Moon: A sensuous scholarship of the art of costume breakdown in film

Harriet Parry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cloth has a particular relationship with the human body. It is always in contact with, or imagined to be in contact with, the skin, our largest sense organ. Cloth is our interface with the outside world, and the way in which we cover that interface has meaning. The important relationship that we have with cloth to protect and augment our bodies performs as a prosthesis of touch that, in its everydayness, offers a constant opportunity for expression and fetishization within the various discourses of identity in art, fashion and lifestyle. This article aims to explore the way in which cloth as costume in the medium of film, having been 'broken down' to naturalize the piece to its setting, stimulates an embodied relationship between the audience, the actor and the film itself. Following Laura Marks and her theories on visual haptics, the piece is a sensuous scholarship of an-often overlooked and under-researched textile art whose effect, the article argues, is that of reinstating the 'aura' that Walter Benjamin stated is lost by the mechanical intervention of the movie camera.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-103
Number of pages15
JournalFilm, Fashion and Consumption
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • phenomenology
  • costume
  • haptic visuality
  • aura
  • sensuous scholarship
  • rubrics
  • folds
  • breakdown


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