Journal Article

On the Margins: Theorizing the History and Significance of Making and Designing Clothes at Home

CHERYL BUCKLEY

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 11, issue 2, pages 157-171
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/11.2.157
On the Margins: Theorizing the History and Significance of Making and Designing Clothes at Home

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This article examines some of the theoretical questions posed for design historians studying the ways in which working-class women made and designed clothes at home. In particular the article deals with issues relating to feminist histories of design which seek to locate women within a historical narrative as subjects, but which also try to acknowledge the ‘situated’ and ‘specific’ nature of their subjectivity. At the same time the article foregrounds the writer's role in constructing historical accounts which connect with her own identity and experience by drawing on oral sources, individual life histories, memory and family photographs. Dress-making at home provides an excellent focus for such a theoretical exploration because it connects the personal and the political. It is an arena in which mothers, daughters and sisters learn and acquire their feminine identities, and yet it is also a skill which enabled women to redefine their sense of self through design

Keywords: fashion; feminism; home dress-making; home work; women designers; women's history

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

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