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Accessorizing the BodyHabits of Being I$
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Cristina Giorcelli and Paula Rabinowitz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675784

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675784.001.0001

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Fashion’s Model Bodies

Fashion’s Model Bodies

A Genealogy

(p.24) 3 Fashion’s Model Bodies
Accessorizing the Body

Paola Colaiacomo

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter traces the genealogy of fashion’s model bodies. For centuries, dress had been perceived as one and the same as the body it covered, as seen in the idol-like immobility imposed by Renaissance and Baroque court dresses on their wearers. By contrast, modern, or liberated, dress opens a dialogue with the body underneath. This genealogy can be traced back to the French Revolution and the end of the ancien régime. The Roman and Greek fashions characterizing the Empire style of the beginning of the nineteenth century were at once an experiment in vintage and an immediately popular “new look.” Then, during the second half of the century, the debate about the artistic dignity of modern dress already signaled a world where body and dress play separate roles. Precisely at this juncture, fashion’s model bodies make their professional appearance.

Keywords:   mannequins, dress, fashion, art

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