Fashion : A Vibrant Form Of Visual And Material Culture Essay

Fashion : A Vibrant Form Of Visual And Material Culture Essay

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. Fashion is a vibrant form of visual and material culture that plays an important role in social and cultural life. Viewed as homogenizing, Fashion encourages everyone to dress in a certain way, but simultaneously about a search for individuality and expression. In the Empire of Fashion, Gilles Lipovetsky argues that fashion played a significant role in modern democracy. In France, The Old Regime was the political and social system prior to the French Revolution. Under the regime, all rights and status were divided into three estates: the Clergy, the noble and third estate, which represented the majority of people. “Members of each estate wore clothing appropriate to that estate; the force of tradition prevented the confusion of status and the usurpation of privileges of dress. (30)” There was a slow inclination to democratize fashion, to mix up dress styles, although commoners were unable to wear the same fabrics, headdress, or laces as the upper classes due to sumptuary laws. Despite the implementation of sumptuary laws, they were never effective: Strict rules, lax practices. (31) By the late seventeenth century, luxury good were essentially a means of communicating and maintaining social and political however; however, “ the diffusion of fashion has mimesis at its core. (30)” Members of the third estate began to adopt materials worn by nobles. “Fashion must be conceptualized as an instrument for the equality of conditions. It disrupted the principle of inequality in dress…” (31) Once fashion disseminated into the middle and lower classes, it disrupted the class distinctions it was meant to define; it generated social ambiguity and it permitted the citizen to violate the natural order. The role of fashion changed between the fo...


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... is another way to approach fashion in another way that was not address: gender. In the reading, Lipoveskey focuses on fashion’s affects on women; while he fails to mention how it has affected males. He mentions, “In addition to women’s widespread adoption of pants, men can now wear long hair, bright colors and earrings” (110) He later goes on to write “ For men to adopt feminine symbols in dress would be to transgress, in the realm of appearance, the very essence of modern masculine identity.” (110) In this statement he ignores that cross- dressing had already existed throughout history. To Lipovestky, women can easily wear men’s fashion; however, it is socially unacceptable for a man to dress like a woman. This contradicts his statements that fashion has led to individuality and democracy; Males were – to Lipovestky- not allowed to dress outside of societies norm.

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Fashion : A Vibrant Form Of Visual And Material Culture Essay

- . Fashion is a vibrant form of visual and material culture that plays an important role in social and cultural life. Viewed as homogenizing, Fashion encourages everyone to dress in a certain way, but simultaneously about a search for individuality and expression. In the Empire of Fashion, Gilles Lipovetsky argues that fashion played a significant role in modern democracy. In France, The Old Regime was the political and social system prior to the French Revolution. Under the regime, all rights and status were divided into three estates: the Clergy, the noble and third estate, which represented the majority of people....   [tags: Sociology, Social class, Haute couture, Clothing]

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