When Adorned in Dreams was first published in 1985, Angela Carter described the book as "the best I have read on the subject, bar none." From haute couture to haberdashery, "deviant" dress to Dior, Elizabeth Wilson traces the social and cultural history of fashion and its complex relationship to modernity. She also discusses fashion's vociferous opponents, from the "dress reform" movement to certain strands of feminism. Wilson delights in the power of fashion to mark out identity or subvert it. This brand new edition of her book follows recent developments to bring the story of fashionable dress up to date, exploring the grunge look inspired by bands like Nirvana, the "boho chic" of the mid 90's, retro-dressing, and the meanings of dress from the veil to soccer player David Beckham's pink-varnished toenails.
Ever wonder why so many stars and featured players, male or female, in movies of Hollywood’s “Golden Age” look like they just stepped out of a beauty parlor even if the story places them in a jungle, a hospital bed, or the ancient past? All for Beauty examines how and why makeup and hairdressing evolved as crafts designed partly to maintain the white flawlessness of men and women as a value in the studio era. The bookpays particular attention to the labor force, exploring the power and influence of cosmetics inventor and manufacturer Max Factor and the Westmore dynasty of makeup artists but also the contributions of others, many of them women, whose names are far less known. At the end of the complex, exciting, and at times dismaying chronicle, it is likely that readers will never again watch Hollywood films without thinking about the roles of makeup and hairdressing in creating both fictional characters and stars as emblems of an idealized and undeniably mesmerizing visual perfection.
In the first ever book devoted to a critical investigation of the personal style blogosphere, Minh-Ha T. Pham examines the phenomenal rise of elite Asian bloggers who have made a career of posting photographs of themselves wearing clothes on the Internet. Pham understands their online activities as “taste work” practices that generate myriad forms of capital for superbloggers and the brands they feature. A multifaceted and detailed analysis, Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet addresses questions concerning the status and meaning of “Asian taste” in the early twenty-first century, the kinds of cultural and economic work Asian tastes do, and the fashion public and industry’s appetite for certain kinds of racialized eliteness. Situating blogging within the historical context of gendered and racialized fashion work while being attentive to the broader cultural, technological, and economic shifts in global consumer capitalism, Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet has profound implications for understanding the changing and enduring dynamics of race, gender, and class in shaping some of the most popular work practices and spaces of the digital fashion media economy.
In the two decades between its debut performance and the death of impresario Sergei Diaghilev in 1929, the Ballets Russes was an unrivalled sensation in Paris and around the world. But while scholarly attention has often centered on the links between Diaghilev’s troupe and modernist art and music, there has been surprisingly little analysis of the Ballets’ role in the area of tastemaking and trendsetting. Ballets Russes Style addresses this gap, revealing the extent of the ensemble’s influence in arenas of high style—including fashion, interior design, advertising, and the decorative arts.
In Ballets Russes Style, Mary E. Davis explores how the Ballets Russes performances were a laboratory for ambitious cultural experiments, often grounded in the aesthetic confrontation of Russian artists who traveled with the troupe from St. Petersburg—Bakst, Benois, and Stravinsky among them—and the Parisian avant-garde, including Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Satie, Debussy, and Ravel. She focuses on how the ensemble brought the stage and everyday life into direct contact, most noticeably in the world of fashion. The Ballets Russes and its audience played a key role in defining Paris style, which would echo in fashions throughout the century.
Beautifully illustrated, and drawing on unpublished images and memorabilia, this book illuminates the ways in which the troupe’s innovations in dance, music, and design mirrored and invigorated contemporary culture.
Twenty-first century fashion practice has become increasingly borderless and diverse in the digital era, calling into question the very boundaries that define fashion in the Western cultural context. Borderless Fashion Practice: Contemporary Fashion in the Metamodern Age principally engages the work of four fashion designers -- Virgil Abloh, Aitor Throup, Iris Van Herpen, and Eckhaus Latta -- whose work intersects with other creative disciplines such as art, technology, science, architecture, and graphic design. They do their work in what Vanessa Gerrie calls the metamodern age-- the time and place where the polarization between the modern and the postmodern collapses. Used as a framework to understand the current Western cultural zeitgeist, Gerrie's exploration of the work of contemporary practitioners and theorists finds blurred borders and seeks to blur them further, to the point of erasure.
The story of civilian clothing use during World War II.
Manufacturing for civilians across the globe nearly stopped at the outset of World War II, as outfitting troops took precedence over nonmilitary production. Raw materials were prioritized for the armed forces and the majority of nonmilitary factories were shifted to war work, resulting in shortages and rationing of consumer products. Civilians, especially women, responded to the resulting scarcity of goods by using ingenuity and creativity to “make do.” In Clothing Goes to War, Nan Turner offers a critical look at some of the resourceful results of this period as necessity paved the way for fashionable invention.
The traditional costumes worn by people in the Andes—women's woolen skirts, men's ponchos, woven belts, and white felt hats—instantly identify them as natives of the region and serve as revealing markers of ethnicity, social class, gender, age, and so on. Because costume expresses so much, scholars study it to learn how the indigenous people of the Andes have identified themselves over time, as well as how others have identified and influenced them.
