Undressing Kellerman, uncovering Broadhurst: The modern woman and 'Un-Australia'

Tay, Jinna and Schmidt, Christine (2009) Undressing Kellerman, uncovering Broadhurst: The modern woman and 'Un-Australia'. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, 13 4: 481-498. doi:10.2752/175174109X467495

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Author Tay, Jinna
Schmidt, Christine
Title Undressing Kellerman, uncovering Broadhurst: The modern woman and 'Un-Australia'
Journal name Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1362-704X
Publication date 2009-12
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2752/175174109X467495
Volume 13
Issue 4
Start page 481
End page 498
Total pages 18
Editor Valerie Steele
Place of publication London
Publisher Berg
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
950204 The Media
200299 Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified
Abstract This article explores the contributions of two unique Australian women, Annette Kellerman and Florence Broadhurst, to global fashion and aesthetics through subverting and challenging female gender roles of the early twentieth century. These two women are brought together here as a means of highlighting their markedly contrasting social tactics: undressing versus layering. Kellerman's body became an instrument in her quest for global fame, engaging in daring public “undress” in swimming and diving performances around the world that served to showcase her innovative swimwear design. In contrast, Broadhurst, through repeated reconstructions of her persona and constant relayering of identities, concocted versions of herself in order to pass through Shanghai, London, and Sydney societies. Their lives exist as binaristic parallels, expressing contrasting values of: un-Australianness—the disavowal of national identity; and Australianness—the promotion of national identity. Both Broadhurst and Kellerman tested the limits of body, dress, and national identity as vehicles for global recognition. The recent interest in their historical roles is evidenced in the films The Original Mermaid (2004) and Unfolding Florence (2005) in addition to numerous books and journal articles. Despite this resurgent public recognition of their lives and achievements, scholarly analysis of their legacies in the fields of fashion and design are still relatively neglected. This article explores their contributions to celebrity and modernity, fashion and gender as modern un-Australian women.
Keyword modern woman
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies Publications
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Created: Fri, 09 Apr 2010, 12:15:20 EST by Fergus Grealy on behalf of Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies