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An intergenerational examination of Vogue fashion advertisements

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With three participants of different generations, I examine the world of fashion advertising and suggest how teaching can promote new understandings about fashion and identity. Intergenerational analysis of an issue of Vogue magazine revealed what we might call snob appeal, escapist themes, and unrealistic and unflattering images. Analysis also uncovered preferences for dynamic poses, the basic black swimsuit, classical hats, and revealed conservative middle-class similarities in tastes among participants. Vogue may cater for younger single women, but it also appeals to the middle-class, Caucasian imagination and male sensuality and has not yet embraced class, gender and cultural differences. Much of what appears is a fictionalized, romantic view. This study problematizes related socio-political issues, such as semiotic differences, the economics and politics of identity, global tourism, and national image versus global homogeneity. Art teachers need to discuss the uses and abuses of the advertisement world with students of different generations and contexts.

Keywords: disguise; fashion; identity; intergenerational difference; semiotic

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Arizona State University.

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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