Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion

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Grounded in the ubiquitous, ever-changing matter of fashion, Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion places women at the heart of modern culture. Rich and cohesive, this collection demonstrates how fashion shaped and emerged from diverse cultures of femininity and modernity. By recovering fashion as a dynamic and far-reaching force in culture and politics, the volume examines the nuanced and conflicted terrain of femininity from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Revealing the inextricability of fashion from modern life, the volume argues for placing gender, everyday life, and materiality at the forefront of our accounts of modernity.

This transatlantic and truly interdisciplinary collection, with an afterword by distinguished literary scholar Rita Felski, is also notable for its mix of established and emerging scholars. The contributors address diverse aspects of women’s engagement with fashion in modernity, through such topics as Sapphic architecture, tea gowns, secondhand clothing, transnational identity, the coquette, nursing uniforms, and Harlem Renaissance photographs. Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion traces a unique and often surprising history of modernity and its entwinement with the gendered phenomenon of fashion.

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