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  • Nathaniel Hoe

  • “Let the World Slip, We Shall Ne’er be Younger:” Dress Practices and Subcultural Expression at the New York Renaissance Faire

    Fashion Studies (MA)

    “Let the World Slip, We Shall Ne’er be Younger:” Dress Practices and Subcultural Expression at the New York Renaissance Faire
    Over the course of three months in the summer of 2019, I visited the New York Renaissance Faire held in Tuxedo, New York, for the purposes of understanding how subcultural dress practices and membership function in this group. During each visit, I conducted qualitative interviews as well as ethnographic observation. The Faire was also documented in photographs taken by my girlfriend, Jordan Lewis, who photographed each interview subject and captured general Faire scenes. This primary source material was later corroborated with writings on subcultural style, style as it relates to time and memory, and writings on masquerade, cosplay and historical reenactments. In my thesis, I established that the Faire, despite being a commercial endeavor, occupies a unique space where authentic subcultural expression and community can be formed. I then used my primary source material to show how "Rennies" gravitated to the Faire to be able to dress how they please and have that dress appreciated and admired by their peers. My thesis examines the considerations taken while getting dressed for the Faire, how subcultural capital and stratification based on dress emerge, and dress trends that have come and gone within the Faire community.
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