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The new 'porno-chic'? Fashion, consumption and film pornography

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This article studies the emerging links between fashion, consumption and film pornography. Drawing on recent work on the 'pornification' of popular culture, it situates its discussion around the ongoing influence of pornography on mainstream consumer culture and the emergence of branded consumer goods from the American pornographic film industry. It considers recent controversy concerning the impact on pornography on the style and appearance of young western women but also develops these ideas around an analysis of both how American pornographic films sell related product such as T-shirts, baseball caps and sweatshirts as well as how the mise-en-scène of these texts is customized in order to accommodate such marketing strategies.

Reference is made to Playboy, Hustler and Vivid Video, but the central case study is an analysis of the role of less-established American production companies such as Anabolic Video in creating and commodifying their products in a range of ways beyond the basic manufacture of hard-core pornographic films. This is located alongside other companies that draw on the transgressive appeal of pornography past and present as a way to differentiate their products (the 'Porn Star' clothing range and the use of soft-core pornographic techniques and hard-core performers in the marketing campaigns of American Apparel).

Keywords: Anabolic Video; Consumption; Fashion; Film Pornography; Hard-core; Playboy; Pornification

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of the Arts

Publication date: 2012-02-09

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  • Film, Fashion & Consumption is a peer-reviewed journal designed to provide an arena for the discussion of research, methods and practice within and between the fields of film, fashion, design, history, art history and heritage. The journal seeks to stimulate ongoing research on these topics and to attract contributions not only from scholars researching in these areas but also from practitioners, who are traditionally excluded from academic debate. The journal thus aims to unite and enlarge a community of researchers and practitioners in film, fashion, consumption and related fields, whilst also introducing a wider audience to new work, particularly to interdisciplinary research which looks at the intersections between film, fashion and consumption.
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