Fashion as Masquerade focuses on issues of power, social positioning, ideologies, and practices within the web of relationships between creators, producers, practitioners, and end users of fashion. Masking has a rich history but it is also a metaphor for fashion itself. Fashion is a mask that constructs or subverts meanings. To construct meanings it needs control over what people can wear, and over the gaze that interprets the meanings of what they wear. Exploring the contemporary meanings of masks, masking, and masquerade, essays here consider masking in its various forms as a conscious or unconscious form of behavior. Masking is revealed as a strategy for reclaiming control over the construction of meanings and creating a space for resistance that is independent of either social prescriptions or the controlling gaze. Taking as its subject a fasciting area of fashion rarely explored from an academic standpoint, Fashion as Masquerade will be useful to scholars of fashion, design, theatre, and culture.
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