Dress is everywhere imbued with symbols that reflect different meanings in different contexts. This compelling book convincingly demonstrates how clothing is analogous to a working language and is similarly underpinned by deeper meanings and philosophies.From tattoos and mini-skirts, to skin decoration, makeup and hair, Calefato unpicks the multiple functions of modern dress. Exploring intriguing commonalities - for example, between tattooed Egyptian mummies of 2000 BC and modern subcultural styles - Calefato considers the psychological, cultural, spiritual and symbolic significances at play in what she aptly labels 'body cartography'. What we wear is a vehicle for the (often contentious) expression of politics, gender and identity, placing clothing at the root of a complex set of messages, many of which are paradoxical. Clothing may, for example, liberate through the pleasures of masquerade and at the same time 'cage' or control the body. The Clothed Body shows how semiotics can provide a convincing template for understanding dress in a wide range of contexts and will be essential reading for anyone interested in the meaning of what we wear.
About the Author
Patrizia Calefato is Associate Professor, Dipartimento di Pratiche Linguistiche e Analisi di Testi, Universit degli Studi di Bari.
Translated from the Italian by Lisa Adams
Table of Contents
Dress, Language and Communication * Dress and Social Identity * Style and Styles between Fashion and the Grotesque * Taste between Common Sense and Received Meaning * Writing the Body * Men's Bodies, Women's Bodies * Everyday Models * The Face and the Gaze * Degree Zero of Fashion and the Body: The Model, the Nude and the Doll * Fashion and the World * Fashion and Cinema * Wearing Black * Fashion and Music * Time * Fashion Intertexts * Objects