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Religion in VogueChristianity and Fashion in America$
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Lynn S. Neal

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479892709

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479892709.001.0001

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Accessorizing the Cross

Accessorizing the Cross

(p.88) 3 Accessorizing the Cross
Religion in Vogue

Lynn S. Neal

NYU Press

This chapter examines how Christianity’s dominant symbol, the cross, emerged as one of the earliest and most popular instances of religion moving into fashion, in the form of cross jewelry. The fashionability of cross jewelry is an important step in understanding how God got on a dress. The first part of the chapter highlights the genesis of the cross in modern fashion through the work of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. The chapter then analyzes how cross jewelry became a fashion trend in the late 1960s that reflected and shaped existing religious trends. Lastly, the chapter examines the culture wars controversy that accompanied the cross jewelry trend in the 1980s, with Madonna’s popularity and the rise of the Moral Majority.

Keywords:   fashion, Christianity, cross, jewelry, Gabrielle Coco Chanel, Madonna, Moral Majority, culture wars

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