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UAL Research Online

Fashion in Cinema: Reframing the Field

Uhlirova, Marketa (2017) Fashion in Cinema: Reframing the Field. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Uhlirova, Marketa

In this critical appraisal I set out to demonstrate my contribution to the field of fashion in cinema, and use the particular interdisciplinary scope of my work as a lens through which to reframe this field. As many have argued already, problems of fashion and costume in cinema have traditionally been overlooked and marginalised within cinema as well as fashion studies. Here I show not only that it is now a thriving area of research but also that it can - and indeed should - be recast as a more complex and dynamic field that reflects a wider array of activity within the academy (also including cultural studies, visual studies, media studies and art history) and without (including fashion and film curation and cultural production). My submission combines curatorial and textual work - three Fashion in Film Festivals and associated publications, plus three articles on fashion film - which, taken together, bridge historical, theoretical and practice-based enquiry. Throughout the appraisal, I seek to demonstrate that I have created a unique interface between academic fields and non-academic practices, at times collapsing such distinctions altogether. I argue that the particular interdisciplinary junctures I have orchestrated have led me to produce (and stimulate, through collaboration) new theoretical and empirical knowledge in the context of scholarship, and simultaneously to challenge, via curatorial interventions in the public domain, wider orthodoxies in the realms of fashion communication as well as fashion and film exhibition. My work has consistently aimed to broaden the understanding of the interactions between fashion and cinema, exploring these across the late-nineteenth, twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. More specifically, it has sought to highlight specific problems of fashion’s representation and performance in cinema that had been previously neglected or underdeveloped. Through a combination of archival research, curation and historical-theoretical enquiry, I have offered new perspectives in fashion, cinema and visual studies, above all by extending the analysis of dress to non-narrative cinema forms (commercials, newsreels, fashion films, artist and experimental films, early cinema), and by highlighting intermedial connections between fashion, cinema and other areas of popular visual culture (dance, theatre, magic theatre). With this shift of focus, I have helped reconsider the cinema studies debate on the dichotomy of spectacle and narrative (and fashion’s position within) by moving it away from conceptualisations that take for granted the dominance of narrative cinema, and aligning it with early and experimental cinema scholarship which has explicitly challenged such a hegemony.

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Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: October 2017
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2023 13:22
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2023 09:30
Item ID: 19710
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/19710

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