History of Fashion: Final Paper Proposal/Topic Choices

Final Paper Proposal/Topic Choices

Bandana cloth originated in far-off Chennai, in Eastern India. However this light, inexpensive and cool cloth became a symbol of Jamaican national culture after the 1940′s. Bandana’s plaid patterns and colors along with several other symbols became associated with the traditions and heritage of the ordinary Jamaican people. Prior to that, Bandana has long been associated with Jamaican working women. When India fell under almost complete British control in the 19th Century, the Madras cloth trade proved a cheap fabric for enslaved and Black working class women in the Caribbean. The cloth, however, was worn as a mark of pride and distinction, particularly among market vendors. It is a tradition that continues today, especially worn during the Independence holidays. I would like to research this garment in particular because it is a symbol of my heritage and it is something I have always known about but have not gotten the chance to study in depth.


Family Photo: my uncle is still looking for it he has it somewhere in his possession.

Description: A photograph of my grandfather wearing a European style suit, a fedora, and smoking a pipe

Dated around mid-1940’s

(will add the photo as soon as I receive it)

I am interested in using this picture for my final paper because I think it strongly reflects the influence of European culture on other areas of the world ie. Jamaica. When thinking of Jamaica as a culture or as a people, pride is extremely evident; which plays a huge role in the ratio of historical fashion and how it is portrayed in the image to the reality of how one’s life is lived. I would explore the identity in relation to dress in relation to culture. Though my grandfather passed away before I was born from what I have been told about his love for fashion I feel as though I have a connection with him.  If possible I think both of my images could add value to one another if possible I would like to use both in my paper.

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