Costume and History in Highland Ecuador assembles for the first time for any Andean country the evidence for indigenous costume from the entire chronological range of prehistory and history. The contributors glean a remarkable amount of information from pre-Hispanic ceramics and textile tools, archaeological textiles from the Inca empire in Peru, written accounts from the colonial period, nineteenth-century European-style pictorial representations, and twentieth-century textiles in museum collections. Their findings reveal that several garments introduced by the Incas, including men's tunics and women's wrapped dresses, shawls, and belts, had a remarkable longevity. They also demonstrate that the hybrid poncho from Chile and the rebozo from Mexico diffused in South America during the colonial period, and that the development of the rebozo in particular was more interesting and complex than has previously been suggested. The adoption of Spanish garments such as the pollera (skirt) and man's shirt were also less straightforward and of more recent vintage than might be expected.
Costume, Makeup, and Hair
McLean, Adrienne L Rutgers University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PN1995.9.M25C67 2016 | Dewey Decimal 791.43027
Movie buffs and film scholars alike often overlook the importance of makeup artists, hair stylists, and costumers. With precious few but notable exceptions, creative workers in these fields have received little public recognition, even when their artistry goes on to inspire worldwide fashion trends.
From the acclaimed Behind the Silver Screen series, Costume, Makeup, and Hair charts the development of these three crafts in the American film industry from the 1890s to the present. Each chapter examines a different era in film history, revealing how the arts of cinematic costume, makeup, and hair, have continually adapted to new conditions, making the transitions from stage to screen, from monochrome to color, and from analog to digital. Together, the book’s contributors give us a remarkable glimpse into how these crafts foster creative collaboration and improvisation, often fashioning striking looks and ingenious effects out of limited materials.
Costume, Makeup, and Hair not only considers these crafts in relation to a wide range of film genres, from sci-fi spectacles to period dramas, but also examines the role they have played in the larger marketplace for fashion and beauty products. Drawing on rare archival materials and lavish color illustrations, this volume provides readers with both a groundbreaking history of film industry labor and an appreciation of cinematic costume, makeup, and hairstyling as distinct art forms.
This book brings together contributors from a wide range of disciplines to explore the importance of cotton as a major resource for US fashion businesses. It is rooted in a lengthy investigative research project that deployed undergraduate and graduate students and faculty researchers to US fashion businesses that rely on cotton to make their garments—with the goal of better understanding how such a key resource is sourced, priced, transported, manipulated, and, ultimately, sold on to the consumer as a stylish garment. The contributors focus in particular on the role of brands in the marketing of cotton goods, and the way that brand marketing creates distinctions, valuable in the marketplace, between various versions of what are at base similar items of clothing, like t-shirts and underclothes. The book also explores the importance of the “Made in the USA” campaign, with its appeal to consumers concerned about local manufacturing employment, reduced resource use, and social responsibility.
Following Argentina’s revolution in 1810, the dress of young patriots inspired a nation and distanced its politics from the relics of Spanish colonialism. Fashion writing often escaped the notice of authorities, allowing authors to masquerade political ideas under the guise of frivolity and entertainment. In Couture and Consensus, Regina A. Root maps this pivotal and overlooked facet of Argentine cultural history, showing how politics emerged from dress to disrupt authoritarian practices and stimulate creativity in a newly independent nation.
Drawing from genres as diverse as fiction, poetry, songs, and fashion magazines, Root offers a sartorial history that produces an original understanding of how Argentina forged its identity during the regime of Juan Manuel de Rosas (1829–1852), a critical historical time. Couture and Consensus closely analyzes military uniforms, women’s dress, and the novels of the era to reveal fashion’s role in advancing an agenda and disseminating political goals, notions Root connects to the contemporary moment.
An insightful presentation of the discourse of fashion, Couture and Consensus also paints a riveting portrait of Argentine society in the nineteenth century—its politics, people, and creative forces.
From the color of a politician’s tie, to exorbitantly costly haircuts, to the size of an American flag pin adorning a lapel, it’s no secret that style has political meaning. And there was no time in history when the politics of fashion was more fraught than during the French Revolution. In the 1790s almost any article of clothing could be scrutinized for evidence of one’s political affiliation. A waistcoat with seventeen buttons, for example, could be a sign of counterrevolution—a reference to Louis XVII—and earn its wearer a trip to the guillotine.
In Dandyism in the Age of Revolution, Elizabeth Amann shows that in France, England, and Spain, daring dress became a way of taking a stance toward the social and political upheaval of the period. France is the centerpiece of the story, not just because of the significance of the Revolution but also because of the speed with which its politics and fashions shifted. Dandyism in France represented an attempt to recover a political center after the extremism of the Terror, while in England and Spain it offered a way to reflect upon the turmoil across the Channel and Pyrenees. From the Hair Powder Act, which required users of the product to purchase a permit, to the political implications of the feather in Yankee Doodle’s hat, Amann aims to revise our understanding of the origins of modern dandyism and to recover the political context from which it emerged.
Featuring many exquisite historical photographs, a celebration of the sometimes extravagant, sometimes bizarre pastime: playing dress-up.
