Term Paper: Fashioning Gothic Body

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¶ … Gothic and fashion, as well as the impact of Gothic on fashion, during the 18th century, most notably towards the end of the century and into the beginning of the 19th century. It is interesting to note that the common denominator of the two is the flesh or rather the revealing of the flash. Indeed, at this point, the Gothic novel and culture seems to be focused on the female body and flesh as a concentration of ideas and writings, be it in the way that women are revealing their body or the way they are spied upon, for example, during their bath.

This seems to be the case in fashion during these times as well. The chapter describes the evolution of the dress and clothing during the 18th century and comes to the conclusion that clothing seems to follow a renouncing trend, with the corset slowly, but gradually being removed from the everyday clothing and the preference switching to lighter, more slender clothes. It also means more revealing clothes, despite the fact that the use of a corset encouraged a generous cleavage.

In the period immediately after the French Revolution, a period known in history as the Directorate, the trend continued same revealing manner, but with different means. This time transparency of the clothing was used as an instrument of displaying form and flesh. This also shows the new emphasis on showing the line of the body and a more naturalist view.

The veil is very important in revealing this tendency towards showing the natural perspective of the body and chapter 2 shows the correlation between the veil and the usual Gothic characteristics of fashion. As such, the veil is not only the transparent interlude between the eye and the flesh, it is in fact more the object of inquiry in itself. In a way, it substitutes the flash itself. In Gothic style, the pureness of the body and flesh is covered by the Gothic of the cloth or material covering it, in this case, the veil or transparent mean itself.

On the other hand, the chapter continues to show that after 1789, the Gothic seems to pass from the material covering a body to those who uncover the body, as the body itself shifts in meaning from being a natural object of desire to being a moral object that needs to be hidden. Exposure becomes shameful,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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