The Curve of Modernity
|Authors:||張小虹||Keywords:||時尚;現代性;創傷;恥辱;踐履;表面;雜種;fashion;modernity;trauma;shame;performativity;surface;hybridity||Issue Date:||Sep-2007||Journal Volume:||36||Journal Issue:||3||Start page/Pages:||171-200||Source:||中外文學||Abstract:||
This paper undertakes to explore the historical change of body consciousness in studies of Chinese modernity by analyzing the altering shapes of Chinese women's modern dress from late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century as visual text. Through a cross-cultural interweaving of fashion history and postcolonial theory, it attempts to map out the way in which Chinese modernity is controversially embodied in the “streamlined modern” fashion of women's dress.
In most contemporary studies of Western and Chinese clothing systems, the basic comparative structure involves contrasting “the fit-clothing culture of three-dimensional cutting” of the West with “the loose-clothing culture of two-dimensional cutting” of the East. This discursive structure tends to perpetuate not only the binary system of East/West, straight/curved, loose/fit, two-dimensional/ three-dimensional, which originated from the ideology of “colonial modernity,” but also the implied teleological and evolutionary progress from the traditional straight line to the modern streamline, from the old loose clothing to the new fit clothing, and from surface decoration to form and structure. This paper will challenge exactly this binary pattern of thinking by tracing the historical contingency of “New Dress of Civilization” and the “Qi Pao” to theorize the shaping and shaped curve of Chinese women's modern dress as a dynamic process of cultural transnation-translation-transition and to explore the possibility of taking fashion not merely as one of the subject matters but as the very methodology of modernity.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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