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London exhibition explores 'vulgar' fashion

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World

London exhibition explores 'vulgar' fashion

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COMING UP:London exhibition explores 'vulgar' fashion

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00:00:00
>> What are you wearing right now? Is your outfit as tasteful as these crotchless shoe trousers? You may second-guess your answer after a turn around this London exhibition that explores what makes fashion vulgar.>> I'm Rosanna Philpott reporting for Reuters in the Barbican, trying to figure out what constitutes as vulgar taste.
00:00:20
Well some ensembles like the ones beside me are more obviously shocking. But it turns out historically, there are quite a few fashion faux pas that one could be accused of.>> Over time the word's meaning has been through quite the makeover, and what began as a description has become, in part, an insult.
00:00:39
Taking in 500 years of fashion and featuring over 40 designers, the curators here have broken down the meaning of vulgar.>> There is a very simple shift in the actual meaning of the word in English. Which is that, up until the 17th century, it simply means common. But then as you get into the 17th and 18 century.
00:00:58
That's to say when capitalism begin's to emerge, and they're more luxury commodities available. Then people get very worried about the idea that anybody could have access to privileged pleasures. So one of the questions that the exhibition is interested in is. Why do pleasures have to be privileged in order to be valuable?
00:01:17
Why do we need to think something is rare in order for it to be good?>> So what would someone with vulgar taste be guilty of? According to the history books, many things. If you wear denim, that can be too common. Being underdressed or overdressed might be considered tasteless.
00:01:33
And being excessive, overtly sexy, too mainstream or snobby, is probably not in Vogue either.