New issue of Film, Fashion & Consumption 5.2

Intellect is delighted to announce the release of Film, Fashion & Consumption 5.2.


For more information about this issue, click here or email


Articles in this issue include (partial list):


Postfeminist ‘Islamophobia’: The Middle East is so 1980s in Sex and the City: The Movie 2

Authors: Niall Richardson

Page Start: 165


This article analyses how Sex and the City: The Movie 2 (King, 2010) represents a binary between style that is coded as ‘vintage’ and, therefore, desirable, and style that is depicted as ‘dated’ and identified as bad taste. Although this has been a dominant motif in both the Sex and the City series and first film (King, 2008), Sex and the City: The Movie 2 maps this distinction onto a West/Middle East binary. While everything Western (or, more precisely, everything NYC) is represented as stylish, the Middle East (and here it is Abu Dhabi that stands in for the Middle East) is depicted as dated and, the film suggests, trapped in the decade of the 1980s. Sex and the City: The Movie 2 develops many of the prejudices found in contemporary Western representations of the Middle East but articulates these through the motifs of fashion, consumerism and female sexuality. The article proposes that what is most offensive about Sex and the City: The Movie 2 is that it conflates all the social, cultural, political and, most importantly, religious differences that exist between secular New York and Muslim Abu Dhabi and reduces all of these issues to a simple question of style and knowing consumerism.


Barbarella’s wardrobe: Exploring Jacques Fonteray’s intergalactic runway

Authors: Elizabteth Castaldo Lundén

Page Start: 185


Roger Vadim’s Barbarella (1968) looms large in popular culture. Disguised under its sartorial splendour, the film’s narrative clearly negotiates social anxieties of the late 1960s. Similarly, the production design of the film incorporates contemporary elements from art, architecture and fashion. Arguably, these elements of style have played a key role in catapulting the film to its cult status. Franco-Spanish designer Paco Rabanne is frequently, albeit erroneously, credited for the creation of Jane Fonda’s on-screen parade of highly stylized costumes in the film. In fact, the man responsible for creating fashion in the diegetic year 40,000 was French costume designer Jacques Fonteray. Rabanne’s involvement in the film was limited to the creation of one costume. Based on archival research conducted in France and the United States of America, this article explores the role of Jacques Fonteray in the creation of the film’s costumes while simultaneously debunking the popular misconception regarding Paco Rabanne’s influence on the film’s overall aesthetics.



Ambivalence and the ‘American Dream’ on RuPaul’s Drag Race

Authors: Lori Hall-Araujo

Page Start: 233


This essay proposes that reality television show RuPaul’s Drag Race (2009–present) simultaneously participates in a highly commercial medium while commenting on, critiquing and parodying consumer culture. Drag Race, like other drag or female impersonation competitions, engages dress and performance to parody a range of normative social categories such as gender and sexuality. Yet the show differs from other drag competitions like those featured in US documentaries The Queen (Simon, 1968) and Paris is Burning (Livingston, 1990) in its ambivalent and lucrative engagement with consumer culture. In so doing, RuPaul’s Drag Race manages to parody the so-called American Dream while encouraging its pursuit.
In the spirit of Film, Fashion & Consumption’s ‘Short Cuts’ section, which encourages short analyses of timely topics, this piece aims to spark discussion across disciplines.

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