Pierrot, Little Bo Peep, cowboy: these characters and many more form part of this colorful story of dressing up, from the accession of Queen Victoria to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. During this time, fancy dress became a regular part of people’s social lives, and the craze for it spread across Britain and the Empire, reaching every level of society. Spectacular and witty costumes appeared at suburban street carnivals, victory celebrations, fire festivals, missionary bazaars, and the extravagant balls of the wealthy. From the Victorian middle classes performing “living statues” to squads of Shetland men donning traditional fancy dress and setting fire to a Viking ship at the annual Up Helly Aa celebration, this lavishly illustrated book provides a unique view into the quirky, wonderful world of fancy dress.
In this innovative collaborative ethnography of Italian-Chinese ventures in the fashion industry, Lisa Rofel and Sylvia J. Yanagisako offer a new methodology for studying transnational capitalism. Drawing on their respective linguistic and regional areas of expertise, Rofel and Yanagisako show how different historical legacies of capital, labor, nation, and kinship are crucial in the formation of global capitalism. Focusing on how Italian fashion is manufactured, distributed, and marketed by Italian-Chinese ventures and how their relationships have been complicated by China's emergence as a market for luxury goods, the authors illuminate the often-overlooked processes that produce transnational capitalism—including privatization, negotiation of labor value, rearrangement of accumulation, reconfiguration of kinship, and outsourcing of inequality. In so doing, Fabricating Transnational Capitalism reveals the crucial role of the state and the shifting power relations between nations in shaping the ideas and practices of the Italian and Chinese partners.
Fashion and Ethics focuses on issues of power, social positioning, and practices among creators, producers, practitioners, wearers, and consumers of fashion. With a special emphasis on the moral fabric of clothing, contributors to the book offer a critique of some of the fundamental assumptions of ethical fashion and expose how products are often framed as fair trade in order to relieve consumers' guilt.
With essays that problematize issues such as ethical fashion’s self-appointed morality, the first-world notion that the environment should take priority over human development, the conflict between business profit and ethics, the unintended agendas involved in consuming green cosmetics or ethical culinary trends, and the discursive strategies of denial of the extreme cruelty in the procurement of animal skin and fur for use in fashion, Fashion and Ethics applies its uncompromising scrutiny to all areas of fashion. Throughout, the volume forces readers to confront the question: Does ethical fashion go deep enough into challenging unethical behavior or is it just a charade of good intentions?
In a searing 2012 Guardian op-ed, Hannah Azieb Pool took Western fashion designers to task for their so-called African-inspired clothing. “Dear Fashion,” she wrote, “Africa is a continent, not a country. Can you imagine anyone describing a fashion trend as ‘European-inspired?' Of course not. It’s meaningless.” Now, with Fashion Cities Africa, Pool aims to correct the misconceptions about African fashion, providing key context for contemporary African fashion scenes and capturing the depth and breadth of truly African fashion.
Tied to the Fashion Cities Africa exhibition at the Brighton Museum, the book gives much needed attention to four key African fashion scenes: Nairobi, Lagos, Casablanca, and Johannesburg—one from each region of the continent. Filled with interviews of leading African fashion designers, stylists, and commentators, alongside hundreds of exclusive street-style images, Fashion Cities Africa is a landmark book that should be celebrated in fashion houses the world over.
Fashion in the Middle Ages
Margaret Scott J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2018 Library of Congress ND3344.S36 2011 | Dewey Decimal 391.00902
From the costly velvets and furs worn by kings to the undyed wools and rough linens of the peasantry, the clothing worn by the various classes in the Middle Ages played an integral role in medieval society. In addition to providing clues to status, profession, and/or geographic origin, textiles were a crucial element in the economies of many countries and cities.
Much of what is known about medieval fashion is gleaned from the pages of manuscripts, which serve as a rich source of imagery. This volume provides a detailed look at both the actual fabrics and composition of medieval clothing as well as the period’s attitude toward fashion through an exploration of illuminated manuscripts in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The last portion of the book is dedicated to the depiction of clothing in biblical times and the ancient world as seen through a medieval lens. Throughout, excerpts from literary sources of the period help shed light on the perceived role and function of fashion in daily life.
Fashionable Masculinities explores the expression of masculinities through constructions of fashion, identity, style and appearance as the third decade of the new millennium begins: a contradictory and precarious moment when masculinities are defined by protests and pandemics whilst being problematized across class, ethnicity, race, gender and sexuality. Whilst a majority of men might still define themselves as ‘traditional,’ post-millennials are now talking about how they envision a future without gender boundaries and borders. Rather than being defined as a gender, masculinity has now become a style that can be worn and performed as traditional and normative codes of masculinity are modulated and manipulated. This volume includes original essays on musical pop sensation Harry Styles, rapper and producer “Puff Daddy” Sean Combs, lumbersexuals, spornosexuals, sexy daddies, and aging cool black daddies. Bringing together contributions from leading scholars, this book interrogates and challenges the meaning of masculinities and the ways that they are experienced and lived.
The companion volume to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s first fashion exhibition, Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour celebrates the history of American attire, from the cowboy boot to the zoot suit. From dresses worn by First Ladies to art-inspired garments to iconic moments in fashion that defined a generation, Fashioning America showcases uniquely American expressions of innovation, spotlighting stories of designers and wearers that center on opportunity and self-invention, and amplifying the voices of those who are often left out of dominant fashion narratives.
