When Christian Dior launched his New Look in 1947, Gainsborough Studios had already begun to refashion British sexuality. Elizabeth Haffenden’s designs for the period costume romances produced by the studio between 1943 and 1950 projected a vision of femininity as both powerful and erotic. Gainsborough’s spectacular display of the feminine outraged critics and official agencies. Fashioning the Nation reveals the cultural implications of this scandal, changing the consensus that, even today, tends to define British cinema in narrow parochial terms.
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