Fashioned from Penury: Dress as Cultural Practice in Colonial Australia

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 30, 1994 - Health & Fitness - 235 pages
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As a history of the cultural practices of dress in Australia rather than an account of fashion, this book examines the meanings encoded in the dress and bodily decoration of convicts, emancipists, town and country dwellers and Aboriginal people. It shows that clothing was central to the ways in which class and status were negotiated and was equally significant for the marking out of sexual differences. It also looks at the impact of the goldfield experience on Australian dress and the nature of local manufacturing and retail outlets. Dress is central to identity and lies at the heart of some long-held myths about the Australian way of life, myths which Margaret Maynard argues need to be re-evaluated. She shows that the colonies did not always slavishly follow British fashion, and that the egalitarian style of dress may have covered up class divisions in society. She also looks at the way in which rural men's bush dress, rather than women's dress, came to be regarded as the only valid sign of being Australian. In the light of current moves towards republicanism, the issue of what constitutes an 'Australian' form of dress is more relevant than ever.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Government and the Social Order
9
Clothing Supplies and Manufacturing
27
Fashion Class and Power
41
Clothing and AboriginalColonial Relations
59
Urban CodesClass and Gender
77
Etiquette and Social Practice
99
Supply and Demand
116
An Australian Distindiveness
137
Bush Dress and the Mythology of the Real Australian
165
Appendixes
183
Bibliography
211
Index
227
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