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UAL Research Online

Proletarian post-war Dandies

Bartlett, Djurdja (2011) Proletarian post-war Dandies. In: BASEES Annual Conference, 02-04 April 2011, Cambridge, UK.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Bartlett, Djurdja

This paper covers the subversive dress codes in four socialist countries - the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland - from the late 1940s up to 1960s. The hostility in the media towards the Stiliagi, Pásek, Jampec and Bikiniarze, demonstrated the Page 5 of 73 extent of their deviations from established social norms. The acceptance of western sartorial influences challenged the slow concept of time by introducing fast-changing western trends. The alternative clothes meant for dancing and loitering contradicted the boundaries between the officially divided spaces of work and leisure. Moreover, alternative dress codes were considered subversive because they transgressed the prescribed social norms on gender identities and sexual liberties. The loud and harsh critique directed at young men, quite out of proportion to the small size of the subcultural groups, reflected the deeper anxieties of the totalitarian society. Drawing on the fears that an interest in clothes and western music was unmanly, and not suitable for serious workers, the young men associated with subcultures were alternatively presented in the media as disturbingly effeminate, and as hooligans who preferred drinking and fighting to building up a new society. The intensity and duration of official opposition towards youth subcultures kept changing, both topographically and temporally. In the immediate post-war period, they were attacked throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. From the mid-1950s, in East Europe their sartorial difference was mainly absorbed in the mainstream youth cultures, while they were persistently seen as a serious social threat to the more closed Soviet system.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Post-war, socialism
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: April 2011
Event Location: Cambridge, UK
Projects or Series: Research Outputs Review (April 2010 - April 2011)
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2012 10:46
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2012 10:31
Item ID: 4539
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/4539

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