An intimate affair : women, lingerie, and sexuality by Jill Fields PDF

By Jill Fields

ISBN-10: 0520223691

ISBN-13: 9780520223691

ISBN-10: 0520252616

ISBN-13: 9780520252615

ISBN-10: 0520941136

ISBN-13: 9780520941137

Intimate clothing, a time period in use by way of 1921, has performed a vital function within the improvement of the "naughty yet great" female excellent that emerged within the 20th century. Jill Fields's enticing, inventive, and complex background of twentieth-century underwear excursions the realm of women's intimate clothing and arrives at not anything below a sweeping view of twentieth-century women's heritage through the undergarments they wore. Illustrated all through and drawing on a wealth of proof from model magazines, exchange periodicals, gown artifacts, Hollywood motion pictures, and the documents of geared up hard work, An Intimate Affair is a provocative exam of the methods cultural meanings are orchestrated by means of the "fashion-industrial complex," and the ways that members and teams embody, reject, or derive which means from those daily, but hugely major, intimate articles of clothing.

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Additional info for An intimate affair : women, lingerie, and sexuality

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The material shape and meaning of intimate apparel changed over time and location. Style trends; transformations in gendered, class-based, and racialized understandings of female sexuality and sexual identity; and the full development of mass production and consumption of women’s clothing all contributed to the multiple and sometimes conflicting meanings of undergarments. Thong underwear, for example, is seen as highly sexual, as when it was famously flashed by 1990s White House intern Monica Lewinsky, 14 / INTRODUCTION though this underwear design also provides wearers a measure of desired propriety, if not modesty, by eliminating the visible panty line produced by more expansive styles.

Analysis of illustrations in catalogs and undergarment sets in costume collections suggests that the dual and competing meanings of drawers as both erotic and modest was further articulated at this time by splitting sets into open- and closed-crotch types. Extant undergarment sets and catalog illustrations link the low neckline to the open crotch and the high neckline to the closed. One 34 / DRAWERS catalog page of sets reveals ambivalence about a set’s potential for titillation. 46 Open-drawer sets, including those handmade for bridal trousseaux, further foreground the erotic aspect.

The contrasts between these concurrent iconic images mark the origins of a split in twentiethcentury women’s clothing between the “pretty” and the “practical,” two words that pop up frequently in lingerie advertisements of the twentieth century. Such advertisements attempted to resolve this contradictory choice by acknowledging the difficulties women experienced when selecting garments according to a system of meaning that defined femininity in clothing in opposition to the functional. 41 One can interpret this mix in a number of ways.

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An intimate affair : women, lingerie, and sexuality by Jill Fields


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