With nearly one hundred illustrations of garments and accessories that span two centuries of design, Fashioning America celebrates the achievements of a wide array of makers—especially immigrants, Native Americans, and Black Americans. Incorporating essays by fashion historians, curators, and journalists, this volume takes a fresh look at the country’s fashion history while exploring its close relationship with Hollywood and media in general, illuminating the role that American designers have played in shaping global visual culture and demonstrating why American fashion has long resonated around the world.
Hemmed in by "women's work" much less than has been thought, women in the late 1800s and early 1900s were the primary entrepreneurs in the millinery and dressmaking trades.
The Female Economy explores that lost world of women's dominance, showing how independent, often ambitious businesswomen and the sometimes imperious consumers they served gradually vanished from the scene as custom production gave way to a largely unskilled modern garment industry controlled by men. Wendy Gamber helps overturn the portrait of wage-earning women as docile souls who would find fulfillment only in marriage and motherhood. She combines labor history, women's history, business history, and the history of technology while exploring topics as wide-ranging as the history of pattern-making and the relationship between entrepreneurship and marriage.
A volume in the series The Working Class in American History, editedby David Brody, Alice Kessler-Harris, David Montgomery, and Sean Wilentz,and in the series Women in American History, edited by Anne Firor Scott,Nancy A. Hewitt, and Stephanie Shaw
A captivating history of gloves both real and mythical, practical and high fashion.
This beautifully illustrated history of gloves draws on examples from across the world to explore their cultural significance. From hand-knitted mittens to exquisitely embroidered confections, and from the three-fingered gloves of medieval shepherds to Bluetooth-enabled examples that function like a mobile phone, gloves’ extraordinary variety is a tribute to human ingenuity. So, too, is the remarkable diversity of their—often contradictory—cultural associations. They have been linked to honor, identity, and status, but also to decadence and deceit. In this book, Anne Green discusses gloves both as material objects with their own fascinating history and as fictional creations in folktales, literature, films, etiquette manuals, paintings, and advertisements. Looking to the runway, Green even explores their recent resurgence as objects of high fashion.
During the era of the Weimar Republic, Germany was characterized by deep contradictions and polarizations. New, progressive social mores and artistic developments mixed uneasily with growing reactionary politics. When the 1929 stock market crash produced a severe economic shock, voters began to shift their allegiances from the parties of the center to radicals on both the left and the right. By 1933, amidst crisis and chaos, the Nazis had taken over.
In The Honor Dress of the Movement, Torsten Homberger contends that the brown-shirted Stormtrooper uniform was central to Hitler's rise to power. By analyzing its design and marketing, he investigates how Nazi leaders used it to project a distinct political and military persona that was simultaneously violent and orderly, retrograde and modern—a dual image that proved popular with the German people and was key to the Nazis' political success. Based on a wealth of sources that includes literature, films, and newspapers of the era, Homberger exhibits how the Nazis shaped and used material culture to destroy democracy.
What is the kimono? Everyday garment? Art object? Symbol of Japan? As this book shows, the kimono has served all of these roles, its meaning changing across time and with the perspective of the wearer or viewer. Kimono: A Modern History begins by exposing the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century foundations of the modern kimono fashion industry. It explores the crossover between ‘art’ and ‘fashion’ in this period at the hands of famous Japanese painters who worked with clothing pattern books and painted directly onto garments. With Japan’s exposure to Western fashion in the nineteenth century, and Westerners’ exposure to Japanese modes of dress and design, the kimono took on new associations and came to symbolize an exotic culture and an alluring female form. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the kimono industry was sustained through government support. The line between fashion and art became blurred as kimonos produced by famous designers were collected for their beauty and displayed in museums, rather than being worn as clothing. Today, the kimono has once again taken on new dimensions, as the Internet and social media proliferate images of the kimono as a versatile garment to be integrated into a range of individual styles. Kimono: A Modern History, the inspiration for a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York,not only tells the story of a distinctive garment’s ever-changing functions and image, but provides a novel perspective on Japan’s modernization and encounter with the West.
Megan Sweeney Duke University Press, 2023
Mendings tells an intimate story about family, selfhood, and the love and loss lodged in garments. In this narrative about making meaning of brokenness and grief, Megan Sweeney reflects on her childhood entanglement with her mother, her loss-filled relationship with her alcoholic father, and her attachment to the clothes that have mended her as she has mended them. Sweeney explores how clothing fosters communication and enables us to cultivate relationships with ourselves and others, both living and deceased. In dialogue with other clothing lovers, writers, fiber artists, evolutionary biologists, historians, and environmentalists, Sweeney also foregrounds the entwinement of clothing, race, and gender as she considers the ethics and environmental effects of clothing consumption, the history of clothing in the US prison system, and the roles that textiles play as sources of creativity, artistry, and self-fashioning even within conditions of constraint. For Sweeney, the act of mending is a way of living. Unlike fixing, which leaves no trace of damage or loss, mending allows Sweeney to embrace holes, rips, and threadbare patches as part of her life’s design.
Looking at Andy Warhol’s legacy as maker and muse, this book offers a critical examination of the coalescence of commerce and style.
