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Celebrity Knitting and the Temporality of Postmodernity

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This article examines the meanings that circulate around the phenomenon of 'celebrity knitting'. I argue that the significations of celebrity knitting in popular culture and media are means through which the acceleration and temporal complexity of everyday life are negotiated. Knitting can be seen as a reaction against the speed and dislocation of global postmodernity, part of an attempt to live differently at a different temporality, and to find meaning and identity in the practices of everyday life. In this way, the contemporary practice of knitting – by both celebrity and 'ordinary' knitters – can also be related to a trend towards practices of mindfulness in daily life (expressed in meditation, yoga and forms of new age spirituality, for example). At the same time, knitting is a means of renegotiating feminine identity by claiming time for the self, without defining femininity outside the domestic domain. In the various meanings of contemporary knitting, then, can be seen a precarious attempt to occupy the present differently.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Fashion Theory takes as its starting point a definition of “fashion” as the cultural construction of the embodied identity. The importance of studying the body as a site for the deployment of discourses has been well established in a number of disciplines. Until Fashion Theorys launch in 1997 the dressed body had suffered from a lack of critical analysis. Increasingly scholars have recognized the cultural significance of self-fashioning, including not only clothing but also such body alterations as tattooing and piercing.

    Fashion Theory provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the rigorous analysis of cultural phenomena. Its peer-reviewed articles range from foot-binding to fashion advertising.

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