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The omnipresent significance of the eighteenth century and the masked ball for the House of Dior found expression in the design of “Angie” for the “Masquerade and Bondage” collection, a short variation on 1760s court dress, paraphrasing the fashionable life and cruel fate of Marie Antoinette. Using the surface of the hip panels as a canvas for narrative and caricaturized embroideries, the dress becomes an epitome of storytelling through dressmaking, evoking crucial episodes of French history. Gal

Benin

Joseph C.E. Adande

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Republic of Benin is bounded in the south by the Atlantic Ocean, in the north by Niger and Burkina Faso, in the east by Nigeria, and in the west by Togo. Thus, it naturally shares both history and culture with the peoples of these neighboring countries. In Benin, clothing, regardless of definition, is as complex and varied as its numerous linguistic groups. In the Benin Republic, Vodun adepts and masquerade performers dress primarily to please their gods and offer them the appropriate manifes

Masquerade and Masked Balls

Ann Ilan Alter

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Masquerade, Theater, Dance Costumes

Herbert M. Cole

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

African masquerades, perhaps the continent’s premier art form, play grandly with illusion, ambivalence, and paradox. Masks and masquerades are both more, and less, than what they appear to be. Their illusionist play can be comic and lighthearted, or deeply serious, but always it is creative and imaginative, art and artifice. Never is it ordinary, and usually it is deeply meaningful and sometimes powerfully instrumental. Masquerades both create and help organize values and knowledge, and they are

Igbo in Nigeria and Diaspora

Herbert M. Cole

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

One of the largest populations of West African peoples at over twenty million, the Igbo have a history of dress and personal decoration lasting over one thousand years. The archaeological sites of Igbo Ukwu, dating from the ninth and tenth centuries c.e., begin this record in the heart of Igbo country, twenty-five miles (forty kilometers) east of the Niger River and about one hundred miles (one hundred sixty-one kilometers) north of the Atlantic Ocean. Although the documentation is largely blank

Masquerade Dress

Cynthia Cooper

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

Encyclopedia entry

Masquerade rituals and entertainments popular in North America were initially derived from European tradition and fashionable practices. Mummering and Mardi Gras, both forms of masked celebration that had roots in the Middle Ages in Europe, took on their own unique character in the specific regions of Canada and the United States where they persisted. When the European vogue for public masquerade declined at the beginning of the nineteenth century in favor of private fancy dress balls and parties

Cameroon

Christraud M. Geary

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Cameroon blends West and Central Africa, extending from the Atlantic Coast to Lake Chad, bordering on six countries. Dress and ways to manipulate the body vary widely among the population. Religion and history influenced choices to adopt, maintain, or discard forms of dress. Indigenous African religions with annual and life-cycle ceremonies, accompanied by masked rituals in some regions, demanded ritual dress and costumes. Throughout the nineteenth century, local materials were used in the produc

Fancy Dress

Anthea Jarvis

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The morally questionable masquerade became unfashionable by 1820, but European society’s love of fancy dress continued. To accord with the new mood of decorum, fancy balls became the fashion, given either in private houses or as large-scale civic fund-raising events. Masks disappeared, and costumes were based on historical characters (many from Shakespeare’s plays or Sir Walter Scott’s novels), Turkish and Greek dress inspired by Byron’s poems, or the peasant dress of Spain, Italy, and Switzerlan

Cosplay

Frenchy Lunning

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

Encyclopedia entry

Cosplay, short for “costume play,” refers to a global practice of building costumes and performing as characters from manga (Japanese comic books), anime (Japanese animation), and other popular sources. Cosplay is also a Japanese subculture, whose performance venue is more public than fan conventions. The term came into usage as the influx of Japanese anime and manga became significant at science fiction and comic book conventions. However, anime- and manga-based cosplay differ from that of scien

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

Fancy Dress: African Masquerade in Coastal Ghana

Courtnay Micots

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Fancy Dress is a lively secular masquerade performed on the coast of Ghana, West Africa. The majority of the young men and women who participate identify themselves as Fante, an Akan subgroup dominating the Central Region. Members from Effutu, Ahanta, Ga, and other coastal communities are also involved. In the early twenty-first century, Fancy Dress has become an integral part of local celebrations such as Easter, Christmas, New Year’s Day, harvest festivals, and members’ funerals. Fancy Dress st

Masquefest 2012

Courtnay Micots

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Children’s Masquerade Costumes

Simon Ottenberg

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Children’s masquerades in Africa south of the Sahara most often occur in the western and central areas—the major regions of adult masquerading—although some are found in southern Africa. Most performances are by boys; while girls’ masquerades are rarer, they have not been as well reported in the past due to gender bias. In children’s masquerades, as in adult ones, the performers’ dress and mask are generally considered as a whole and have one name. Child masqueraders may play musical instruments

Carnival

Lidia Sciama

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

Encyclopedia entry

As anthropologists have found, people’s desire to abandon their workaday persona and temporarily adopt a different identity seems near universal. Carnival offers a ritual framework for people to act out their desires for alternative selves. Hierarchies are temporarily upturned; by acting as a safety valve, such reversals do not permanently change the social structure but reassert its validity at the end of the Carnival season. The Venice Carnival (for which the first written reference dates back

Côte d’Ivoire

Barbara Sumberg and Remi Douah

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Côte d’Ivoire, on the Gulf of Guinea, has more than sixty ethnic groups that make up the approximate population of seventeen million. The geography ranges from humid equatorial forest in the south to dry and sparsely treed savanna in the north, which has influenced the development of cloth production and dress. Iron, brass, and gold are used for jewelry. Glass beads, imported from Europe and from other places in West Africa, decorate the body as waist beads, armlets, and necklaces. Paint made fro

Eros and Liberty at the English Masquerade, 1710–90

Terry Castle

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

Book chapter

Skin

Susan J. Vincent

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

Book chapter

Wrapping us into flexible parcels of flesh, skin holds the inside and outside apart. It is our boundary with the rest of the world, keeping us contained and discrete: skin defines where we stop and everything else starts. Histories of its fashioning usually view it as a kind of blank canvas on which decoration is inscribed, as in the case of tattooing, scarification, piercings, and cosmetic adornment. In this chapter, however, I want to look not at how our cutaneous envelope has been decorated, b

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