Fashion's 'origins': the Middle Ages and Renaissance

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The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives, 2010, 1, pp. 19 - 24
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The idea that dress has the power \to express', that is to say that what we wear conveys meaning regarding who we are in terms of gender and class, but also who we are in terms of cultural attributes, education and taste, is something that is relentlessly repeated in nearly all texts on fashion. The semiotic power of clothing, that is to say its capacity to convey messages that go beyond the very materiality of the fabric of which it is made, is a complex subject as it entails the idea that people use material things to create their own personalities and interact with other people. The picture gets even more complicated when you think that is is improbable, although not statistically impossible, to meet someone who is dressed exactly like yourself.
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