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Fashioning Bollywood: The Making and Meaning of Hindi Film Costume [Paperback]

Clare M. Wilkinson-Weber

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Book Description

19 Dec 2013
The Hindi film industry, among the most prolific in the world, has delighted audiences for decades with its colourful, exquisite and sometimes startling costumes. But are costumes more than just a source of pleasure? This book, the first in-depth exploration of Hindi film costume, contends that they are a unique source of knowledge about issues ranging from Indian taste and fashion to questions of identity, gender and work.

Anthropological and film studies approaches combine to analyze costume as the outcome of production processes and as a cinematic device for conveying meaning. Chapters lead from the places where costume is planned and executed to detailed analyses of men and women's costumes, to the imagining of historical or fantasy worlds through clothes, to the power of stardom to launch clothing styles into the public domain. As well as charting the course of film costume as it parallels important trends in cultural history, the book considers the future of Hindi film costume, in the context of new strains of filmmaking that stress unvarnished realism.

Fashioning Bollywood will appeal to students and scholars of Indian culture, anthropology and fashion, as well as anyone who has seen and enjoyed Hindi films.


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In its discussion of how film costumes are not simply the tangible outcome of a designer's imagination, but of material and ideological practices that implicate a range of social actors, Fashioning Bollywood takes the study of costume outside the narrow realm of text and narrative, providing a rich material culture perspective of the changes wrought in Hindi filmmaking. -- Tejaswini Ganti, Associate Professor of Anthropology, New York University, USA Wilkinson-Weber deftly connects the Bollywood costume world of film and fashion, unraveling a complex system of stars, designers, dressmen, and costume assistants. Although dealing with specifics, her theoretical analysis asks the reader to think beyond Bollywood to recognize that in film and theater across the world "costume is instrumental in crystallizing character." -- Joanne B. Eicher, Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion and Regents Professor Emerita, University of Minnesota, USA

About the Author

Clare M. Wilkinson-Weber is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Washington State University, Vancouver, Canada.

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