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La Toilette d'une Femme (2010)

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'La Toilette d'une Femme' is a series I produced in 2010 in which I photographed women getting dressed at their homes. The inspiration for the work is paintings from the 18th and 19th century that represented women dressing. I have reinvigorated this genre by creating portraits of women for whom getting dressed is an important ritual, creative process and statement of their identity.

In some images I appear in the reflection of the mirror. This celebrates the shared ritual of dressing with other women. It also draws attention to the construction of the photographic image, by the photographer and the relationship between model and photographer. Rather than representing a finished look, 'La Toilette d'une Femme' continues my interest in transition and time by representing my subjects in the process of creating a look for the outside world.

As the women compose themselves in the mirror, the expression on their faces and their body language speak variously of joy, anxiety and satisfaction. In a world where we are constantly exposed to images of fashion and semi-naked women, these photographs reveal the reality of women's experience of clothing.

Keywords: Dressing; la toilette; mirrors; model; photographer; time; transformation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-09-08

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  • The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life. As a product of consumption, an intellectual object of inquiry, and as an integral component of the dynamic forces that shape societies. The journal will be receptive to articles which focus on Australasian examples, or broader comparative and theoretical questions viewed through an Australasian lens.
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