• ‘Specimens of Coiffures’: Hair, Fashion, Race and Ethnicity

Cheang, Sarah, 2017, Book Section, ‘Specimens of Coiffures’: Hair, Fashion, Race and Ethnicity Studies in Textiel 5: Haar (Studies in textile 5: Hair). Textielcommissie, Netherlands, pp. 89-103. ISBN 9789082128840

Abstract or Description:

This paper examines representations of hair on the boundaries of ethnography and fashion, to complicate the ways in which hair has functioned as the biological evidence of insurmountable ethnic difference and to explore the potential of fashion cultures to challenge those cultural boundaries. Through examples of ethnographic photography, anthropological collecting and diagrams, fashionable hairstyles such as the bob and the ‘Chinese’ hairstyle, and the global hair trade, late nineteenth and early twentieth century Europeans notions of ‘race’ are problematised through the superficiality and ephemerality so essential to the dynamics of fashion and the plasticity of hair as a material object.

It was developed from a conference paper presented at Hair! Human Hair in Fashion and Textiles, a bi-annual symposium of the Textiel Commissie, Netherlands held at the Centraal Museum, Utrecht, 14 April 2016.

Official URL: https://www.textielcommissie.nl/publicaties/
Subjects: Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic > V370 History of Design
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W230 Clothing/Fashion Design
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2016 15:27
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 11:04
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2523
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