Merchants of Style explores the accelerating convergence of art and fashion, looking at the interplay of artists and designers, and the role of institutions—both public and commercial—that have brought about this marriage of aesthetic industries. The book argues that one figure more than any other anticipated this moment: Andy Warhol. Beginning with an overview of art and fashion’s deeply entwined histories, and then picking up where Warhol left off, Merchants of Style tells the story of art’s emboldened forays into commerce and fashion’s growing embrace of art. As the two industries draw closer together than ever before, this book addresses urgent questions about what this union means and what the future holds.
2020 Second Place, Best Nonfiction Multi Author, International Latino Book Awards
Collecting the perspectives of scholars who reflect on their own relationships to particular garments, analyze the politics of dress, and examine the role of consumerism and entrepreneurialism in the production of creating and selling a style, meXicana Fashions examines and searches for meaning in these visible, performative aspects of identity.
Focusing primarily on Chicanas but also considering trends connected to other Latin American communities, the authors highlight specific constituencies that are defined by region (“Tejana style,” “L.A. style”), age group (“homie,” “chola”), and social class (marked by haute couture labels such as Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta). The essays acknowledge the complex layers of these styles, which are not mutually exclusive but instead reflect a range of intersections in occupation, origin, personality, sexuality, and fads. Other elements include urban indigenous fashion shows, the shifting quinceañera market, “walking altars” on the Days of the Dead, plus-size clothing, huipiles in the workplace, and dressing in drag. Together, these chapters illuminate the full array of messages woven into a vibrant social fabric.
Montréal is à la mode. A fashionable city in its own right, it also boasts fashion schools, an industry packed with local designers and manufacturers, and a dynamic scene that exhibits local and international collections. With its vibrant cultural life and affordable cost of living, designers and artists flock from all over to be a part of Montréal’s hip fashion community. MontréalChic is the first book to document this scene and how it connects with the city’s design, film, music, and cultural history. Scholars Katrina Sark and Sara Danièle Bélanger-Michaud are intimately acquainted with Montréal and use their firsthand knowledge of the city’s fashion to explore urban culture, music, institutions, scenes, and subcultures, along the way uncovering many untold stories of Montréal’s fashion scene.
In the shops of London's Oxford Street, girls wear patterned scarves over their hair as they cluster around makeup counters. Alongside them, hip twenty-somethings style their head-wraps in high black topknots to match their black boot-cut trousers. Participating in the world of popular mainstream fashion—often thought to be the domain of the West—these young Muslim women are part of an emergent cross-faith transnational youth subculture of modest fashion. In treating hijab and other forms of modest clothing as fashion, Reina Lewis counters the overuse of images of veiled women as "evidence" in the prevalent suggestion that Muslims and Islam are incompatible with Western modernity. Muslim Fashion contextualizes modest wardrobe styling within Islamic and global consumer cultures, interviewing key players including designers, bloggers, shoppers, store clerks, and shop owners. Focusing on Britain, North America, and Turkey, Lewis provides insights into the ways young Muslim women use multiple fashion systems to negotiate religion, identity, and ethnicity.
Benstock, Shari Rutgers University Press, 1994 Library of Congress GT525.O6 1994 | Dewey Decimal 391
Until recently, fashion was considered the "F-word" in intellectual circles, dismissed as unworthy of serious attention. Yet no area of life, no individual moment, stands outside fashion's discourses. Intuitively, we all know that clothing is a language, incessantly communicating messages about its wearer. But who speaks this language, to whom is it addressed, what does it mean, and how are its meanings established and transformed? On Fashion explores the ways our material, political, psychological, sexual, even intellectual lives are woven into fashion's fabric.
This stimulating collection of essays explores fashion's symbolic and figurative functions in photography, cinema, and video; in consumerism, postmodernism, and feminism; in political and material culture; and in self-definition and subjectivity. They demonstrate the pervasive reach of fashion and its expressions.
This collection contains over sixty photographs and illustrations and includes essays by Barbara Brodman, Mary Ann Caws, Linda Benn DeLibero, Hlne Cixous, Diana Fuss, Cheryl Herr, Karla Jay, Deborah Jenson, Douglas Kellner, Ingeborg Majer O'Sickey, Leslie W. Rabine, Andrew Ross, Sonia Rykiel, Carol Shloss, Kaja Silverman, Maureen Turim, and Iris Marion Young.
From bridal gowns and White Parties to shrouds, an illuminating look at the power of our palest apparel.
Pazazz examines the complex meanings of white clothing throughout history. Delicate and impractical, white cloth in the past was difficult to obtain, as well as to keep clean. It is a symbol of purity but also of class superiority, privilege, and the display of leisure. It represents the menace of the Ku Klux Clan, but also the transition of a bride to the married state. It can be the appropriate dress for mourning and shrouds. White lace is ethereal; straitjackets are tough stuff. White clothing has been a marker of innocence and simplicity for women, but also of calculated, high-maintenance fashion. And for men, white can be evidence of power. But for many, white is a startling absence of color, the epitome of elegance. No matter how you view this lightest of hues and its place in your wardrobe, Pazazz sheds a bright white light on the complex nature of fair fashion.
