This article examines the storytelling practices of a particular community of “below-the-line” practitioners: costume designers. Their stories are often written out of media histories that privilege the testimonies of above-the-line (typically male) professionals. This article provides a corrective to these androcentric accounts of media production. Using material gathered from the Costume Designers Guild's official publication, the Costume Designer (launched in 2005), I apply a gendered lens to the examination of trade stories and argue that the stories costume designers tell can be understood as radical acts of “speaking out” against a neoliberal production culture that attempts to silence them.
Below-the-(Hem)line: Storytelling as Collective Resistance in Costume Design
Helen Warner is a lecturer in cultural politics, communications, and media studies at the University of East Anglia. Her research interests include gender, production culture, fashion, costume, and celebrity culture. She is the author of Fashion on TV (Bloomsbury, 2013) and editor (with Heather Savigny) of The Politics of Being a Woman (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
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Helen Warner; Below-the-(Hem)line: Storytelling as Collective Resistance in Costume Design. Feminist Media Histories 1 January 2018; 4 (1): 37–57. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2018.4.1.37
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