Fashion as Masquerade focuses on issues of power, social positioning, ideologies, and practices within the web of relationships between creators, producers, practitioners, and end users of fashion. Masking has a rich history, but it is also a metaphor for fashion itself. Fashion is a mask that constructs or subverts meanings. Exploring the contemporary meanings of masks, masking, and masquerade, essays here consider masking in its various forms as a conscious or unconscious form of behavior. Masking is revealed as a strategy for reclaiming control over the construction of meanings, and creating a space for resistance that is independent of either social prescriptions or the controlling gaze.
Efrat Tseelon is editor in chief of the journal Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty. Laini Burton is a lecturer at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Australia. Diana Crane is the author of several books, including Fashion and Its Social Agendas, published by the University of Chicago Press.