Costume

Of Patriotism, Creepy Clowns, and Halloween

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Creepy clown masks/Getty Images

 

What to wear this Halloween in a cultural climate fraught with anger, anxiety, fear, and suspicion?

Appearances Matter Pt. 2: Halloween

Last week I talked about several recent dress-related contentious situations.  From last summer’s Rachel Dolezal moment to this Halloween’s incendiary costume choices on college campuses, there is no end of examples on social media and in the news to show us just how much appearances matter.  While what we wear and how we look matters in all situations where visual communication is part of the equation, the Halloween context is unique from the everyday.  The example of Rachel Dolezal attempting to pass as African American in he

Review of Costume by Pravina Shukla

Costume: Performing Identities through Dress (Indiana University Press, 2015) by Pravina Shukla Associate Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University Bloomington, examines context-specific costume from around the globe.  Regular Culture Hustler readers will recall that Pravina Shukla refers to dress generally as body art.  In Costume she addresses the dress sub-category of costume.  The book is divided into six chapters: “1 - Festive Spirit,” “2

Terminology is a Drag, or Sometimes a Dress is a Costume

The annual Costume Institute Benefit Gala has come and gone with only the jpg social media detritus to let the great unwashed know what we have missed.  Online photos reveal that few men heeded Anna Wintour’s dress admonition for this to be a white tie affair.  Whether the broad spectrum of men’s dress reflected rebelliousness, ignorance, or a simple lack of concern, we may never know.  More pressing is why the Costume Institute – as of May 8, 2014, the Anna Wintour Costume Center – is so named.  Costume?

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