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    Fashion in Bolivia’s cultural economy

    Maclean, Kate (2018) Fashion in Bolivia’s cultural economy. International Journal of Cultural Studies , ISSN 1367-8779. (In Press)

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    In 2016, Bolivia’s indigenous fashions gained a place on the global stage. The Brazilian ambassador to La Paz hosted a catwalk show dedicated to the luxury designers who specialise in avant garde, high quality variations on the distinctive pollera outfit – the pleated skirt, derby hat, shawl and striking jewellery that have been definitive of indigenous identity in La Paz for centuries. In the same year New York fashion week featured, for the first time, a designer from Bolivia, Eliana Paco Paredes, who is also known for her elegant and luxurious pollera designs. This article explores the development of Chola Paceña fashions and traces its social and political lineage, and place in traditions that continue to underpin Aymaran social networks and economies, whilst also becoming a symbol of their consumer power. Bolivian GDP has tripled since 2006, and this wealth has accumulated in the vast urban informal markets which are dominated by people of indigenous and mestizo descent. It is predictable that such a rise in consumption power should enable a burgeoning fashion industry. However, the femininities represented by the designs, the models and the designers place in sharp relief gendered and racialized constructions of value and how the relationship between tradition, culture and economy, has configured in scholarly work on creative labour which has been predominantly based on the experience of post-industrial cities in the global North.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Department of Geography
    Research Centres and Institutes: Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS)
    Depositing User: Kate Maclean
    Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2018 15:36
    Last Modified: 12 Feb 2021 05:14


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