Styling Blokes and Bros: Representations of Fashion, Masculinities and ‘the Nation’ in the 2012 Fashion Spreads of American and British GQ Magazines
This thesis explores the interconnectedness of fashion, masculinities and ‘the nation’ as they are represented in the 2012 editions of American and British GQ magazines. Focusing on the highly stylized editorial fashion photo-spreads, representations of the American GQ man and the British GQ man are examined to propose how fashion, masculinities and ‘the nation’ are produced in these two national editions.
Context and background
This thesis contributes to literature on fashion, masculinities and ‘the nation’ and provides a greater understanding of the co-construction of these three subject positions within a contemporary men’s lifestyle magazine, in particular through an original comparative approach. The study of masculinities is a large and diverse field; however, scholarship within this genre of research incorporating fashion remains a niche area of interest. While authors have explored the relationship between masculinities and fashion consumption (Breward 1999; Edwards 1997, 2009; Mort 1996) and sub-culture (Cole 2000; Hebdige 2006 ), research that explores the relationship between fashion, masculinities and representation is little explored (Jobling 1999, 2005; Nixon 1996, 1997 ).
There is growing scholarship contributing to the association between fashion and ‘the nation’, such as Goodrum (2005) and Arnold (2009), who claim that fashion and its representations are integral to cultural constructions of ‘Americanness’ and ‘Britishness’ at home and abroad. Only within the last decade have comparative studies of fashion as written and/or represented in various national and regional contexts developed as a subject of inquiry (Gauntlett 2008; Machin and Thornborrow 2003; Machin and van Leeuwen 2005; Moeran 2010; Rocamora 2001).
Consequently, using content, discourse and comparative analyses, this project explores the co-construction of fashion, masculinities and ‘the nation’ in editorial photo-spreads of contemporary American and British GQ magazines. By exploring these objects of discourse within each edition and then comparing them, it highlights the importance of magazines as cultural products for the on-going production of social norms, and therefore, as significant sources for the continuation of textual scholarship.
Outputs and activities
- Roman, M. (2012) ‘Styling Blokes and Bros: Fashion, Masculinities and Magazine Cultures at American and British GQs’ in Lifter, R. (ed.) Working Papers in Fashion Studies 2. London: London College of Fashion.
- ‘Doing Time and Space: Contextualizing Fashion, Masculinities and ‘The Nation’ Through Spatial-Temporal Constructions in the 2012 Fashion Spreads of American and British GQMagazines.’ PCA/ACA National Conference, Chicago, USA, April 2014
- ‘Blokes and Bros: Exploring Presences and Absences in the Fashion Spreads of American and British GQ Magazines.’ Gender, Race, and Representation in Magazines and New Media, Cornell University, USA, October 2013
- Co-organiser of Fashion and Re-collection: a postgraduate symposium, London College of Fashion, January 2013
- Coordinator of LCF Student Research Hub, 2013-2014
- LCF Postgraduate Student Representative, 2013