Viewing the Emergent City and Its People

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Radical chic: Avant-garde fashion design in the Soviet 1920s

Funky design layouts – I especially like the fabric designs

The Charnel-House

In part, a response to Alana Massey

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Alana Massey recently guest-wrote a short article for The New Inquiry’s beauty blog “The Beheld,” which is usually run by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano. Its title is rather excruciating: “The Party’s girls and party girls: Negotiating beauty in the Soviet Union.” Parts of it are okay, however, the insufferable puns notwithstanding.

What follows is a brief reflection on her piece and some thoughts of my own, concerning one of its major lacunae.

defrag- Varvara Stepanova's sport uniform. defrag- Varvara Stepanova's sport uniformVarvara Stepanova. Students in sports clothing designed by Stepanova. in performance of An Evening of the Book,. 1924. spelling out “intermission” 1Varvara Stepanova. Students in sports clothing designed by Stepanova. in performance of An Evening of the Book,. 1924. spelling out “intermission”

Let’s get a few other minor quibbles out of the way before proceeding to the stronger points Massey makes, though:

  1. First, there’s this tone of casual familiarity to the whole piece that really grates on me, and I could’ve done without the self-indulgent anecdote about getting a bikini wax at Spa Jolie. Could be that I’m just old-fashioned, even slightly prudish. Don’t think so, though.
  2. Beyond that, the Tiqqunesque typologies — the

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