By Cristina Giorcelli, Paula Rabinowitz, Manuela Fraire, Micol Fontana
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Additional resources for Accessorizing the Body: Habits of Being I
A dialogue always implies a distance, in some cases even a diƒerence. This genealogy can be traced back to the French Revolution and the end of the ancien régime. ” Then, during the second half of the century, the debate about the artistic dignity of modern dress already signaled a world where body and dress play separate roles. Precisely at this juncture, fashion’s model bodies make their professional appearance. We recapture an echo of the radical change in self-perception produced by the presence of the mediating body of the model on the scene of fashion in Oscar Wilde’s lecture “The Relation of Dress to Art,” delivered in 1885 as a rejoinder to a previous talk by James Whistler on the use of color in portraiture.
At this crossing, aesthetics, literary theory, arthistorical disciplines, and now fashion theory talk to and cross-fertilize each other. 7. Jennifer Craik, The Face of Fashion: Cultural Studies in Fashion (London: Routledge, 1994), 70. 8. Marshall McLuhan, The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man (New York: Vanguard, 1951), 94. 9. Caroline Evans, “Multiple, Movement, Model, Mode: The Mannequin Parade, 1900–1929,” in Fashion and Modernity, ed. Christopher Breward and Caroline Evans (Oxford: Berg, 2005), 125–45.
In 1921, she invented the robe-poem, a garment stenciled with poetic verses, following the tradition of Apollinaire’s Calligrammes. This project indicates her desire to conceive fashion as a means of making the female body speak. She wanted to push the inner self, the personality of the wearer, to the surface to make it visible, readable, as it interacted with colors and words. 3 3 While Delaunay stopped making clothes at the outbreak of the Great Depression, in 1937 Elsa Schiaparelli picked CRISTINA GIORCELLI / 40 up Delaunay’s innovation: she sewed with beads a “poem” by Jean Cocteau on an evening gown.
Accessorizing the Body: Habits of Being I by Cristina Giorcelli, Paula Rabinowitz, Manuela Fraire, Micol Fontana