Psychoanalysis in Fashion edited by Arlene Kramer Richards and Anita Weinreb Katz

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Psychoanalysis in Fashion edited by Arlene Kramer Richards and Anita Weinreb Katz

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Psychoanalysis in Fashion by Anita Weinreb Katz and Arlene Kramer Richards

 

Table of Contents:

 

I. Introduction

          1. Anita Weinreb Katz and Arlene Kramer Richards

 

II. Fashion Journeys on the Couch and Off

 

          1. Karlo Steele, First Line of Defense

          2. Anita Weinreb Katz, Intimations of Youth and Unlimited Possibilities

          3. Valerie Tate Angel and Caroline Tate Angel, The Space of Engagement:                  Fashion and Transformative Communication

          4. Hilda Catz, Tattoos as Symbolizing Marks: Fashion, Body Rite, Fetish, or

          Hidden Trauma

           5. Claire Steinberger, Fashion as Metaphor........

 

III. Redesigning the Self

          1. Anita Weinreb Katz, Fashion Journey in Psychoanalysis: Looking as well

          as Listening

          2. Sara Zarem and Linda Mayers, Fashioning the Self: Tattoos and

          tattooing as markers of identity, loss, trauma and transformation

          3. Ada Frummerman, Female Crossdressing: Why Would a Woman Dress

          like a Man?

          4. Elsa Blum and Harold Blum, Jewelry, A Psychological Perspective

 

IV. Culture, Psyche, and Fashion

          1. Charline Humber, Hairy Situations

          2. Arlene Kramer Richards, Fashion and Style as Culture: How Woman            Dress and What That Means

          3. Arlene Kramer Richards, Ladies of Fashion: Pleasure, Perversion or              Paraphilia

          2. Tian Tina: Chinese Handwork in Fashion

 

V. Shopping for Clothes

          1. Arlene Kramer Richards, Clothes and the Couch

          2. Eve Golden, Clothes, Inside Out

 

VI. Interviews with Fashion Professionals

          1. Karlo Steele

          2. Ilde Marshall

          3. Puck

 

         4. Thakoon

         5. Pam Weekes

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

1. Anita Weinreb Katz

 

When I was a child, I, like all children,  grew every year.  So my mother bought me new clothes. Buying new clotheswas connected to growing up and dreaming about my future.  The future held the possibility of unlimited possibilities for love, for achievement and for recognition.  This was the idea that generated my desire to write this book.

 

When I was eight years old my father gave me a plaid dress with a flared skirt and I still have a vivid picture of it in my mind. I think it meant to me that he cared about me and about how I looked and that he wanted to take part in making me his cute little girl. It was no longer a teddy bear (that he had given me when I was three years old) but a beautiful dress that enhanced and applauded my appearance and its significance to him.

 

When I was 11 1/2 years old I got the measles and was quarantined in my bedroom. I spent the two weeks sequestered in my room designing paper doll clothes and listening to the radio- either to music or to soap operas.  It was a wonderful time.  Paradoxically, even though I was ill and alone, I was totally engrossed in the new found pleasure of designing and making clothes for my paper dolls while listening to music on the radio.  Buying my daughter clothes when she was little --  dressing her up and enhancing how cute she was became a later version of my creative relationship to designing clothes for my paper dolls.  

 

When I was a teenager myfather's offer to buy me a winter coat, resulted in my mother screaming at him with jealousy.  My response was to say to him "no don't give me a coat".  Of coursemy mother wanted me to have a winter coat, but she wanted to be the one who took me shopping forit.  I still remember the beautiful winter coat that she bought me.   It was black wool with a golden velvet lining. I also remember when I was in my teens I went into a very fancy store that I knew my mother shopped in. I guess I was pretending to be a grown-up lady -a fantasy in my mind.   Playing the role to the hilt, I asked the saleslady to show me some outfits.   I picked out two beautiful ,very expensive dresses,tried them on, and loved how I looked in them.   [I still remember them]. I did not have the money to pay for them of course, so I went home, fearfulthat my mother would be angry at me for thinking I was entitled to shop in her store..   To my great surprise she went to the store with me and loved both of the outfits on me, and bought them for me. Not only was she not threatenedor jealous of my emerging self, but she embraced and participated in my fantasies about being an elegant woman like her.

