In a study of fashion, among the historic and valuable methodologies is interpreting the existing objects since they provide a unique or distinct insight about the historical development of fashion culture. Jules Prown came up with a specific methodology of studying fashion through description, speculation, and deduction. Prown used this methodology to study the fashion of a woman’s dress. In addition, the methodology provides ideological speculations that style is a cultural expression, whereby the descriptions of the surrounding objects are valuable in exhibiting the cultural evidence.
In her article, “A Museum of Fashion is More Than a Clothes-Bag,” Valerie Steel notes three progressive stages that should be used to analyze the objects. The stages include description of the object to unearth the internal evidence for recording, deduction, and speculation. Deduction is the method of interpreting the relationships between the objects and the ones using it. Speculation is formulating various hypothetical questions that help in coming up with external proofs for resolution or testing. As discussed by Steel (1998), the Prown’s approach provides important framework in addressing the issues of studying superficial or figurative objects that are mostly exhibited in the fashion museums. However, this essay aims at demonstrating the methodology discussed by Steel through the analysis of Daenerys blue dress.
The selected dress from an online collection is the Daenerys blue dress that demonstrates the “Game of Thrones” style. The blue costume is made up of the smocking stitch from North America. A metallic thread is also used in combination with blue embroidery threads to make a lock stitch. The blue embroidery is randomly distributed across the whole dress in order to blend and fix the smocked dragon-scale. In addition, the smocked pieces are applied on the shoulders and more down the bust. The model of the dress was inspired by the Deanery’s stylish fashion (Day, 2012).
When wearing the blue dress, one looks fierce but demonstrates a more evolving, growing, and pronounced fashion. The color also demonstrates bold and brave woman in the societal culture. The material of the dress is silk in order to make it soft when wearing due to its tightness. However, the softness exhibits of the dress shows its light-toned mood of the person wearing it. As such, the dress demonstrates the Dothraki customs, language, and their traditional clothing, especially when worn by a person from a foreign culture (Donahue, 2014). Many people are alienated from their culture to the other people’s culture, which is mostly demonstrated by their fashions and style. It could be unique for a person to wear a dress with a unique style from their traditional one. There are possibilities for the people to misunderstand the cultural change through dressing. For instance, when a person wears a gown, the traditional people can misinterpret such fashion to be a rag or something awkward. Instead of establishing other people’s perceptions, the person wearing such a dress feels powerfully changed and walks with courage to hide her miseries. Even though, the evolutionally fashion makes them respectful in time as others becomes aware of the trending styles.
However, the dress discussed in this paper demonstrates a modernized culture, although custom might prohibit its wearing. The dress can be limited for its usage, especially during the hot seasons and only by evolved societies. This is because it is made to expose some human bodies such as throat and to tighten the women’s body. Such exposures are prohibited in some cultural societies since it is against the customs and practices. Another reason is the coldness since a person wears clothes to keep body warm depending with climate. The fashion of the discussed dress can only be worn during hot climates since it can largely expose a person to coldness. As such, wearing the during the cold seasons might cause negative impacts to human health.
The silk material used to make the dress is very soft that would make a person feel cold instead of warming her body, even though it is appropriate during the hot seasons (Snead, 2012). In the cultural diversities, very few customs allow tight dresses, especially the ones that demonstrate the figurative feature of the human body.
The dragon scales made on the top cloth demonstrates the power possessed by that woman. One can speculate that wearing this type of dress is a warning to his husband of supreme powers that one needs. It could be an indication that the woman is on a mission to seek powers. As discussed, the Daenerys blue dress, it is perceived that the color shows a mothering woman. In other words, the dress reversed her to the motherhood stage but her age shows otherwise. Her clothes remind her of the past stages of being a young woman, although the technicalities of age could not let her enjoy it again. In this regards, one would feel very disappointed of being old but it is not possible to reverse the years.
Therefore, fashion can change a person’s physical appearance, as well as psychological traits by changing the way a person is thinking or her thoughts about what others are saying. For example, when an old woman wears the described dress, her perceptions would be of a younger generation. It could change her walking, hair, and talking style, among others in order to fit the fashion of the dress. Moreover, the dress could make a person more energetic but cool woman due to a mix of blue color and the dragon pattern.
In conclusion, the essay has demonstrated the way Prown’s methodological should be applied when describing an object in order to provide the distinctive insights of a fashion. The essay started by describing the blue dress including how it was made, and the materials used. Furthermore, various interpretations have been provided to demonstrate the interactions between the dress and the woman wearing it by giving various perspectives such as wearing at a foreign society or being worn by an aged woman. Finally, the paper has provided different speculations about the dress including the way its soft material could cause negative human condition.
Day, P.K. (February 16, 2012). “‘Game of Thrones’ inspires … a high fashion line?”. Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times). Retrieved August 22, 2014 from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2012/02/game-of-thrones-helmut-lang.html
Donahue, A.T. (2014). Daenerys Targaryen’s Style Evolution: ‘Game Of Thrones” Khaleesi Has Stunning Style. The Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/04/07/daenerys-targaryen-style_n_5105604.html
Snead, E. (June 11, 2012). “‘Game of Thrones’ Designer Michelle Clapton’s Secret Source for Wildling Bones: eBay.” Retrieved August 22, 2014 from http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/fash-track/game-thrones-michelle-clapton-costume- designer-emmy-335607
Steele, V. (1998). A Museum of Fashion Is More Than a Clothes-Bag.Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, 2(4), 327-335.
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