Journal Article

Clothing the British Olympic Ideal: The Emergence of Olympic Ceremonial Attire, 1896–1924

Geraldine Biddle-Perry

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 25, issue 3, pages 252-267
Published in print August 2012 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/eps017
Clothing the British Olympic Ideal: The Emergence of Olympic Ceremonial Attire, 1896–1924

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The history of sporting clothing has complex inter-connections with the wider fashioning of modern subjectivities. However, this remains an overlooked aspect of sports, leisure and fashion historical studies. This essay looks at the relationship between the constitution of modern Olympic bodies and the allied evolution of new forms of sporting dress from the late nineteenth century. The historical emergence of the modern nation state provides a conceptual framework within which to examine the formative development of British Olympic ceremonial attire from the inception of the modern Olympic movement in 1896, through to the opening ceremony of the Paris Games of 1924. The essay focuses on British male Olympic team members and interrogates how new forms of sporting ceremonial clothing historically functioned to fashion a highly politicized discourse of Olympic sporting nationhood.

Keywords: cultural nationalism; national; identity; sporting dress; ceremonial attire; sporting body ideals; ideology

Journal Article.  8315 words.  Illustrated.

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

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