The Perfect Fit shows us how globalization works through the many people and places involved in making women’s shoes.
We know a lot about how clothing and shoes are made cheaply, but very little about the process when they are made beautifully. In The Perfect Fit, Claudio E. Benzecry looks at the craft that goes into designing shoes for women in the US market, revealing that this creative process takes place on a global scale. Based on unprecedented behind-the-scenes access, The Perfect Fit offers an ethnographic window into the day-to-day life of designers, fit models, and technicians as they put together samples and prototypes, showing how expert work is a complement to and a necessary condition for factory exploitation.
Benzecry looks at the decisions and constraints behind how shoes are designed and developed, from initial inspiration to the mundane work of making sure a size seven stays constant. In doing so, he also fosters an original understanding of how globalization works from the ground up. Drawing on five years of research in New York, China, and Brazil, The Perfect Fit reveals how creative decisions are made, the kinds of expertise involved, and the almost impossible task of keeping the global supply chain humming.
Who says you can’t be pious and fashionable? Throughout the Muslim world, women have found creative ways of expressing their personality through the way they dress. Headscarves can be modest or bold, while brand-name clothing and accessories are part of a multimillion-dollar ready-to-wear industry that caters to pious fashion from head to toe. In this lively snapshot, Liz Bucar takes us to Iran, Turkey, and Indonesia and finds a dynamic world of fashion, faith, and style.
“Brings out both the sensuality and pleasure of sartorial experimentation.” —Times Literary Supplement
“I defy anyone not to be beguiled by [Bucar’s] generous-hearted yet penetrating observation of pious fashion in Indonesia, Turkey and Iran… Bucar uses interviews with consumers, designers, retailers and journalists…to examine the presumptions that modest dressing can’t be fashionable, and fashion can’t be faithful.” —Times Higher Education
“Bucar disabuses readers of any preconceived ideas that women who adhere to an aesthetic of modesty are unfashionable or frumpy.” —Robin Givhan, Washington Post
“A smart, eye-opening guide to the creative sartorial practices of young Muslim women… Bucar’s lively narrative illuminates fashion choices, moral aspirations, and social struggles that will unsettle those who prefer to stereotype than inform themselves about women’s everyday lives in the fast-changing, diverse societies that constitute the Muslim world.” —Lila Abu-Lughod, author of Do Muslim Women Need Saving?
Ready-Made Democracy explores the history of men's dress in America to consider how capitalism and democracy emerged at the center of American life during the century between the Revolution and the Civil War. Michael Zakim demonstrates how clothing initially attained a significant place in the American political imagination on the eve of Independence. At a time when household production was a popular expression of civic virtue, homespun clothing was widely regarded as a reflection of America's most cherished republican values: simplicity, industriousness, frugality, and independence.
By the early nineteenth century, homespun began to disappear from the American material landscape. Exhortations of industry and modesty, however, remained a common fixture of public life. In fact, they found expression in the form of the business suit. Here, Zakim traces the evolution of homespun clothing into its ostensible opposite—the woolen coats, vests, and pantaloons that were "ready-made" for sale and wear across the country. In doing so, he demonstrates how traditional notions of work and property actually helped give birth to the modern industrial order. For Zakim, the history of men's dress in America mirrored this transformation of the nation's social and material landscape: profit-seeking in newly expanded markets, organizing a waged labor system in the city, shopping at "single-prices," and standardizing a business persona.
In illuminating the critical links between politics, economics, and fashion in antebellum America, Ready-Made Democracy will prove essential to anyone interested in the history of the United States and in the creation of modern culture in general.
Nancy L. Green offers a critical and lively look at New York’s Seventh Avenue and the Parisian Sentier in this first comparative study of the two historical centers of the women’s garment industry. Torn between mass production and "art," this industry is one of the few manufactauring sectors left in the service-centered cities of today. Ready-to-Wear and Ready-to-Work tells the story of urban growth, the politics of labor, and the relationships among the many immigrant groups who have come to work the sewing machines over the last century. Green focuses on issues of fashion and fabrication as they involve both the production and consumption of clothing. Traditionally, much of the urban garment industry has been organized around small workshops and flexible homework, and Green emphasizes the effect this labor organization had on the men and mostly women who have sewn the garments. Whether considering the immigrant Jews, Italians, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Chinese in New York or the Chinese-Cambodians, Turks, Armenians, and Russian, Polish, and Tunisian Jews in Paris, she outlines similarities of social experience in the shops and the unions, while allowing the voices of the workers, in all their diversity to be heard. A provocative examination of gender and ethnicity, historical conflict and consensus, and notions of class and cultural difference, Ready-to-Wear and Ready-to-Work breaks new ground in the methodology of comparative history.
For women at the early modern courts, clothing and jewellery were essential elements in their political arsenal, enabling them to signal their dynastic value, to promote loyalty to their marital court and to advance political agendas. This is the first collection of essays to examine how elite women in early modern Europe marshalled clothing and jewellery for political ends. With essays encompassing women who traversed courts in Denmark, England, France, Germany, Habsburg Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, the contributions cover a broad range of elite women from different courts and religious backgrounds as well as varying noble ranks.
