Anna Hedtjärn Wester has done research into men in suits among three different groups in society a century ago: princes, artists, and hod-carriers. At the turn of the nineteenth century the suit was the latest thing in men’s fashions. Men in suits were regarded as modern.
They may have made a homogeneous impression, but there were nevertheless distinct differences. In her doctoral dissertation Anna Hedtjärn Wester analyses portraits of three groups of men – princes, artists, and hod-carriers, all of whom wore suits but none of whom were bourgeois.
What was signified when these men put on their suits at the turn of the century? Was the suit so univocally bourgeois, as has been purported in previous research, or could it be infused with multiple meanings? These are some of the questions addressed in the dissertation.
The primary source of material she used consists of images of various types: paintings and photographs. These images are seen as staged presentations, and the study of the images focuses not only on the suit – the bodies holding up the clothes are equally important. In other words, it is an investigation of how the style and quality of clothes, together with body posture, gestures, facial expressions, and gaze, could signal masculinity, group membership, and individuality more than a hundred years ago. The significance of superficial variations in the quality, fabric, colour, and form of the costumes is tied together with the men who wore them.
“I was fascinated that there was so much to glean from the material. I found major variations among the men in suits,” says Anna Hedtjärn Wester, who points out that a hod-carrier, for example, with a very meager income could be a dandy – a proletarian dandy.
Research on how these three groups dressed also reveals that they moved in different tension fields. These tension fields were created by historical and social problems with which the men had been forced to cope. For example, tradition versus modernity in the princes’ clothing or body versus intellect for hod-carriers. Artists, who were the group that transcended the boundaries of fashion in their clothing, moved in the tension between boundary-crossing and conformity.
Men’s modes of dressing embody struggles to be included in modern society – on their own terms, according to historian Anna Hedtjärn Wester.
Anna Hedtjärn Wester has been a doctoral candidate at the National Graduate School of History at Södertörn University and Lund University. Dissertation: Men in Suits: Princes, Artists, and Hod-Carriers at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century.Contact: Anna Hedtjärn Wester, email@example.com
Eleonor Björkman | idw
Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College
Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine