Catwalking the city: the pleasures and politics of fashioning the metropolis

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The representational economy of the modern city has often been gendered male. This chapter examines the representation of women in the city through fashion media from the early 1900s to the present, as both spectacle and self-apprehended image. In doing so, I reveal an alternate history of the city, where women’s relationship to the architecture and streetscapes of the urban environment are presented as sites of emancipation, autonomy, and self-affirming action. In paying attention to how fashion images contribute to women’s imaginaries of the city—through narratives of marching, walking, striding, and dancing—I argue that a set of cosmopolitan female performative roles emerge that lay challenge to the ubiquity of heroic male types of the modern metropolis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContentious Cities
Subtitle of host publicationDesign and the Gendered Production of Space
Place of PublicationOxon, UK
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003056065
ISBN (Print)9780367520199
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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