The contents of the display box outside shoe shop Donna Più encapsulate summer. As befits its tropical location in Alghero, a Sardinian town overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the shop’s display box house hats and sunglasses to protect from the sun, and gold-coloured scarves, bags and jewellery to show off bronzed skin. The sandals and bikinis in the bottom row are brightly coloured, in step with a rainbow assortment of lipstick and nail varnish. The coordinated chaos of the contents resemble the look of the many other boxes that adorn the walls of the town’s historic centre, containing jewellery made from the island’s abundant coral reefs. While these natural products are wrought into charms and pendants for consumers who wish to personify a season or place, the creators make clothing and accessories that prescribe how people should present themselves in the summertime.
Seen together, the objects in the box also evoke the female form. Joanne Entwistle wrote that “So significant are clothes to our readings of the body that they can come to stand for sexual difference in the absence of a body.” And, although Donna Più predominantly sells shoes, it seeks to signify ‘more’ than just that. Its fragmented name meaning, ‘women more’, calls to mind all things feminine. But whose definition of femininity is it? As women stroll through the streets and glimpse their reflections in the box’s glass, they project their image onto the display. Fragments entwine with inner thoughts, and become bodies, ideal feminine tourists, or more.
Entwistle, J. (2000) The Fashioned Body: Fashion, Dress and Modern Social Theory, Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 141.