 

Although I don't design or make clothes any longer, I learned to knit when I was eight years old and continue to do so. My Grandmother was a beautiful knitter and made me some wonderful outfits,  some of which I still have, and one or two that I have given to my daughter. My grandma and I made squares with our own unique and sometimes quirkydesigns. We put them together to make a blanket. 

 

Fashion has remained a passion of mine, both as a way of enhancing and/or presenting myself to the world.  I also view fashion asart that I enjoy looking at and fantasizing about.  I was inspired to write this book to learn more about what fashion meansto other people.  This includeshow fashion affects people's mood, and how it affectstheir relationship to self, others and society. 

 

I was surprised and pleased to learn of the significanceof fashion in the culture and in the individualis part of a serious academic curriculum.  My daughter, Jenny, handed me the March, 2016 bulletin of Reed Collegewhich featured an article onfashion called "Patterns of Power", subtitled "How fashion reveals-and enforces- the hidden hierarchies of society".  This reinforced my belief in the cultural and psychoanalytic significance of fashion in the psyche and the culture.

 

 

 

2.. Arlene Kramer Richards

I have been interested in fashion as long as I can remember. My family used to laugh about my getting up very early one morning, putting on my grandmothers shoes, taking her pocketbook and marching down the hall to “go shopping.” I learned to read in kindergarten in order to see what was going on in a Sunday morning series in the New York Daily News called “Ladies of Fashion.”  I knew that my mother worked in the fashion trade as a hat designer and maker and that she supported us by her work.

 

My first vocational interest was in fashion, but when that did not work out, I became a schoolteacher, a psychologist and finally a psychoanalyst. For the years of my education and analytic training, I thought as little about fashion as i could; I kept the shopping down to the Sears catalogue and made many of my own and my childrens clothes.

 

Having been redirected in my own career to become a psychoanalyst, I could only indulge in my interest in fashion as a knitter and mainly as a consumer of fashion. The intersection between psychoanalytic thinking and fashion led me to write two papers on shopping and to think about the role of fashion and shopping in the lives of my patients, colleagues and friends. My two daughters taught me a lot about fashion and about shopping.

 

A vivid demonstration of how fashion can convey meaning in therapy happened early in my practice. A high school student who was causing trouble in class was referred to me by the school psychologist. He arrived at my office on roller skates, tight running shorts, a long sleeved t shirt, a yarmulke, and long, curly sidelicks. The doorman rang me up to ask if he really was my patient. I said yes with some trepidation. When I saw him at the door to my office, I had a pretty good sense that this young man was in conflict. Was he religious? Or an athlete? Could he hold it together to be both? It turned out that he had one parent who was religious and one who was not. As he saw it, he had to live by pleasing both of them, but he could not make that work. He had to choosebut he could not. I worked with him for several months, and then he went off to a secular college. A year later he came to see me to let me know that he was doing well. He had gotten a franchise to sell a line of high end Italian athletic clothing in the United States. He was staying in college while running his business and was proud that he was paying his own collegeand living costs. No longer dependent on his parents, he was dressed in an athletic outfit that was appropriate for someone his age. He had decided to keep his yarmulka and his religion. Even my doorman was approving.