Shapely Bodies: The Image of Porcelain in Eighteenth-Century France constructs the first cultural history of porcelain making in France. It takes its title from two types of “bodies” treated in this study: the craft of porcelain making shaped clods of earth into a clay body to produce high-end commodities and the French elite shaped human bodies into social subjects with the help of makeup, stylish patterns, and accessories. These practices crossed paths in the work of artisans, whose luxury objects reflected and also influenced the curves of fashion in the eighteenth century.
French artisans began trials to reproduce fine Chinese porcelain in the 1660s. The challenge proved impossible until they found an essential ingredient, kaolin, in French soil in the 1760s. Shapely Bodies differs from other studies of French porcelain in that it does not begin in the 1760s at the Sèvres manufactory when it became technically possible to produce fine porcelain in France, but instead ends there. Without the secret of Chinese porcelain, artisans in France turned to radical forms of experimentation. Over the first half of the eighteenth century, they invented artificial alternatives to Chinese porcelain, decorated them with French style, and, with equal determination, shaped an identity for their new trade that distanced it from traditional guild-crafts and aligned it with scientific invention. The back story of porcelain making before kaolin provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of artisanal innovation and cultural mythmaking.
To write artificial porcelain into a history of “real” porcelain dominated by China, Japan, and Meissen in Saxony, French porcelainiers learned to describe their new commodity in language that tapped into national pride and the mythic power of French savoir faire. Artificial porcelain cut such a fashionable image that by the mid-eighteenth century, Louis XV appropriated it for the glory of the crown. When the monarchy ended, revolutionaries reclaimed French porcelain, the fruit of a century of artisanal labor, for the Republic. Tracking how the porcelain arts were depicted in documents and visual arts during one hundred years of experimentation, Shapely Bodies reveals the politics behind the making of French porcelain’s image.
Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Today, buying shoes, wearing shoes, and collecting shoes is for many of us a habit that borders on fetish. Shoe lover or not, we all make choices every day about which shoes to wear. But why do we choose the footwear we do?
In Shoes: The Meaning of Style, Elizabeth Semmelhack explores the history of shoes and how different types of footwear have come to say varying things about the people who wear them. Organized around four main shoe types—boots, sneakers, high heels, and sandals—the book explains their origins, the impact of technology on how shoes are produced and worn, and explores their designs, describing how shoes now have social meaning far beyond their use to protect the foot. She considers how some footwear has been used to protect power structures and perpetuate cultural values, while other footwear has been worn in protest of prevailing cultural norms despite simultaneously being an unabashed product of consumer capitalism. Along the way, Semmelhack reveals the scandals, successes, and obsessions of the designers and consumers that have built the juggernaut shoe industry.
Beautifully illustrated throughout, Shoes is a surprising history of an everyday piece of attire. It will appeal not only to followers of fashion, but to those interested in social history and identity.
Street Fashion Moscow
Elena Siemens Intellect Books, 2017 Library of Congress GT1052.M67S54 2017 | Dewey Decimal 391.0094731
Few cities in the world offer the diversity of stunning visuals that can be found on the streets of Moscow, from famous landmarks like Red Square to the Boulevard Ring and Kamergersky Lane and the residential areas beyond the Garden Ring. For this book, former Moscow resident Elena Siemens traveled them all as an urban flâneur, taking photographs of contemporary fashion in action and setting it alongside explorations of modern and historic representations of fashion and beauty as seen in a wide variety of products of Russian culture. Through her photos and analysis, Siemens considers the question of how contemporary Russians understand their post-Soviet identity and express it through the ways they present themselves in public.
A beautifully tailored history of this fashion staple—at once a garment of tradition, power, and subversion.
The Suit unpicks the story of this most familiar garment, from its emergence in western Europe at the end of the seventeenth century to today. Suit-wearing figures such as the Savile Row gentleman and the Wall Street businessman have long embodied ideas of tradition, masculinity, power, and respectability, but the suit has also been used to disrupt concepts of gender and conformity. Adopted and subverted by women, artists, musicians, and social revolutionaries through the decades—from dandies and Sapeurs to the Zoot Suit and Le Smoking—the suit is also a device for challenging the status quo. For all those interested in the history of menswear, this beautifully illustrated book offers new perspectives on this most mundane, and poetic, product of modern culture.
For conscious consumers, buying clothes has never been more complicated. Even as fashion brands tout their sustainability, the industry is plagued by pollution, waste, and poor working conditions. In fact, fashion may account for as much as 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. If our clothes reflect our values, is it possible to be truly well-dressed?
Sustainable fashion consultant Lucianne Tonti answers with a resounding yes. Beautiful clothes made from natural fabrics including cotton, wool, flax, and cashmere can support rural communities and regenerate landscapes. They can also reduce waste—but only if we invest in garments that stand the test of time rather than chasing fast fashion trends.
In Sundressed, Tonti travels the world to showcase producers who are reforming the industry, from Mongolian goatherders, to Mulberry groves in China, and American hemp farms. Many of these innovations begin in the fields, with the cotton crops that will ultimately be spun into a soft T-shirt or the sheep’s wool than will be knitted into a cozy sweater. Fiber farmers are taking a page from the regenerative agriculture movement, giving back to the land as they tend it. Meanwhile, further down the supply chain, top designers are working with Indigenous communities to relearn the artistry of sewing—and reward them financially. And global brands, including Levi’s, are working to produce a pair of jeans that can withstand dozens of washes without any sign of wear.
