Season 4

June 24, 2019

Episode 24: Carte Blanche - The Power of Dressing in White

Pristine, pure, powerful, peaceful: the meanings of white are many and various. It should occasion no surprise, then, that dressing in white (and its opposite, black) have long been a popular theme in costumed entertainments. Tracing the history of this …

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June 14, 2019

Episode 23: Going Batty – A Costumed History of Bats

If you were to think of your costumed alter-ego as a creature, it’s unlikely you’d immediately conjure an image of a bat, and yet as this super niche episode demonstrates, bats have long been – and continue to be – …

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June 7, 2019

Episode 22: Fandoms & Self-Fashioning: Into the World of Cosplay

This week, Dress: Fancy speaks with Professor Therèsa M. Winge from Michigan State University to explore the compelling, complicated and challenging world of cosplay. A distinct form of fancy dress, cosplay is unique for enabling people to explore themse

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May 31, 2019

Episode 21: Adolescent Avatars: the power and powerlessness of costum…

Children playing dress-up is age-old and innocent. Or is it? Lucy and Ben go behind the seams to consider if children really do enjoy fancy dress as much the coaxed smiles in family photos suggest. Are these kids really avatars, …

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May 24, 2019

Episode 20: Your Culture, Their Costume? Fancy Dress and Cultural App…

In 2011, Teen Vogue drew attention to harmful consequences of insensitively chosen fancy dress costumes that reduce beliefs, cultures and people to garish stereotypes. In previous episodes of Dress: Fancy, Lucy and Ben have considered the painful conseque

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May 17, 2019

Episode 19: The Campest Christmas Eva!

The pink carpet has been walked and Lucy and Ben reflect on the costume highs and lows of this year’s Met Gala held on 6 May 2019. Were the outfits sufficiently camp? Why is Ben falling out of love with …

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May 10, 2019

Episode 18: Ethereal Excess – Carlos de Beistegui’s Venetian Ball

Described, in all seriousness, as the ‘Ball of the Century’, the Beistegui Ball of 1951 was a fancy dress event like no other: the guest list, the costumes, the late-running pre-party rehearsal – everything was taken to an extreme. But …

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May 3, 2019

Episode 17: Camper Than Christmas? A Preview of the Met Gala Ball

Aside from Halloween, the only other date that gets Lucy and Ben excited is the first Monday in May, when the Metropolitan Museum, New York, hosts its gala ball to raise funds for its Costume Institute. Although not strictly a …

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