 

Later I read an article (Friedman 2016) about first ladies choosing fashion for political reasons. By wearing the clothes designed by Canadians, Mrs. Trudeau, the wife of Canadas Prime Minister, showed the onlookers that Canadian is “ a melting pot of nationalities, ideas and aesthetics , which could be a coincidence but probably is not. When it comes to fashion and politics, clothes are never just clothes. They are a strategic tool.” (P.13)

 

So when my colleague and friend Anita Katz asked me to work on a book about fashion and psychoanalysis,  demurred at first, but then welcomed the opportunity. So here it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Psychoanalysis in Fashion by Anita Weinreb Katz and Arlene Kramer Richards

 

Table of Contents:

 

I. Introduction

          1. Anita Weinreb Katz and Arlene Kramer Richards

 

II. Fashion Journeys on the Couch and Off

 

          1. Karlo Steele, First Line of Defense

          2. Anita Weinreb Katz, Intimations of Youth and Unlimited Possibilities

          3. Valerie Tate Angel and Caroline Tate Angel, The Space of Engagement:                  Fashion and Transformative Communication

          4. Hilda Catz, Tattoos as Symbolizing Marks: Fashion, Body Rite, Fetish, or

          Hidden Trauma

           5. Claire Steinberger, Fashion as Metaphor........

 

III. Redesigning the Self

          1. Anita Weinreb Katz, Fashion Journey in Psychoanalysis: Looking as well

          as Listening

          2. Sara Zarem and Linda Mayers, Fashioning the Self: Tattoos and

          tattooing as markers of identity, loss, trauma and transformation

          3. Ada Frummerman, Female Crossdressing: Why Would a Woman Dress

          like a Man?

          4. Elsa Blum and Harold Blum, Jewelry, A Psychological Perspective

 

IV. Culture, Psyche, and Fashion

          1. Charline Humber, Hairy Situations

          2. Arlene Kramer Richards, Fashion and Style as Culture: How Woman            Dress and What That Means

          3. Arlene Kramer Richards, Ladies of Fashion: Pleasure, Perversion or              Paraphilia

          2. Tian Tina: Chinese Handwork in Fashion

 

V. Shopping for Clothes

          1. Arlene Kramer Richards, Clothes and the Couch

          2. Eve Golden, Clothes, Inside Out

 

VI. Interviews with Fashion Professionals

          1. Karlo Steele

          2. Ilde Marshall

          3. Puck

 

         4. Thakoon

         5. Pam Weekes

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

1. Anita Weinreb Katz

 

When I was a child, I, like all children,  grew every year.  So my mother bought me new clothes. Buying new clotheswas connected to growing up and dreaming about my future.  The future held the possibility of unlimited possibilities for love, for achievement and for recognition.  This was the idea that generated my desire to write this book.

 

When I was eight years old my father gave me a plaid dress with a flared skirt and I still have a vivid picture of it in my mind. I think it meant to me that he cared about me and about how I looked and that he wanted to take part in making me his cute little girl. It was no longer a teddy bear (that he had given me when I was three years old) but a beautiful dress that enhanced and applauded my appearance and its significance to him.

 

When I was 11 1/2 years old I got the measles and was quarantined in my bedroom. I spent the two weeks sequestered in my room designing paper doll clothes and listening to the radio- either to music or to soap operas.  It was a wonderful time.  Paradoxically, even though I was ill and alone, I was totally engrossed in the new found pleasure of designing and making clothes for my paper dolls while listening to music on the radio.  Buying my daughter clothes when she was little --  dressing her up and enhancing how cute she was became a later version of my creative relationship to designing clothes for my paper dolls.  

 

When I was a teenager myfather's offer to buy me a winter coat, resulted in my mother screaming at him with jealousy.  My response was to say to him "no don't give me a coat".  Of coursemy mother wanted me to have a winter coat, but she wanted to be the one who took me shopping forit.  I still remember the beautiful winter coat that she bought me.   It was black wool with a golden velvet lining. I also remember when I was in my teens I went into a very fancy store that I knew my mother shopped in. I guess I was pretending to be a grown-up lady -a fantasy in my mind.   Playing the role to the hilt, I asked the saleslady to show me some outfits.   I picked out two beautiful ,very expensive dresses,tried them on, and loved how I looked in them.   [I still remember them]. I did not have the money to pay for them of course, so I went home, fearfulthat my mother would be angry at me for thinking I was entitled to shop in her store..   To my great surprise she went to the store with me and loved both of the outfits on me, and bought them for me. Not only was she not threatenedor jealous of my emerging self, but she embraced and participated in my fantasies about being an elegant woman like her.

