Fashion, Masculinity & Stigma in Contemporary Britain
The LCF Cultural & Historical Studies Research Hub presents: Fashion, Masculinity & Stigma in Contemporary Britain - Charlie Athill in Conversation with Jay McCauley Bowstead
Charlie Athill is a researcher and lecturer in Cultural and Historical Studies at LCF. As part of this conversation, Charlie will explore attitudes in the United Kingdom towards male adornment in dress, grooming and lifestyle choices, and in relation to concepts and accusations of pretentiousness. Taking the recent and broadly defined phenomenon, the ‘hipster’, as a case study, he will analyse discourse in the last decade from a range of media that feature hipsterism. Nearly all media coverage of hipsters has focused on men, reflecting gendered cultural prejudices about a style that requires a certain level of cultivation. Charlie will consider how and why hipsterism is, overall, represented pejoratively and how parody conveys a cultural distaste, which, he contends, masks anxieties about the subversion of norms relating to gender and class.
Jay McCauley Bowstead is a researcher and associate lecturer in Cultural and Historical Studies at LCF. His current research focuses on the construction of masculinities in contemporary menswear. His published work includes the article 'Hedi Slimane and the Reinvention of Menswear', which was published by Critical Studies in Men's Fashion in 2015, a forthcoming co-authored chapter for a text entitled Teaching Fashion Studies, and a book focusing on art and design portfolios published in 2011. He is currently working on a monograph for Bloomsbury Academic with the working title The Menswear Revolution. In this conversation, Jay will draw attention to the role of hipster discourses in policing masculinity while situating hipsterism within the historical context of shifting male subjectivities. In this way Jay makes the case for the hipster as a primary locus of anxiety provoked by the increasing spectacularisation of male identity in the twenty-first century.