Journal article

Fabulous Folds: Revolutionary Costumes in Grey Gardens (1975)

Ilona Hongisto, Katve-Kaisa Kontturi

Journal of Aesthetics & Culture | TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2020


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.