Fashion, Interior Design and the Contours of Modern Identity  book cover
1st Edition

Fashion, Interior Design and the Contours of Modern Identity

ISBN 9781138250291
Published October 30, 2016 by Routledge
266 Pages

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Book Description

Challenging the notion that fashion and furniture were or are separate enterprises and distinct material aesthetic traditions, this collection focuses on three material and conceptual links central to understanding the relationship between interior design and fashion-the body, fabric, and space. The volume considers the changing visual, material and spatial character, methodological challenges posed by, and formal, political and historiographical significance of, a wide range of British, European and North American case studies since the eighteenth century. The volume's eleven case studies allow the reader to understand connecting notions behind the formation of interiors and fashionable clothing. The essays combine a wide range of significant and challenging new examples alongside powerful reversionary analyses of the various periods, artists, designers, and their best and significant objects. Fashion, Interior Design and the Contours of Modern Identity is concerned not only with fabric, but also with the body and the implications of embodiment in the practices of both design domains which are equally invested in the comfort, aesthetic pleasure, extension and support of the body in different and yet seemingly identical ways.

Table of Contents

Contents: The velvet masquerade: fashion, interior design and the furnished body, John Potvin; Crafting queer spaces: privacy and posturing, Peter McNeil; 'She weaves by night and day, a magic web with colours gay': trapped in the gesamtkunstwerk or the dangers of unifying dress and interiors, Anne Anderson; Structure, cladding and detail: the role of textiles in the associations between identity, the interior and dress, 1860-1920, Clive Edwards; Translating textiles: 'private palaces' and the Celtic fringe, 1890-1910, Janice Helland; Decadent decors and torturous textiles: fatal fashions and interior design in the fin-de-siècle novels of Rachilde, Heidi Brevik-Zender; Chinese robes in western interiors: transitionality and transformation, Sarah Cheang; Modernism, orientalism, craft: French couture and the early furniture of Eileen Gray, Joseph McBrinn; Furnish the land of my dreams: life and theatre of Louise and Frederick Coates, Alla Myzelev; Designing sapphic modernity: fashioning spaces and subjects, Jasmine Rault; Framing the modern woman: Elsie de Wolfe, from clothes horse to interior decorator, Penney Sparke; Cross-dressing fashion and furniture: Giorgio Armani, orientalism and nostalgia, John Potvin; Index.

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Alla Myzelev is an Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Guelph, Canada. She has published on the relationship between Russian and Ukrainian avant-garde and craft, the role of women in the Arts and Crafts Movement as well as the representation of material culture in museums and private collections.

John Potvin is Associate Professor of European Art and Design History at the University of Guelph, Canada. He is the author of Material and Visual Cultures Beyond Male Bonding, 1880-1914: Bodies, Boundaries and Intimacy (2008) and editor of The Places and Spaces of Fashion, 1800-2007 (2009).


'...a strong and innovative contribution to scholarship... where dress, interiors and personal identity come together. The book prompted me to think about my own scholarship in different and interesting ways.' Virginia Terry Boyd, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

'... the in-depth treatment of the subject is admirable and brings a new level of understanding to visual culture studies. It is to be recommended for advanced students and academic patrons.' Arlis/NA

'Through a series of British, European and North American case studies, this volume explores the material and conceptual relationships between fashion, interior design and identity... Highlighting the methodological challenges and rewards posed by both representational and physical examples that date from the eighteenth century to the present, Fashion, Interior Design and the Contours of Modern Identity has successfully brought together work emanating from a range of related but distinct disciplines within historical scholarship; a multi-disciplinary approach which is especially valuable where identical subject material has been explored from different perspectives and using different tools of analysis.' Textile History

'This volume brings together a collection of eleven essays by leading academics in the field of art and design history with the underlying theme of the correlation between fashion and interiors... This volume has succeeded in its aim to highlight the close relationship between fashion and interior spaces in history. Well researched and written, it is undoubtedly an important contribution in the study of visual and material culture.' Costume