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The Clothed Body
Dress is everywhere imbued with symbols that reflect different meanings in different contexts. This compelling book convincingly demonstrates how clothing is analogous to a working language and is similarly underpinned by deeper meanings and philosop hies. From tattoos and mini-skirts, to skin decoration, makeup and hair, Calefato unpicks the multiple functions of modern dress. Exploring intriguing commonalities - for example, between tattooed Egyptian mummies of 2000 BC and modern subcultural st yles - Calefato considers the psychological, cultural, spiritual and symbolic significances at play in what she aptly labels 'body cartography'. What we wear is a vehicle for the (often contentious) expression of politics, gender and identity, placin g clothing at the root of a complex set of messages, many of which are paradoxical. Clothing may, for example, liberate through the pleasures of masquerade and at the same time 'cage' or control the body. The Clothed Body shows how semiotics can prov ide a convincing template for understanding dress in a wide range of contexts and will be essential reading for anyone interested in the meaning of what we wear.
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