Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
British Modernism and Chinoiserie$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Anne Witchard

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748690954

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748690954.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 03 April 2020

Fashion, Chinoiserie and Modernism

Fashion, Chinoiserie and Modernism

Chapter:
(p.133) Chapter 7 Fashion, Chinoiserie and Modernism
Source:
British Modernism and Chinoiserie
Author(s):

Sarah Cheang

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748690954.003.0008

Fashion, chinoiserie and Modernism do not necessarily make easy bedfellows. Fashion’s dynamic of continuous experimentation and renewal can be aligned with Modernism’s agenda of artistic reinvention, self-conscious newness and cultural improvement. Dress and interior design were certainly of interest to Modernist designers, and Chinese culture had a significant influence on British avant-garde literature, theatre and the arts. Yet, fashion’s strong conceptual associations with the feminine, with irrational desire and with Western modernity create a complex picture for expressions of Chineseness, and Chinese design often connoted flights of fancy, locations of private pleasure and an intense nostalgia that is antithetical to the progressive and disruptive anti-traditional stance of interwar Modernism. This chapter examines the impact of fashionable chinoiseries in Britain as a culturally important but as yet under-theorised phenomenon of twentieth-century modernity, an equivalent trend to the negrophilia craze of the 1920s and the Primitivist art movement, a hybrid cosmopolitanism and an imperialist Orientalism. The wearing of Mandarin robes as evening coats, the collecting of jades, the lacquering of dressing tables, and the nurturing of Pekingese lapdogs offer new and stimulating ways to reappraise and shed light on the role of the Orient within British Modernism.

Keywords:   Negrophilia, Primitivism, Orientalism, Fashion, Pekingese dog

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.