California State University, Northridge WordmarkOviatt Library WordmarkOviatt Library Catalog Wordmark
Author Evans, Caroline, 1954-
Title The mechanical smile : modernism and the first fashion shows in France and America, 1900-1929 / Caroline Evans.
Published New Haven : Yale University Press, [2013]
Book Cover

 Floor4  TT502 .E824 2013    IN LIBRARY
Description 331 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Content Type text
Format volume
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. 306-314) and index.
Contents Introduction -- Prehistory: nineteenth century fashion modelling -- Paris 1900-1914: the rationalization of the body -- 1900-1914: French fashion on the world stage -- America 1900-1917: show business -- 1914-1919: wartime Paris and the nationalization of the body -- 1919-1929: fashion in motion -- Architecture: factories of elegance -- Audiences: the commerce of the look -- Objects: industrial smiles -- Prolepsis: future bodies -- Movement: the mannequin walk -- Flow: the mannequin pose -- Postscript: balancing the books: between the legacy of the fashion show and the inheritance of the mannequin.
Summary In the early 20th century, the desire to see clothing in motion flourished on both sides of the Atlantic: models tangoed, slithered, swaggered, and undulated before customers in couture houses and department stores. The Mechanical Smile traces the history of the earliest fashion shows in France and the United States from their origins in the 1880s to 1929, situating them in the context of modernism and the rationalization of the body. Fashion shows came into being concurrently with film, and this book explores the connections between fashion and early cinema, which arguably functioned as what Walter Benjamin called "new velocities"--forces that altered the rhythms of modern life. Using significant new archival evidence, The Mechanical Smile shows how so-called "mannequin parades" employed the visual language of modernism to translate business and management methods into visual seduction. Caroline Evans, a leading fashion historian, argues for an expanded definition of modernism as both gestural and performative, drawing on literary and performance theory rather than relying on art and design history. The fashion show, Evans posits, is a singular nodal point where the disparate histories of commerce, modernism, gender, and the body converge.
Subject Fashion shows -- France -- History.
Fashion shows -- United States -- History.
Modernism (Aesthetics) -- France.
Modernism (Aesthetics) -- United States.
Models (Persons)
ISBN 0300189532 (alk. paper)
9780300189537 (alk. paper)
OCLC number 809925932