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Chapter 12 - Surrealist Fashion

from Part II - Developments: Practices/Cultures/Material Forms

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 July 2021

Natalya Lusty
Affiliation:
University of Melbourne
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Summary

This chapter offers an overview of significant surrealist treatments of fashion and style, focusing in particular on the design work of Elsa Schiaparelli as well as on Salvador Dalí’s designs for fabrics, accessories, and department store windows. The chapter examines fashion as a site for the popular translation of surrealist tropes, through advertising, print media, and retail display, and suggests that the precarious cultural positioning of fashion as both art and commerce was deeply related to the long-standing critique of surrealism’s commodification. It further argues that foregrounding fashion in the surrealist archive has implications for understanding the role of women and femininity in surrealism. The visual ubiquity of surrealist tropes in the interwar and the early post–Second World War period ensured that women’s bodies were positioned as expressive agents in close proximity to surrealist tropes, though it thus bound women closely with the movement’s commodification.

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Surrealism , pp. 224 - 239
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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