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The Migration of Fashion, Part 2: Intersections of Fashion, Race and Identity

by Sandra Mathey García-Rada

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Latin America is a diverse region that has been historically positioned as ‘the Other’ to the West, and, in consequence, overlooked in many respects — fashion being one of them. The traditional use of cartography to analyze it has constantly kept it in an ‘inferior’ position, both geographically and ideologically. In order to challenge — and eventually change — these discourses, it is necessary to first explore where they come from. This essay explores the complex identity of the region and, through it, takes a first step in decolonizing the predominant discourse. It focuses on the dissemination and migration of European fashions to Latin America during the colonial period, a topic that is usually reserved for ‘the West.’ Specifically, part two investigates one specific example from this period in order to demonstrate that fashion has been an essential aspect of the development of the Latin American region for centuries.

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