Suits and subcultures: costuming and masculinities in the films of Pedro Almodóvar

Gilligan, Sarah and Collins, Jacky (2019) Suits and subcultures: costuming and masculinities in the films of Pedro Almodóvar. Film, Fashion & Consumption, 8 (2). pp. 147-169. ISSN 2044-2823

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1386/ffc_00004_1

Abstract

This article combines an analysis of the fabrics, surfaces and styles chosen to dress Pedro Almodóvar’s male characters with an exploration of how those codes might be read with respect to the specific and significant shifting historical contexts of 1980s and 1990s Spanish society. Through focusing our interdisciplinary analysis upon Labyrinth of Passions (Almodóvar, 1982) and The Flower of My Secret (Almodóvar, 1995), we will identify the multifarious ways in which the male subject mirrors societal and cultural trends in a rapidly changing Spain during the years following the country’s emergence from isolation after the Franco years, its subsequent return to democracy and the emergence of a high-living, fashionable cosmopolitanism. In examining the tensions that emerge between pairings of key male figures in the Spanish director’s work, we will pay particular attention to their costuming as central to the construction and performance of masculine identities. We will argue that in the films under examination, a series of binary oppositions are offered in which the suited male (whether a doctor or a military general) is self-consciously contrasted with representations that connote shifting bohemian, subcultural (or ‘alternative’) identities that destabilize and reconfigure the construction and performance of masculine identities and their more ‘traditional’ counterparts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pedro Almodóvar, Spain, la movida madrileña, cinema, masculinities, costuming, fashion
Subjects: P300 Media studies
W600 Cinematics and Photography
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2019 12:05
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2019 14:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40555

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