 

Although I don't design or make clothes any longer, I learned to knit when I was eight years old and continue to do so. My Grandmother was a beautiful knitter and made me some wonderful outfits,  some of which I still have, and one or two that I have given to my daughter. My grandma and I made squares with our own unique and sometimes quirkydesigns. We put them together to make a blanket. 

 

Fashion has remained a passion of mine, both as a way of enhancing and/or presenting myself to the world.  I also view fashion asart that I enjoy looking at and fantasizing about.  I was inspired to write this book to learn more about what fashion meansto other people.  This includeshow fashion affects people's mood, and how it affectstheir relationship to self, others and society. 

 

I was surprised and pleased to learn of the significanceof fashion in the culture and in the individualis part of a serious academic curriculum.  My daughter, Jenny, handed me the March, 2016 bulletin of Reed Collegewhich featured an article onfashion called "Patterns of Power", subtitled "How fashion reveals-and enforces- the hidden hierarchies of society".  This reinforced my belief in the cultural and psychoanalytic significance of fashion in the psyche and the culture.

 

 

 

2.. Arlene Kramer Richards

I have been interested in fashion as long as I can remember. My family used to laugh about my getting up very early one morning, putting on my grandmothers shoes, taking her pocketbook and marching down the hall to “go shopping.” I learned to read in kindergarten in order to see what was going on in a Sunday morning series in the New York Daily News called “Ladies of Fashion.”  I knew that my mother worked in the fashion trade as a hat designer and maker and that she supported us by her work.

 

My first vocational interest was in fashion, but when that did not work out, I became a schoolteacher, a psychologist and finally a psychoanalyst. For the years of my education and analytic training, I thought as little about fashion as i could; I kept the shopping down to the Sears catalogue and made many of my own and my childrens clothes.

 

Having been redirected in my own career to become a psychoanalyst, I could only indulge in my interest in fashion as a knitter and mainly as a consumer of fashion. The intersection between psychoanalytic thinking and fashion led me to write two papers on shopping and to think about the role of fashion and shopping in the lives of my patients, colleagues and friends. My two daughters taught me a lot about fashion and about shopping.

 

A vivid demonstration of how fashion can convey meaning in therapy happened early in my practice. A high school student who was causing trouble in class was referred to me by the school psychologist. He arrived at my office on roller skates, tight running shorts, a long sleeved t shirt, a yarmulke, and long, curly sidelicks. The doorman rang me up to ask if he really was my patient. I said yes with some trepidation. When I saw him at the door to my office, I had a pretty good sense that this young man was in conflict. Was he religious? Or an athlete? Could he hold it together to be both? It turned out that he had one parent who was religious and one who was not. As he saw it, he had to live by pleasing both of them, but he could not make that work. He had to choosebut he could not. I worked with him for several months, and then he went off to a secular college. A year later he came to see me to let me know that he was doing well. He had gotten a franchise to sell a line of high end Italian athletic clothing in the United States. He was staying in college while running his business and was proud that he was paying his own collegeand living costs. No longer dependent on his parents, he was dressed in an athletic outfit that was appropriate for someone his age. He had decided to keep his yarmulka and his religion. Even my doorman was approving.

 

Later I read an article (Friedman 2016) about first ladies choosing fashion for political reasons. By wearing the clothes designed by Canadians, Mrs. Trudeau, the wife of Canadas Prime Minister, showed the onlookers that Canadian is “ a melting pot of nationalities, ideas and aesthetics , which could be a coincidence but probably is not. When it comes to fashion and politics, clothes are never just clothes. They are a strategic tool.” (P.13)

 

So when my colleague and friend Anita Katz asked me to work on a book about fashion and psychoanalysis,  demurred at first, but then welcomed the opportunity. So here it is.