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UAL Research Online

Birds of paradise: Feathers, fetishism and costume in classical Hollywood

Dirix, Emmanuelle (2014) Birds of paradise: Feathers, fetishism and costume in classical Hollywood. Film, Fashion and Consumption, 3 (1). pp. 15-29. ISSN 20442823

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Dirix, Emmanuelle

This article aims to investigate the reasons for the prolific use of feathers in 1930s Hollywood costume. Instead of positioning them merely as a spectacular tool of glamour in the Golden Age, it will focus on feathers as a form of material culture and specifically on their fetishistic nature in order to pose an alternative explanation for their sartorial popularity in a decade marked by the introduction of the Production/Hays Code. I wish to demonstrate that by shifting the methodological emphasis on feathers from object to subject, we open up an autonomous narrative for the material that would be missed when focusing only on its contextual reading. This in turn potentially offers a new dimension as to their use, in particular as a metaphor for female sexuality and therefore as a vehicle for reading 1930s cinematic sexuality.

Official Website: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Article,id=18948/
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Emmanuelle Dirix was a guest editor of this issue.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: censorship, classical Hollywood, glamour, feathers, fetishism, material culture
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Intellect
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: 1 March 2014
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1386/ffc.3.1.15_1
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2015 12:57
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2015 15:38
Item ID: 7746
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/7746

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