Transnational celebrity and the fashion icon: The case of Tilda Swinton, ‘visual performance artist at large’

European Journal of Women's Studies 23 (4):401-414 (2016)
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Tilda Swinton’s status as a fashion icon exemplifies the contradictory functions that Walter Benjamin attributes to fashion as both exemplifying commodity fetishism and expressing a utopian ‘image wish’. This vexed relationship with fashion inflects Swinton’s cinematic performances, enhanced by her emphasis on disguise and transformation that calls into question the nature of identity and its authenticity. Her persona speaks to the fluid and fragmented dimensions of contemporary European identities, which are rooted, but also cross borders, national and otherwise; similarly, her public presence testifies to the way that contemporary culture has generated new forms of celebrity as a means of representing identities in which the negotiation of gender is a significant component.



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The Arcades Project.Walter Benjamin, Howard Eiland & Kevin Mclaughlin - 1999 - Science and Society 65 (2):243-246.

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