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Fashion in History: A Global Look Tutor: Giorgio Riello Week 14 Monday 2008 ‘The Age of Empires: Engagements and Reactions to Fashion’ PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Fashion in History: A Global Look Tutor: Giorgio Riello Week 14 Monday 2008 ‘The Age of Empires: Engagements and Reactions to Fashion’. The Globalisation of Western Dress. Power: who decides what is best and who imposes what.

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Fashion in History: A Global Look Tutor: Giorgio Riello Week 14 Monday 2008 ‘The Age of Empires: Engagements and Reactions to Fashion’

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Fashion in History:

A Global Look

Tutor: Giorgio Riello

Week 14

Monday 2008

‘The Age of Empires: Engagements and Reactions to Fashion’


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The Globalisation of Western Dress

  • Power: who decides what is best and who imposes what.

2. Identity: clothing express the individual and influences the perceptions of others

3. System of fashion: fashion is not just the wearing of clothing, but also the lifestyles, dreams, adverts, models…

4. Manufacturing: who produces what and where

5. How and why historically Western clothing and fashion have become so popular across the globe


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The Globalisation of Western dress is a long-lasting process that goes back at least three centuries and, as this book demonstrates, has assumed different forms in different periods.


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  • 2. Empires and Modernity (1):

  • Routes to Western Dress

  • Routes to Western Dress

  • Modernisation: the free adoption of Western dress

  • b.Colonialism: the encounter (but not necessarily) adoption of Western dress because of Colonial domination

  • c.‘Western expansion’: migration of Europeans outside Europe and non-Westerns to Europe/North America


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  • Modernisation: Russia

  • Christine Ruane, ‘Clothes Make the Comrade: A History of the Russian Fashion Industry’, Russian History, 23/1-4 (1996), pp. 311-343.

  • Christine Ruane, ‘Clothes Shopping in Imperial Russia’, Journal of Social History, 28/4 (1995), pp. 765-782.

  • Oksana Sekatcheva, ‘The Formation of Russian Women’s Costume at the Time before the Reforms of Peter the Great’, in Catherine Richardson (ed.), Clothing Culture, 1350-1650 (Aldershot, 2004), pp. 77-91


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  • Modernisation: Russia


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a. Modernisation: Ottoman Empire, 1829

Mahmud II, 1785-1839, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire 1808-38


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a. Modernisation: Ottoman Empire, 1829

Sultan Abdul Hamid II of Turkey, 1880


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a. Modernisation: The Turkish Republic, 1922

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1881-1938

Hat Law of 1925, and the Law Relating to Prohibited Garments, 1934


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a. Modernisation: Meiji Japan

Grant's audience with the Emperor and Empress of Japan, 1877

Japanese gentlemen and children appear in western dress suggesting the caption "The Progress of Civilization”!

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/orient/images/025.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/orient/grant.htm&h=390&w=600&sz=84&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=eWh2N5s61gVDYM:&tbnh=88&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Djapanese%2Bin%2Bwestern%2Bdress%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN


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a. Modernisation: Meiji Japan

Empress Shōken (1849-1914) of Japan before and after the adoption of Western clothes


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  • Modernisation: Republican China

  • The qipao in the 1920s


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  • Modernisation: Republican China

Indeed, ‘modern’ (modeng) was ‘fashionable’ (shimao) and both terms became interchangeable in the early republican period [1910s and 1920s].

Frank Dikotter, Things Modern (2006), p. 191


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Gandhi in Dowining Street in 1931

b. Colonialism: India


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b. Colonialism: India

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964)

From Western garb in youth to Indian ‘National’ dress in the 1940s


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b. Colonialism: Australia and Africa

- Australia

Margaret Maynard, Fashion from Penury: Dress as Cultural Practice in Colonial Australia (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 41-61: ch. 3. ‘A Cut Above: Fashion, Class and Power’. GT.1590.M2

- Africa

Phyllis Martin, ‘Contesting Clothes in Colonial Brazzaville’, Journal of African History, 35/3 (1994), pp. 401-426.

Deborah James, ‘“I Dress in this Fashion”:  Transformations in Sotho Dress and Women’s Lives in a Sekhukhuneland Village, South Africa’, in Hildi Hendrickson (ed.), Clothing and Difference: Embodied Identities in Colonial and Post-colonial Africa (Durham, 1996), pp. 34-65.


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c. Western Expansion

De Espanol y Negra, Mulato. Eighteenth-century casta painting


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c. Western Expansion

Two Japanese immigrants in British Columbia, c. 1910

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://data2.archives.ca/ap/a/a117738-v6.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/settlement/kids/021013-2141.1-e.html&h=394&w=600&sz=75&hl=en&start=8&um=1&tbnid=DWX4P8FcStN_1M:&tbnh=89&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Djapanese%2Bin%2Bwestern%2Bdress%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN


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  • 3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

  • - Acceptance of Western Dress

  • Function

  • Zelinsky concludes that the adoption of Western clothing

  • “Can scarcely be ascribed to considerations of practicality, comfort, or aesthetic appeal. Something else must have been going on”

  • Wilbur Zelinsky, ‘Globalisation Reconsidered’, p. 94.


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3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

- Acceptance of Western Dress

2. Economic Reasons

By the early nineteenthth century European and later American commodities reached all parts of the world.

Many households stopped producing their textiles as it was more convenient to buy imported ones.


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3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

- Acceptance of Western Dress

3. Imposition

National or colonial political power had the capacity to impose of forbid western dress.


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3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

- Acceptance of Western Dress

4. Group Identity

Western dress was a way to negotiate and at time to remove internal social/religious division creating uniformity across the population


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  • 3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

  • Rejection and barriers to Western Dress

  • 1. The Superiority of Western Dress

  • In the process of acceptance and use of Western clothing, the Western form was considered to be superior and therefore to be protected.


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  • 3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

  • Rejection and barriers to Western Dress

  • 2. Religious Factors

  • Western dress ignored religious as well as social differences.


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  • 3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

  • Rejection and barriers to Western Dress

  • 3. Political Protest

  • The endorsement of local dress and even the creation of new alternatives was part of a language of protest.


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  • 3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

  • Negotiation of Western Dress

  • 1. Hybridity

  • Garments are rarely reproduced exactly in the same shapes, sizes and above all meaning.

  • They are instead adapted to fit within an already existing hierarchy of meanings as well as aesthetic choices.


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  • 3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

  • Negotiation of Western Dress

  • 2. Private and Public Spheres

  • Not all the spheres of life were touched in the same way by the influence of European sartorial choices.

  • The private and the personal spheres remained more difficult to ‘Westernise’.


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  • 3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

  • Negotiation of Western Dress

  • 3. Meaning

  • The adoption of a specific western garment does not necessarily imply the adoption of its meanings.


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  • 3. Empires and Modernity (2): Dynamic Forces

  • Negotiation of Western Dress

  • 4. Westernisation and Gender

  • The adoption of western dress is quintessentially a male affair, however…


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4. Couture, Pret-à-Porter and American Casualwear


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