What Is Self-Presentation?

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Roland Barthes’s the Fashion System is criticized by Schier “there is certainly something to the idea that we say things with what we choose to wear, though we must not press too hard to find a set of rules conceded in every choice.” [Davis, 1992, Page 6]

Jean Paul Gaultier finds a symbolic tension, which highlights the desire to emulate the clothing, and associated gender paraphernalia. He is often described as Frencher than French, the enfant terrible of French couture. This essay will expose reactions of ridicule and intolerance exceptional technique and ability to never confine to the norm, the ways he has shaped and challenged the conventional idea of fashion. The modes of male self-presentation will be shown with the consideration of each fashion collection. “Clothes don’t have a gender except those of function.” Discussion will investigate male self-presentation, Gaultier ability to tread the line between gender identity and cross-dressing, between provocation and originality. Fashion is full of outdated clichés, which no longer fit with the times.

In the animal kingdom the male is usually more colorful and flamboyant, he overshadows the female, which presumably makes him more attractive to potential mates. The Macaroni’s, the precursor to the dandy challenging gender identity they were the first metrosexuals of their day. They were every bit as embellished and outrageous as the women, if not more. In the 1970s the peacock revolution began. Men were open to bright colours, patterned apparel and fabrics, which hung loosely from the body.

Naomi R Wolf argues that society projects pressure onto women to conform to the stubborn reality of the image of femininity. Wolf, the author of best selling book The Beauty Myth,...

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...ction remarked, “Garments don’t have gender. Express yourself!” “Your image is a game, be fluid and free!” “Be yourself!” “You have a number of faces, just like a Picasso.”

Jean Paul Gaultier’s style is constantly evolving. He continues to be excited about the changes in society and the arts. His curiosity and need to absorb information fuels his creativity. He constantly takes qualities ascribed to a particular gender and mixes them up. Even after all these years Gaultier still manages to shock people though his creativity and ability to ignore stereotypes. “He knows how to surprise people, how to reinvent himself, how to innovate.” Martin Margiela [Page 103] Gaultier has left a last impression in the minds of humanity. “I believe that his playing with the concepts of gender and sexuality will be regarded as one of the key aspects of his career,” Valerie Steele
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