The fabricated man: masculinities and fashion by Peter Allan

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Abstract

It has been asserted that at the end of the 18th century, men surrendered their right to be considered beautiful, becoming austere and ascetic in sartorial expression. Has the male body in fashion been freed from those traditional confines in recent decades? Has it become a canvas for the reclamation of masculine beauty?

It was once said, “Clothes maketh the man”. It may now be said “The ideal body maketh the man” and that clothes accentuate, reveal or conceal the body. The body is fashion. Whilst recent and ongoing changes in masculinities may be interpreted as crisis they have conversely been viewed as indicators of transition and evolution, or tropes of marketing. Polarities have begun to appear in the expression of masculinity in fashion.

Are we seeing an acceptance of diversity or the creation of limited stereotypes? As the rapid redefinition of the male body in fashion becomes global, it becomes imperative for the impact of new and changing male archetypes to be acknowledged and questioned within the loci of menswear design and scholarship.

Year: 2011
Examiners: Professor Dorita Hannah, Professor Peter McNeil, Mr Roger Leong   Supervisors: Professor Sand Helsel, Dr Juliette Peers

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