Sonia Delaunay's Robe Simultanée: Modernity, Fashion, and Transmediality

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    This article considers Sonia Delaunay's “simultaneous dress” of 1913. Delaunay's art and fashion are significant not only since they unfold from a context of radical fin-de-siècle thought relating to psychophysics and the fourth dimension, but crucially, she relocated the site of knowledge to the body. For Delaunay, this move restored emphasis to embodiment as the active producer of experience, and also as the condition from which subjectivity is issued. Delaunay refigured her body into something simultaneous and dynamic with its environment, and consequently refashioned her own conception of “Self” as transient, relative, and intersubjective. Indeed, Delaunay believed existing Western visual codes of linear perspective established models of space and time that could not articulate the dynamism and simultaneity of modern culture. Instead, she fashioned her autobiographical experiences through color, temporality, and rhythm. Delaunay's Robe Simultanée is a complex nexus, entwining her own biography, modern philosophies of color and reality, the relocation of the body as the site of knowledge and meaning, and the sensate, lived experience of Parisian modernity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-54
    JournalFashion Theory - Journal of Dress Body and Culture
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


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