Uncovered by Fashion: Expression Rather Than Oppression

I feel I need to automatically explain the title of this post. I wanted to think about fashion and fabric from around the world without picking up the covering up function that clothes have mainly been required for. If we take away the obvious weather-related concerns, clothes relate mainly to covering up certain areas, those we wish to keep private, and emphasising others, those we wish to show off. This weird mixture of shame and pride has had a devastating effect on body image for women particularly for generations. I do not want to believe that fashion is, however, completely flawed. Fashion can be art, expression, emotion, cultural and worshipful. Fashion relates to colour, imagination, beauty, and creation in so many great ways that I can’t tear it away from Eve completely. Eve covered herself when she realised she was naked, when she felt the shame related to the Fall and her sin. I wanted to experiment with what fashion across the world might look like without the shame-induced cover-up of the female body. I tried to look at shape and style of the clothing and take parts from it that could be beautiful in themselves, as expression of colour and style. This was obviously difficult but I came up with a series of 18 pictures inspired by photography in a collection gathered by National Geographic. Below you shall find my examples and a little explanation of why they were portrayed in the way they are.

As you can see there is a huge variety, and there is so much more in the world’s diversity. This idea may take a great deal of thought and work in order to gain a balance between the image of Eve and her “fashion sense” as I don’t want the power of her alone to be over-powered. I will be looking at styles of art work in which to show power and personality (possibly including that of graphic novels) as well as the symbolism of clothing within Biblical books, particularly early pieces and those of revelation. If you have any thoughts or feedback I would love to hear it!

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Through The Lens: National Geographic Greatest Photographs, (National Geographic Society, Washington DC, USA, 2003).

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