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Dangerous Designs : Asian Women Fashion the Diaspora Economies - Parminder Bhachu

Dangerous Designs

Asian Women Fashion the Diaspora Economies

Hardcover Published: 23rd October 2003
ISBN: 9780415072205
Number Of Pages: 208

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In late-1990s Britain, the salwaar-kameez or 'Punjabi suit' emerged as a high-fashion garment. Popular both on the catwalk and on the street, it made front-page news when worn by Diana, Princess of Wales and by Cherie Booth, the wife of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
In her ethnography of the local and global design economies established by Asian women fashion entrepreneurs, Parminder Bhachu focuses on the transformation of the salwaar-kameez from negatively coded 'ethnic clothing' to a global garment fashionable both on the margins and in the mainstream. Exploring the design and sewing businesses, shops and street fashions in which this revolution has taken place, she shows how the salwaar-kameez is today at the heart of new economic micro-markets which themselves represent complex, powerfully coded means of cultural dialogue and racial politics. The innovative designs of second-generation British Asian women are drawn from characteristically improvisational migrant cultural codes. Through their hybrid designs and creation of new aesthetics, these women cross cultural boundaries, battling with racism and redefining both Asian and British identities. At the same time, their border-crossing commercial entrepreneurship produces new diaspora economies which give them control over many economic, aesthetic, cultural and technological resources. In this way, the processes of global capitalism are gendered, racialized and localized through the interventions of diasporic women from the margins.

Industry Reviews

'Parminder Bhachu is the most authentic and imaginative intellectual of the diaspora that I have come across. Parminder is on the cutting edge - a sophisticated analyzer of multilayered identities and cultural locations . . . and wears great salwar-kameezes too.' - Gurinder Chadha, Director of Bend it Like Beckham, Bhaji on the Beach and What's Cooking

'Simply put, this is must read for any Asian Woman reader ... Buy this book!'

' ...shows how the hardware of transnational networks enables competing discourses of fashion to project conflicting visions of modernity onto a global scale.' - Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

List of illustrations
Introductionp. 1
Travels of the suitp. 9
Cultural narratives of the suitp. 11
Ethnicized consumptionp. 25
Design narrativesp. 37
Pioneering fashion entrepreneur: Geeta Sarinp. 41
Second-generation design globalizer: Bubby Mahilp. 56
Selling the nation: revivalist Indian designer Ritu Kumarp. 68
Selling art clothes in classed marketsp. 83
Conclusion: national elites versus diaspora design entrepreneursp. 93
Suit marketersp. 99
Daminis: a commercial community mama's shopsp. 103
Networking marketers of ready-made suitsp. 115
Sewing cultures: sketching and designingp. 131
Diasporic sina-prona: sewing and patterning culturesp. 134
Designing diasporas through sketchesp. 142
Conclusion: disruptive markets from the marginsp. 169
Glossaryp. 174
Notesp. 176
Bibliographyp. 185
Indexp. 190
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415072205
ISBN-10: 0415072204
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 23rd October 2003
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.08 x 16.2  x 2.08
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 1