Between 1937 and 1943 the Romanian blouse plays a more pivotal role than previously acknowledged in Matisse's development of a pictorial sign language. Its embroidered oak leaf motif eventually evolves into an abstract symbol of élan vital that animates the artist's late cutouts. By tracking the Romanian blouse, this thesis offers a counter-narrative to the standard monographic study or formal reading of Matisse’s work. We learn the back story of how the blouse becomes a fashion trend set by Queen Marie of Romania who used her celebrity and national dress to promote the welfare of the Romanian people following WWI. We also see how appropriation turns into misappropriation when fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent’s 1981 collection inspired by Matisse’s images of the blouse introduce a broadly defined ethnic fashion into haute couture.
|Commitee:||Proctor-Tiffany, Mariah, Simms, Matthew|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||European history, Art history|
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