Curtain’d in mysteries

An introduction to Gothic fashion

in Fashioning Gothic bodies
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At the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first, both Gothic literature and the history and theory of fashion have achieved increasing prominence within academic discourse. They have been reinstated from marginal disciplines to vital and important areas of intellectual enquiry. The emphasis on the surface in Gothic narratives can also be related to the emergence of the sensibility now known as camp. Judith Halberstam's contribution is most significant in her gesture towards the Gothic body as a kind of patchwork entity, stitched together from fragments and scraps of discourse. The concentration on fashion 'technologies', or 'techniques of fashioning the body' inspired by Michel Foucault's work, has enabled fashion theorists to evade the conventional dichotomies of primitive and civilised, natural and artificial which have plagued the constructions of dress.

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