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Fashionable Queens

Body – Power – Gender

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Edited By Eva Flicker and Monika Seidl

The essays collected in this book provide profound insights into the wide-ranging topic of the fashionable queen: the manifold implications and effects that the combination of body, power and gender can have are examined by using different approaches and a variety of theoretical frameworks. By addressing queenly appearances in the past and the present, in politics and the media, in royalty and the middle-classes, in the arts and in popular culture, this book offers a new way of thinking of publically significant women, who exert, and at the same time subvert, their power through their attires and thereby negotiate notions of gender, class, power and media representation.
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The Queen Stripped Bare: Louise of Prussia, Nudity, Fashion, and Political Iconography: Katharina Sykora

Louise Now!

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The Queen Stripped Bare: Louise of Prussia, Nudity, Fashion, and Political Iconography

Katharina Sykora

Abstract

Around 1800 Louise of Prussia tried to personify the paradoxical values of democratic monarchy, aristocratic bourgeoisie, a European-German nation, and natural motherhood under the auspices of dynastic hegemony. Seeing through the Queen’s clothes allows us to de-naturalize and rehistoricize eternal Louise of Prussia. The production of her iconic features becomes evident by relating it to counter images of the time which use the sexual language invested into the discourse of nudity fashion and the militaristic meaning of her parade uniform to turn her into a sexually as well as politically dangerous figure. However, the aspect of antiquity in the fashion à la grèque was able to generate the iconography of Louise as Olympic heroine and recreated her as Prussian Madonna after her early death. This culminated in two German films on Louise’s life, one from 1931 and one from 1957, in which the question of dress becomes highly political1.



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