New Power Style: Graffiti Bridge, Bodywear & Self-expression

Back in 1980, Prince began his revolution, adopting a risqué uniform for his Dirty Mind album, consisting of a customised trench coat, bikini briefs, stockings and heels. Ten years later, with the release of his fourth film Graffiti Bridge, the provocateur was now dressing for salvation. 

This talk will analyse a selection of key Graffiti Bridge costumes designed by Helen Hiatt and Jim Shearon and discuss the role these garments played in Prince’s emerging 1990s style. The term ‘bodywear’ will apply to the garments worn by Prince that are both cut and worn close to the natural body such as bodysuits, vests and body adornment. I will discuss how Prince negotiated self-expression through clothing, focusing on the new style direction featured in the film and accompanying music videos.

Casci Ritchie

Casci Ritchie is an independent fashion historian and dedicated follower of His Royal Badness based in Glasgow, Scotland. She holds a BA Hons in Fashion Design, an MA in Fashion Body Wear, and an MLitt in Dress and Textile Histories. Her dissertation explored the impact of Hollywood cinema on the fashion choices of Glaswegian women during the 1940s. She has continued to develop her passion for twentieth-century fashion from creation to consumption with a particular interest in fashion in film, popular culture, and sub-cultures.

She is currently researching all aspects of Prince’s iconic style and has presented her purple research at various academic conferences in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Lille, Glasgow and Minneapolis. Her chapter Before the Rain, 1979-84: How Prince Got ‘The Look’ will be published in the upcoming book, Prince in Popular Music: Critical Perspectives. Casci hosts a film night with introductory illustrated fashion talks in Glasgow specialising in cult films with killer style and writes for various online platforms such as Screen Queens and Dismantle Magazine.