Couture and Consensus
Fashion and Politics in Postcolonial Argentina
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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Writing this book has been an incredible journey span-ning years, continents, and cyberspace. The generous spir-its of many people dance along each page of Couture and Library, the kind attention of former director Héctor Yanover, Ignacio Martín Cloppet, Agustina Ganglof, Silvia Ganglof, and Hugo Acevedo allowed me to spend almost two years culling through that library’s special collections. Colleagues at the Centro de Estudios de la Moda, ...
INTRODUCTION: Interrogating Fashion
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At the height of the protests in economically devastated Argentina, on December 20, 2001, several prominent authors waited in front of television cameras at the Clásica y Moderna bookstore in Buenos Aires for a special cultural event organized by the Secretaría de Cultura de la Nación and the Cámara Argentina del Libro. For weeks, television advertisements had promoted a “buy one book and get the next free” offer alongside the opportunity to meet with ...
1 Uniform Consensus
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In the political allegory by Esteban Echeverría, “El mata-dero” (“The Slaughterhouse”), knife- wielding butchers reminis-cent of some of Goya’s more monstrous ghouls overpower an elegantly dressed gentleman. Because of his European- style costume and mannerisms, the young man is identifi ed by a Federalist multi-tude as a Unitarian and is declared an enemy of the people. Under the spell of religious fanaticism and patriotic fervor, Federalists pre-...
2 Dressed to Kill
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Through the lens of dress, we can unravel some of the every day transactions infl ected with the burdens of the colonial order and the formation of citizen- subjects in the River Plate region. It can also bring us closer to “dreams full of history, of known unknown persons”1 and enact a dialogue between the individual and the collective in the realm of the cultural imaginary. We have seen how the Rosas regime worked to create a consensus around Federalism, ...
3 Fashion as Presence
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As a profoundly social process, fashion invites individual and collective bodies to assume certain identities and, at times, to transgress their limits. At a moment when the obligatory scarlet insignia ordered and unifi ed all under the pledge of Federal power, variances in style helped solidify the politics and position of the wearer. The offi cial literature of the period often intensifi ed distinc-tions in male costume, delineating the patriotic subject and implicat-...
4 Fashion Writing
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Clothing has functions so apparent that they become eas-ily dismissed, trivialized, or forgotten. But the same coat that keeps out the elements can also distinguish one’s social class and political affi nities. In postcolonial Argentina, several infl uential writ-ers used the apparent triviality of fashion, or what seemed to be in-nocuous descriptions of clothing and fashion, to import revolutionary ideals. Going far beyond the reporting of innovations in the fashion ...
5 Searching for Female Emancipation
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...“Oh! How heavy these dress jackets are!” said a sweet, whining voice close to Mauricio. And one heard the thump of heavy cloth-delicate body of a woman this crushing astrakhan and the no less It was necessary, it was precise, as Cienfuegos says, to character-ize those ready- made fashion clothiers: Wort, Bowctlaw, and the likes, ...
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A few years into the twenty- first century, a walk in downtown Buenos Aires on a summer afternoon reveals a trend for solidarity- inspired styles.1 The relaxed fashions of today contrast sharply with those of previous decades, when strict codes im-posed clean- cut looks for men and feminine designs (such as skirts and dresses) for women. Very little has been written about the political nature of clothing from this period, although dress was indeed used ...
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...2. Translated by Mary Peabody Mann, this book appeared in 1868 (New York: 3. See Diana Sorensen’s insightful work on Facundo and the Construction of Ar-gentine Culture (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996). She writes, “It is interest-ing to see how national identity can be observed from the vantage point of a clas-sic and its readings, how they constitute a repertory of confl icting interpretations, ...
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About the Author, Further Reading
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Regina A. Root is associate professor of Hispanic studies at the 8 Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean6 Consumers and Citizens: Globalization and Multicultural Confl icts2 Disidentifi cations: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics...
Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2010
Series Title: Cultural Studies of the Americas