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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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Sisi & Sisters: On Stars and Styles: Michaela Lindinger

Ceremonies & Counter-Ceremonies

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Sisi & Sisters: On Stars and Styles

Michaela Lindinger

Abstract

In my paper I will talk about how Sisi became the icon she is today. During her lifetime, she was respected as the Empress, later as a Mater Dolorosa who wandered in far away lands, black-clad and hiding behind fans and veils. I would like to focus on her methods of creating her famous hairstyles, her dresses, which were far from being accepted aristocratic style and her ideas of being athletic and slim, which were completely against the beauty ideals of the time.

I also find it worth to emphasize that the influential role-models or stars of the late 19th century were not monarchs, but the real fashionable queens of the night, courtesans, mistresses and actresses, so-called women of the Demi-mond. Empresses and Queens tried to copy the style of famous courtesans, not the other way round. Today Dita von Teese says, she is “obsessed with Empress Sisi”. Now that is something Elisabeth would hardly have imagined to achieve.

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