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This book investigates the functioning of Gothic clothing as a discursive mechanism in the production of Gothic bodies. It presents the debates surrounding the fashion for decolletage during and immediately following the French Revolution, linking these discourses with the exposure of women's bodies in Gothic fiction. The popularisation of the chemise-dress by Marie Antoinette, and the subsequent revival of the classical shift by the women of the Directory, inflected the representation of female Gothic bodies in this period with political rhetoric. The book examines the function of clothing in early to mid-Victorian Gothic. It suggests that the Gothic trappings of veil and disguise take on new resonance in the literature of the period, acquiring a material specificity and an association with discourses of secrecy and madness. The book also investigates a nexus of connections between dandies, female-to-male crossdressing, and monstrosity. It then traces the development of the female doppelganger in the twentieth century, according to the ideologies of femininity implicated in contemporary women's magazines such as Cosmopolitan. In a world where women are encouraged to aspire towards an ideal version of themselves, articulated through fashion and lifestyle choices, the 'single' girl is represented as a problematically double entity in Gothic texts. The book examines the revival of Gothic style in the fashions of the 1990s. Gothic fashion is constantly revisited by the trope of the undead, and is continually undergoing a 'revival', despite the fact that according to popular perception it has never really died in the first place.

An introduction to Gothic fashion

of political liberation, as in much ‘femaleGothic. The diverse strands of thought that have been collectively labelled Romanticism emerged at a similar period to Sontag’s Camp, and Gothic texts often seem situated uneasily between the two. Gothic shares many of the (often conflicting) recurrent themes of Romantic discourses: the evocation of feeling, particularly of terror and the sublime

in Fashioning Gothic bodies
The Gothic body and the politics of décolletage

. This is not an unvarying dynamic, but nevertheless continues as a persistent feature of the form throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The respective focus on the psychology of the villain or the plight of the heroine has led some commentators to divide these texts into ‘male’ and ‘femaleGothic. 1 The female body, however, remains a contested ground in both, the site on which

in Fashioning Gothic bodies