The Kodak Ensemble: Fashion, Images and Materiality in 1920s America

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Abstract

Walter Dorwin Teague’s design for the casing of the 1928 Kodak Ensemble brought together the latest camera technology with contemporary fashion. Shaped like a clutch bag, when opened the case contained not just a camera, but also a compact, lipstick, and mirror. Available in different colors and marketed to women, it represented connections between looking, seeing, being, and wearing, which expose shifts in 1920s modernity and femininity. This article analyzes the Kodak Ensemble, as a starting point for examining interrelationships between women, fashion, and photography, and between optic and haptic, and visual and material experience of dress, cameras, and photographs during a key period in the development of amateur photography and ready-made fashion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFashion Theory - Journal of Dress Body and Culture
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2019

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photography
amateur
femininity
modernity
experience
1920s
Fashion Images
Materiality
Ensemble

Cite this

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title = "The Kodak Ensemble: Fashion, Images and Materiality in 1920s America",
abstract = "Walter Dorwin Teague’s design for the casing of the 1928 Kodak Ensemble brought together the latest camera technology with contemporary fashion. Shaped like a clutch bag, when opened the case contained not just a camera, but also a compact, lipstick, and mirror. Available in different colors and marketed to women, it represented connections between looking, seeing, being, and wearing, which expose shifts in 1920s modernity and femininity. This article analyzes the Kodak Ensemble, as a starting point for examining interrelationships between women, fashion, and photography, and between optic and haptic, and visual and material experience of dress, cameras, and photographs during a key period in the development of amateur photography and ready-made fashion.",
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