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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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Fashion Queen Barbie: Gertrud Lehnert

Barbie, Then and Now

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Fashion Queen Barbie1

Gertrud Lehnert

Abstract

From her first emergence in the middle of the 1960s till today, the Barbie doll has played a prominent role in the lives of generations of young girls as well as of adult collectors. Changing from an elegant, arrogant look to a frozen grin, from a young lady with extremely well made fine clothes and accessories to a young girl wearing badly-made leisure clothes, from a luxury object to a cheap mass product, the doll can be regarded as the materialization of the fashion cycle and –aged more than 50 years – still as a fashion queen. She reflects fundamental changes not only of the fashion world, but also of corresponding life styles which, in turn, can be understood as consumer styles.

The essay Barbies analyses function at the core of the fashion system, including self fashioning as a process between imitation and the quest for originality, or the spatiality of the fashionable body or, of course, gender matters.

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