ordinary cross-dressing, semblance, fashion, proper body, One-body (Un-corps), logic of the gaze
The study we are proposing here concerns the transition between clothes and the images that they convey. At the same time, we have given thought to the body and on the way in which it becomes incarnated in contemporary fashion. From a semiotic point of view, we are situated in a perspective which has been a little bit forgotten, by drawing on the category of Barthesian semblance and by questioning it in the light of new data. More precisely, our semiotic approach has been carried out by adopting other disciplines such as psychoanalysis, philosophy and Kabuki theatre (in this case, the character of onnagata). To do this, we have chosen to grasp what is at play concerning the body in present-day ready-to-wear clothes. To illustrate our remarks, we have based our work on a particular example, that being the universe of Yves Saint Laurent’s (YSL) house of fashion, more precisely their 2012 Men’s collection. In fact, these clothes reveal that what we see is within the realm of appearance, but, at the same time, they show that they are the appearance of the appearance. Indicating a radical dissociation between clothes and gender, YSL opens the enigma of One-body. This designer strips the gaze which refers less to the imaginary body and the gender comedy than the enigma of the real body defined in the psychoanalytic field.
l’on voit est de l’ordre de l’apparence, mais ils montrent en même temps qu’ils sont l’apparence de l’apparence.
The English version is available in the hardcopy edition of issue 2.2 and online: