Costume, Volume 46, Number 2, 2012
Aquadynamics and the Athletocracy: Jennie Fletcher and the British Women's 4×100 metre Freestyle Relay Team at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games
This article considers the part played by aquadynamics, or a concern for the technical properties of swimming costumes, in the career of Jennie Fletcher (1890‐1968) who won Britain’s first individual Olympic female swimming medal (bronze) at the Stockholm Olympic Games in 1912 and contributed to the first women’s team gold in the 4×100 metre Freestyle Relay. Her light silk one-piece racing swimsuit represented a new kind of modernity: the revealed sporting body enabled competitive principles, rather than modesty, to define the appearance of the female swimmer. The article also examines the place of the working-class competitor in our understanding of the early Games, an ‘athletocracy’ where performance, not background, enabled individuals to compete. The work therefore also explores the relevance of Fletcher’s birthplace, Leicester, in the development of amateur and professional swimming and in the production of swmming costumes for both sport and leisure.
`It's possible to play the game marvellously and at the same time look pretty and be perfectly fit': Sport, Women and Fashion in Inter-war Britain
This article will examine the development of women’s increasing participation in sport and its impact on the subsequent emergence of sportswear for women in inter-war Britain. It will explore the public discourses which surrounded these women and their clothes in order to point up the complex nature of the problems women faced when making decisions about what to wear for sports activities.
The paper focuses on the trade that existed between the English clothing and footwear industries and various professional football clubs in England from 1950 to 1975. It examines the sponsorship deals and advertisements that featured players wearing agreed garments and accessories during high-profile media events, and questions the importance of such occasions. The events included prestigious occasions such as the Football Association (FA) Cup Final and a growing number of international competitions. Unpicking the meanings of the business relationships that developed offers an opportunity to better understand how success on the football field offered the potential for increased trade to the clothiers in a constantly shifting marketplace.
Kohe, Geoffery Z
As often as some athletes don their Lycra, others are almost as frequently disrobing and dashing across sports grounds. Yet, while nude performance is accepted in such cultural domains as dance and theatre, its place in sport is contested. Taking cues from scholars who write about the body, sexuality, and nudity — Barcan (2004), Carr-Gomm (2010), Kirkpatrick (2010), Martin (1991) and Shilling (2008) — this paper explores the complexities of streaking and its intertwining associations with sport and wider social, cultural and political contexts. I consider how ongoing debates about nudity and nakedness, and about clothed and unclothed bodies, create an opportunity for us to consider streaking as a valid and aesthetically valuable practice. I argue that we might move beyond streaking as an act of comical deviance, flagrant criminality or ‘anti-costume’, and view it as an acceptable mode of physicality with its own individual and collective meanings.
Hughson, John; Moore, Kevin
Among the ‘first eleven’ items of interest in the National Football Museum, Manchester, UK is the football shirt worn by Diego Maradona (b. 1960) in the 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-final match between Argentina and England. This paper reflects upon the cultural significance of the shirt as a museum object. A discussion of the shirt’s history, from its wearing at the 1986 match to its imminent reappearance in the National Football Museum’s new location, leads to the conclusion that, above all, although it may be subject to differing symbolic interpretations, the shirt exists as a material object, the observation of which affords football aesthetes an appreciative reminder of Maradona’s extraordinary artistry with a ball at his feet.