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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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Irene Castle: Ragtime Dance and Fashion Icon: Patricia A. Cunningham

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Irene Castle: Ragtime Dance and Fashion Icon

Patricia A. Cunningham

Abstract

During the decade of the 1910s the most famous dance performers in America were Irene and Vernon Castle. This paper details the rise of The Castles as celebrities and the subsequent impact of Irene as a fashion icon. Often dressed by the English designer Lucile, Irene’s image frequently appeared in–fashion magazines. It was a time when these publications relied on socialites and celebrities to serve as models for the latest styles. Irene’s celebrity status and keen fashion sense allowed her to become a fashion pundit in later years. Although her influence was brief, nonetheless Irene remains a true fashion icon for the age of Ragtime in America.

This paper draws on primary sources that include Irene and Vernon Castle's own writings (Modern Dancing), letters, memoirs, fashion magazines, and related materials from the period as well as a vast range of secondary sources.

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