The Mechanical Smile: Modernism and the First Fashion Shows in France and America, 1900-1929

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9780300189537: The Mechanical Smile: Modernism and the First Fashion Shows in France and America, 1900-1929
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In the early 20th century, the desire to see clothing in motion flourished on both sides of the Atlantic: models tangoed, slithered, swaggered, and undulated before customers in couture houses and department stores. The Mechanical Smile traces the history of the earliest fashion shows in France and the United States from their origins in the 1880s to 1929, situating them in the context of modernism and the rationalization of the body. Fashion shows came into being concurrently with film, and this book explores the connections between fashion and early cinema, which arguably functioned as what Walter Benjamin called “new velocities”—forces that altered the rhythms of modern life.

Using significant new archival evidence, The Mechanical Smile shows how so-called “mannequin parades” employed the visual language of modernism to translate business and management methods into visual seduction. Caroline Evans, a leading fashion historian, argues for an expanded definition of modernism as both gestural and performative, drawing on literary and performance theory rather than relying on art and design history. The fashion show, Evans posits, is a singular nodal point where the disparate histories of commerce, modernism, gender, and the body converge.

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Book Description:

A leading fashion historian gives a fascinating account of early fashion shows in France and the United States and how the evolution of these events intersected with emerging forms of popular culture, such as the dance craze, sport and film.

About the Author:

Caroline Evans is professor of fashion history and theory at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, a constituent college of the University of the Arts London, as well as a visiting professor at the Centre for Fashion Studies, Stockholm University.

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Book Description Yale UP, 2013. 1-82. Condition: New. In a richly illustrated study of the early fashion shows in France and America between the 1880s and 1929, Caroline Evans brings ¿economic and design history together in a new formation¿ as she explores topics including fashion and modernism; the innovations of designers such as Worth, Lucile and Poiret; the body and the fashion mannequins (as models were known); the international garment and fashion trade; and commercial and cultural relations between America and France. Seller Inventory # 502009

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the early 20th century, the desire to see clothing in motion flourished on both sides of the Atlantic: models tangoed, slithered, swaggered, and undulated before customers in couture houses and department stores. The Mechanical Smile traces the history of the earliest fashion shows in France and the United States from their origins in the 1880s to 1929, situating them in the context of modernism and the rationalization of the body. Fashion shows came into being concurrently with film, and this book explores the connections between fashion and early cinema, which arguably functioned as what Walter Benjamin called "new velocities"-forces that altered the rhythms of modern ing significant new archival evidence, The Mechanical Smile shows how so-called "mannequin parades" employed the visual language of modernism to translate business and management methods into visual seduction. Caroline Evans, a leading fashion historian, argues for an expanded definition of modernism as both gestural and performative, drawing on literary and performance theory rather than relying on art and design history. The fashion show, Evans posits, is a singular nodal point where the disparate histories of commerce, modernism, gender, and the body converge. Seller Inventory # POW9780300189537

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the early 20th century, the desire to see clothing in motion flourished on both sides of the Atlantic: models tangoed, slithered, swaggered, and undulated before customers in couture houses and department stores. The Mechanical Smile traces the history of the earliest fashion shows in France and the United States from their origins in the 1880s to 1929, situating them in the context of modernism and the rationalization of the body. Fashion shows came into being concurrently with film, and this book explores the connections between fashion and early cinema, which arguably functioned as what Walter Benjamin called "new velocities"-forces that altered the rhythms of modern ing significant new archival evidence, The Mechanical Smile shows how so-called "mannequin parades" employed the visual language of modernism to translate business and management methods into visual seduction. Caroline Evans, a leading fashion historian, argues for an expanded definition of modernism as both gestural and performative, drawing on literary and performance theory rather than relying on art and design history. The fashion show, Evans posits, is a singular nodal point where the disparate histories of commerce, modernism, gender, and the body converge. Seller Inventory # POW9780300189537

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