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UAL Research Online

Pornostyle: Sexualised Dress and the Fracturing of Feminism

Church Gibson, Pamela (2014) Pornostyle: Sexualised Dress and the Fracturing of Feminism. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, 18 (2). pp. 189-206. ISSN 1362-704X

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Church Gibson, Pamela

This article is premised on the suggestion that there are now two separate Western systems of fashion; here the word “system” is not intended to evoke the model suggested by Roland Barthes, but rather to refer, quite simply, to a pragmatic “system” of design, manufacture, distribution, and dissemination, similar to the cultural studies’ “circuit of culture” model of analysis. A new, unacknowledged “system” of design and promotion has emerged in the last decade, which has its own fashion leaders in young female celebrities, its own magazines to chronicle their activities and showcase their style, its own Internet presence, and its own retailing patterns. These young women often resemble in their self-presentation the “glamour models” or pin-up girls of popular men’s magazines, whose “look” is a muted version of the styling associated by many with that of hard-core pornography. The “body ideal” of this alternative system is very different to that of high-fashion; once again, it resembles the look of the women pictured in magazines for men. Although one or two writers on fashion have noted this new trend, it is feminist scholars who have shown most interest; they see the new system as part of the “pornification” of contemporary visual culture. A number of these same scholars are avowed anti-pornography campaigners and I argue that this could further damage the fragile feminist project, already riven by differences.

Official Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175174114X13890223974588
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Church Gibson was invited Guest Editor for the refereed journal Fashion Theory, vol. 18, no. 2

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: celebrity; fashion system; feminism; postfeminism; “pornification”
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Berg Publishers
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: April 2014
Digital Object Identifier: 10.2752/175174114X13890223974588
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2014 11:15
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2014 11:15
Item ID: 7228
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/7228

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