Because relatively few examples of historic garments survive, these images document the history of dress. Historically, those sitting for portraits chose their dress to project a specific image; the artist was responsible for conveying messages encoded in dress, meticulously reproducing them. Ann Rosalind Jones and Peter Stallybrass have commented that Renaissance clothes were perceived as material forms of pers

Ethics and Industry

Lise Skov

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

Encyclopedia entry

The question of ethics is about determining concepts of right and wrong human action. There are a number of ethical controversies in relation to the industries that dress the visible self, especially the clothing, shoes, accessories, and skin-care industries. The five main areas of controversy are, first, representations of idealized gender and body images; second, fakes and counterfeits of branded goods; third, working conditions; fourth, environmental impact and sustainability; and fifth, anima

Body Art

Therèsa M. Winge

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

Encyclopedia entry

Body art decorates, adorns, emphasizes, and transforms the human body in temporary, semipermanent, and permanent ways with the use of body modifications or supplements. Throughout history, body art has been practiced and displayed not only in the United States and Canada but also by members of all cultures. Body art serves a range of purposes, from indicating social and cultural status to commemorating special occasions and from displaying daily aesthetic adornment to performing theatrical art. W

Fashion and the Self

Annette Lynch and Mitchell D. Strauss

Source: Changing Fashion. A Critical Introduction to Trend Analysis and Meaning 2007

Book chapter

‘All clothing is erotic.’

Understanding Women and Their Wardrobes

Sophie Woodward

Source: Why Women Wear What They Wear 2007

Book chapter

The question ‘does this go?’ invariably involves the twin question ‘is this me?’, as the particular styles, colours and textures come to form part of a woman’s sense of who she is and who she can be through clothing. Although the items are usually bought in the mass market, the particular range of items in the wardrobe is always unique, as the mass-produced items sit alongside the dress borrowed from a friend or gifted by an auntie. Furthermore, as women wear particular items of clothing, they co

Looking Good, Feeling Right The Aesthetics of Getting Dressed

Sophie Woodward

Source: Why Women Wear What They Wear 2007

Book chapter

Through considering the material microscopics of particular women’s personal aesthetics, the focus is upon how clothing mediates this relationship between the individual woman and the outside world. As such, it is the medium through which women consider their social roles and normative ideals of how they should look. As clothing is worn next to the body, such external factors cannot remain abstract, but rather enter the realm of the intimate as a private dilemma for the individual. In looking at

Looking in the Mirror: Seeing and Being Seen

Sophie Woodward

Source: Why Women Wear What They Wear 2007

Book chapter

All the women I worked with wanted to appear as if they had not made an effort. Even Vivienne, who was discussed in chapter 4, a woman whose approach to her appearance was clearly idiosyncratic, is an example of this trend whereby women adopt a rhetoric of authenticity, stating they don’t want to look ‘made-up’, ‘fake’ or ‘not like me’. Despite having this attitude, every one of these women was engaged in the act of constructing her appearance, whether it was by having her hair cut in a particula

Conclusions

Sophie Woodward

Source: Why Women Wear What They Wear 2007

Book chapter

The centrality of this dialectic between safe, easy acts of dressing and the desire to be different and creative means that the act of constructing an identity through clothing is an ambivalent one. This notion resonates with discussions over fashion more broadly, as the constant fluctuations in styles have led to it being characterized as ambiguous in its shifts between innovation and conformity (Simmel, 1971), revealing and concealing the self (Sennett, 1971), sexuality and modesty, androgyny a

Looking Good: Feeling Right – Aesthetics of the Self

Sophie Woodward

Source: Clothing as Material Culture 2005

Book chapter

Through considering the material microscopics of particular women's personal aesthetic, the focus is upon how clothing mediates this relationship between the individual woman and the outside world. The assemblage of outfits involves negotiating whether an outfit is ‘really me’ and equally the expectations of the occasion of wearing, and the gaze of those present. The process of combining items to be worn involves the process of constructing the individual in the eyes of others. In tracing a ‘pers

How To Be a Fairy Princess

Samantha Holland

Source: Alternative Femininities. Body, Age and Identity 2004

Book chapter

Who can imagine a fairy princess with hair that is anything but long and blonde, with eyes that are anything but blue, in clothes that are anything but a filmy drape of gossamer and gauze? The fairy princess remains one of the most powerful symbols of femininity the Western world has ever devised, and falling short of her role model, women are all feminine failures to some degree. (1984: 44)

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

‘More Like Torture than Love’?

Samantha Holland

Source: Alternative Femininities. Body, Age and Identity 2004

Book chapter

Being ‘policed’ by other people (as opposed to policing oneself, which is discussed in the next chapter) was a subject several participants discussed angrily. Potential threats were of concern to the participants since their appearance marked them out as more visible and, despite feeling defiant, they attempted to take action to circumvent any negative attention. For example, Kiki said:

Defying the Crone?

Samantha Holland

Source: Alternative Femininities. Body, Age and Identity 2004

Book chapter

The participants sought to make it clear that they intended to defy cultural expectations and age ‘differently’, and indicated that they thought that older women are expected to begin to ‘dress down’, perhaps even take less trouble and care with their appearance, or to dress more carefully and restrainedly. Jody commented that

Reflections and Conclusions

Samantha Holland

Source: Alternative Femininities. Body, Age and Identity 2004

Book chapter

The pathologies of female protest function, paradoxically, as if in collusion with the cultural conditions that produce them, reproducing rather than transforming precisely that which is being protested.

Appearance Management

Kim K. P. Johnson, Susan J. Torntore and Joanne B. Eicher (eds)

Source: Fashion Foundations. Early Writings on Fashion and Dress 2003

Book chapter

… No one, I think, will deny the general statement that clothes have a marked effect upon our mental life. But it is one thing to make a broad statement of this sort, and quite another thing to ground it scientifically, and to define with some approach to accuracy and thoroughness the nature of this effect and some of its causes.

Young Women and Their Wardrobes

Pamela Abbott and Francesca Sapsford

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

Book chapter

In the youth cultural writings of the 1950s and 1960s, there was a clear relationship between style and youth. The young generation were seen to be different, there was seen to be a generation gap, and dress style and music and so on were seen as an important ‘uniform’ for membership of an age group and generation. Particular styles of dress were associated with particular groups of young people: the mods and rockers, for example. Youth culture was not seen as an undifferentiated mass, but as a n

Introduction

Maura Banim, Eileen Green and Ali Guy

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

Book chapter

‘Clothed bodies are tools of self-management.’ Craik (1994, p. 46)

‘Flying on One Wing’

Jean Spence

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

Book chapter

Waking on the second day after my mastectomy in October 1991, still in that dreamlike state which follows anaesthetic and surgery, I was confronted by a vision of a woman which I shall never forget. She was petite, no more than a size 12, aged about fifty and dressed like a fashionable teenager from the mid-1950s. My eyes fixed particularly on a body-hugging, plunge neckline black lacy top revealing a neat little cleavage and it was instantly brought home to me that, even though this was not my s

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