(sherlock) how clothing influences the art of detection

November 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

For those who wouldn’t know, and probably most of you won’t know – I wrote my final dissertation, one year ago, about Sherlock Holmes. Why Sherlock? He’s a fascinating character isn’t he? His precise art of detection, his stunning capacity to guess– to deduce from details have wrapped more than one into a shroud of imbecility. Yes – for one feels sometimes dumb faced to Sherlock’s deduction ability. Dr Watson, first witness and first admirer.

When I reached my 2d year of MA, I didn’t really know what I should write about in my final diss. I had already written about the Dandy (I’ll share that diss with you another day) but had the feeling that I should go more into texts rather than History. I had always been thrilled by detective novels – they really do have something : this traditional art of pulling you into an investigation within 2 or 3 pages and keep up with a high pace until suddenly, the WOW effect sparks up : evidence – deduction – conclusion! Over… calm again. Well so I experienced this same scheme for 100 shorts stories and novels to be able to write about Sherlock Holmes. It was delicious.

On the other side, I didn’t want to give up my love for Fashion, so I just decided to combine both : you know, even in your studies, you shouldn’t make concessions. Feel like writing about your passions? A topic that thrills you? Then do so, feel the inspiration, you’ll always find a way. At least that’s true for all human sciences subjects. I cannot guarantee anything for scientists – although science is such a vast field you could formulate all hypotheses possible if you wanted to. Imagination is the key.

But we’re going astray. Today I’m sharing – for the first time – my final diss. I wrote it very comfortably in the University of Glasgow Library, for 3 long months, backed up with coffee and fruit. It was a real delight. The aim of the study is to show how important clothes were at that time because they corresponded to a grid of social criteria that made people recognizable. Clothes were subjected to codes that made the reading transparent for one who could observe. But clothes also conveyed highly symbolical meaning, that allowed the writer to insinuate secret messages to its readers… please be ready for some discovery.

“The pipe was still between his lips”

Well now, if you’re interested, find my work below:

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