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The Contemporary Significance of 'Pauperist' Style


Negrin, L, The Contemporary Significance of 'Pauperist' Style, Theory, Culture and Society, 32, (7-8) pp. 197-213. ISSN 0263-2764 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/0263276414536235


A prominent feature of contemporary fashion has been the mainstreaming of ‘pauperist’ style in which motifs of poverty such as worn materials and frayed hems are deliberately sought after as a new form of glamour. What began as an act of rebellion amongst youth subcultures of the 1960s and ’70s has now become a widespread phenomenon. As will be argued in this paper, poverty chic has become a new form of status distinction that disavows its extravagance. Whereas in the past, superior social status was often indicated through ostentatious dress, now a ‘humbler’ sartorial style is preferred in an era marked by financial, political and environmental crises. The popularity of pauperist style today lies in the fact that it assuages the anxieties provoked by these crises through its conversion of poverty into an aesthetic style.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Art history, theory and criticism
Research Field:Visual cultures
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Negrin, L (Dr Llewellyn Negrin)
ID Code:98961
Year Published:2015 (online first 2014)
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2015-03-10
Last Modified:2017-12-14

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