Passing: Fashion in American Cities - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Passing: Fashion in American Cities

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Passing: Fashion in American Cities

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London

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Jack Allison, New York, 1938, Library of Congress

Organised by

  • Rebecca Arnold - The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • David Peters Corbett - The Courtauld Institute of Art

The idea of ‘passing’ and the issues it raises in relation to contemporary and historical notions of self-fashioning and identities is of central importance in a period of political, social and cultural upheaval.  The notion of passing also speaks to current discrimination and civil rights issues, and this conference seeks to examine the ways dress has been used to ‘pass’, to negotiate, resist and refuse contemporary prejudice, discrimination and status and beauty ideals.  We aim to explore dress, the body and the idea of ‘becoming’ – in relation to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and class, with the city as a key locus for attempts to outwit social and cultural mores through the artful deployment of dress.
 
The conference seeks to highlight and interrogate this important aspect of urban self-fashioning to understand its place within dress practices and visual culture, and to develop analysis of its place within American social life.
 

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