Fabulous folds: revolutionary costumes in Grey Gardens (1975)

Ilona Hongisto*, Katve-Kaisa Kontturi

*Corresponding author for this work

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This essay discusses the material agency of clothing in the celebrated documentary classic Grey Gardens (David and Albert Maysles, USA 1975). Drawing on the extraordinary relationship between the protagonists, their clothing, the filming location, and the filmmakers, the essay shows how the protagonists of the documentary “think up” costumes that enable them to temporarily exceed difficult living conditions. The essay names the thought-up costumes fabulous folds and accounts for the ways in which costumes activate novel possibilities in the body’s relationship to its environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1840087
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aesthetics and Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • agency
  • clothing
  • collaboration
  • documentary film
  • fashion
  • fold
  • materiality
  • participation
  • performance


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