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by Archaeology Newsroom

The theory of dress

Roland Barthes speaks of dress or fashion as being a social mechanism. Is there such a thing as a formal, structured “language” of dress, is one of the questions asked. Also how does psychoanalysis look on such things as the sense of shame that goes with nudity, our submission to the “urgent commands” of fashion and how clothes are identified with our social image. Could transvestism or drag shows be a way of ultimately enforcing the social code of sexual identity behind dress? What is the connection between colonialism and Mahatma Gandhi’s khadi loincloth? How did the hats worn by nomads become a source of inspiration to Joseph Beuys? Can one find traces of an identity in the present Paris fashions? And finally, are men allowed to wear earrings in church?