Out of the Trenches and into Vogue: ‘Unbelting’ the Trench Coat

trench_coat_marilyn_cohenMARILYN COHEN, Lecturer, MA Program in the Decorative Arts, School of Art and Design History and Theory/Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

Marilyn Cohen’s talk will examine the fashionable trench in relation to texts taken from literature, film, and television, contrasting cinematic trench-coat wearers such as the crime-fighter Eliot Ness, the iconic Holly Golightly, the comic Inspector Clouseau, and television detective Columbo. It views the coat as an irony of the “spectacular” and the obfuscating, and seeks to lure the trench out of the shadows. She has published widely on the subject of material culture in relation to film and television including: ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A Filmic Case of Interior vs. Exterior Identity’, ‘A Design for Greed:  Set Decoration in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street’, ‘Furnishing I Love Lucy’, ‘The Material Culture of Toy Story’, and ‘The Best Years of Our Lives:  Design, Disability & Displacement in Postwar America’.

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