In a week from now I will be leaving for this crazy place, with more than 6000 presenters expected. More than 6000…
It is the Annual congress of American Geographers and panels will also include subjects related to Photography. You can browse the online program to find papers or presentations that may interest you.
One of the paper related with photographs, and history, is mine.
The title is “The bride’s veil: dream, fashion, representation and control” and here is the abstract:
For many women, one dress had, and still has, a very special meaning: the wedding dress.
The marriage ceremony builds a very peculiar space, threshold between private and public. The couple stages for the community, that is in a public space, feelings and attitudes usually confined to the private space. Frequently even walking in procession the streets of their hometown.
The bride, in particular, uses her body to show her will to accept her social role as a married female. In this process, dress, along with headdress and make-up, plays a leading role. Through it, the bride embodies a specific image of the wife, and mother, she wants to show her community she will be.
Social and gender expectations, fashion, social and economical situations, but also movies, magazines and even fairy tales, all contribute to create the image of the “ideal bride”. How do women react to this complex of elements, by conforming to or breaking non-written rules? How does this reaction change as times goes by?
Starting from the photographs conserved in Archivio fotografico “Saracchi”(more than 1700 marriages celebrated between 1948 and 1994 in the surroundings of Milan) the paper will analyse changes, and continuity, in the fashion of wedding dress and the meanings attached to it after WWII in Northern Italy. These pictures will be compared with images taken from fashion magazines, illustrated gossip magazines and other media.
The paper will also focus on how this widespread imaginary historically interlaces with social and personal expectations.