For some time now the body has been a central topic across a range of social science disciplines. Similarly, there has been a growing interest in the cultural meaning of clothing. But curiously, even though people are nearly always clothed, the relationship between dress and the body has been relatively unexplored until now.
Dress is a crucial aspect of embodiment, shaping the self physically and psychologically. From dressing up to dressing down, this book exposes the complex ways that fashions and costumes render the body presentable in a vast range of social situations. It investigates the varied ways in which western and non-western clothes operate to give the body meaning and situate it within culture. The authors consider different approaches to the relationship between fashion, dress and the body, and present new theoretical models for their future study. They demonstrate the importance of the concept of ‘embodiment' to dress and fashion studies.
Exploring gender, photography, cultural history and modernity, this book deals with a vast range of questions inherent in dressing up the body. From fashion photography in the 1960s to contemporary queer fashion and the history of the masquerade, this is a fascinating and far-reaching collection. Its breadth and depth make it essential reading for anyone interested in style, costume, the body, gender or history.