The paper focuses on the slit skirt as a fashionable means of self-expression in the early 1910s. At that time the slit skit was turned into a fashion icon by the dance craze of those years, and particularly tango. It was also the time of spectacular and shocking suffrage movements and women’s emancipation. I consider the slit skirt as worn fashion and, as such, as an object deeply related to vision and to the modernist experience of women’s legs on show. It is in this period that legs became a key manifestation of modernism, inaugurating a discourse that lasted through the entire 20th century. This discourse used visible legs as a positive and self-sufficient category to describe the new feeling of freedom and women’s emancipation. The first part of this paper introduces the slit skirt in its early 20th century historical context; in the second part the analysis of the slit skirt relies on the concept of visuality to investigate the historical and cultural construction of vision. The analysis also takes into account the resurgence of the theory of empathy, with its capacity to reassert the value of emotions and their transmission.

The Slit Skirt. Fashion and Empathy in the Tango Era

VACCARI, ALESSANDRA
2012

Abstract

The paper focuses on the slit skirt as a fashionable means of self-expression in the early 1910s. At that time the slit skit was turned into a fashion icon by the dance craze of those years, and particularly tango. It was also the time of spectacular and shocking suffrage movements and women’s emancipation. I consider the slit skirt as worn fashion and, as such, as an object deeply related to vision and to the modernist experience of women’s legs on show. It is in this period that legs became a key manifestation of modernism, inaugurating a discourse that lasted through the entire 20th century. This discourse used visible legs as a positive and self-sufficient category to describe the new feeling of freedom and women’s emancipation. The first part of this paper introduces the slit skirt in its early 20th century historical context; in the second part the analysis of the slit skirt relies on the concept of visuality to investigate the historical and cultural construction of vision. The analysis also takes into account the resurgence of the theory of empathy, with its capacity to reassert the value of emotions and their transmission.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11578/93501
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