Tonti also shows readers how accessible sustainable fashion can be. Not everyone can afford a designer shirt that was lovingly hand-sewn. But most of us can buy less, choose natural fabrics over polyester, thrift shop, and wear our clothes longer.
Sundressed is an exploration of a revolution taking place in fashion. And it is a love letter to clothing that embodies beauty and value, from farm to closet.
The first major study of Cashmere and Paisley shawls in nineteenth-century British literature, this book shows how they came to represent both high fashion and the British Empire.
During the late eighteenth century, Cashmere shawls from the Indian subcontinent began arriving in Britain. At first, these luxury goods were tokens of wealth and prestige. Subsequently, affordable copies known as “Paisley” shawls were mass-produced in British factories, most notably in the Scottish town of the same name. Textile Orientalisms is the first full-length study of these shawls in British literature of the extended nineteenth century. Attentive to the juxtaposition of objects and their descriptions, the book analyzes the British obsession with Indian shawls through a convergence of postcolonial, literary, and cultural theories.
Surveying a wide range of materials—plays, poems, satires, novels, advertisements, and archival sources—Suchitra Choudhury argues that while Cashmere and Paisley shawls were popular accoutrements in Romantic and Victorian Britain, their significance was not limited to fashion. Instead, as visible symbols of British expansion, for many imaginative writers they emerged as metaphorical sites reflecting the pleasures and anxieties of the empire. Attentive to new theorizations of history, fashion, colonialism, and gender, the book offers innovative readings of works by Sir Walter Scott, Wilkie Collins, William Thackeray, Frederick Niven, and Elizabeth Inchbald. In determining a key status for shawls in nineteenth-century literature, Textile Orientalisms reformulates the place of fashion and textiles in imperial studies.
The book’s distinction rests primarily on three accounts. First, in presenting an original and extended discussion of Cashmere and Paisley shawls, Choudhury offers a new way of interpreting the British Empire. Second, by tracing how shawls represented the social and imperial experience, she argues for an associative link between popular consumption and the domestic experience of colonialism on the one hand and a broader evocation of texts and textiles on the other. Finally, discussions about global objects during the Victorian period tend to overlook that imperial Britain not only imported goods but also produced their copies and imitations on an industrial scale. By identifying the corporeal tropes of authenticity and imitation that lay at the heart of nineteenth-century imaginative production, Choudhury’s work points to a new direction in critical studies.
What do you wear that makes you feel powerful? How about the woman next to you at the bank? In line with you at the store? Think about your mother. What would she put on to reveal her power source to the world? These are the questions that inspired Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki to embark on an interview journey across the United States. Over a period of six years, they talked with more than 500 women and girls, ages four through ninety-two, who ranged from office workers to drag-kings, stay-at-home moms to attorneys, fashion industry executives to elected officials, students to cowgirls.
It is these women’s sensitive, funny, and always revealing thoughts that are at the heart of Trappings—a book that although it begins with a question about clothing is not about fashion at all. Here, clothing is simply a vehicle to access a larger dialogue about a diverse range of issues women face related to power and identity, including what expectations and limitations are placed upon them by their affiliation with a specific gender, culture, race, class, or profession. A complex spectrum of responses include discussions about the importance of clothing’s comfort and practicality, how clothing can facilitate women’s movement through class and social strata, how sex is used strategically in business and social settings, and how clothing can be used to empower women by connecting them with cultural or personal history.
Complimented by 148 color and black-and-white photographs, the visual and written portraits in this book reveal much more than the contents of women’s closets. Through the intimate lens of clothing, Ludwig and Piechocki expose the very personal ways that power is sought, experienced, and projected by women.
In 2016, social media users in Thailand called out the Paris-based luxury fashion house Balenciaga for copying the popular Thai “rainbow bag,” using Balenciaga’s hashtags to circulate memes revealing the source of the bags’ design. In Why We Can’t Have Nice Things Minh-Ha T. Pham examines the way social media users monitor the fashion market for the appearance of knockoff fashion, design theft, and plagiarism. Tracing the history of fashion antipiracy efforts back to the 1930s, she foregrounds the work of policing that has been tacitly outsourced to social media. Despite the social media concern for ethical fashion and consumption and the good intentions behind design policing, Pham shows that it has ironically deepened forms of social and market inequality, as it relies on and reinforces racist and colonial norms and ideas about what constitutes copying and what counts as creativity. These struggles over ethical fashion and intellectual property, Pham demonstrates, constitute deeper struggles over the colonial legacies of cultural property in digital and global economies.
Bustles. Tight-laced Corsets. Caged crinolines that encased the hapless wearer in hoops of steel. Why would anyone want to wear such things? Yet, you can be certain that no lady of the Victorian upper class would choose to leave home without them—and she’d complete her look with a feather- and flower-festooned bonnet as befit the latest fashion.
With a blend of wisdom and wit, Why Would Anyone Wear That? explores extreme fashions from around the world. The Victorian era was by no means alone in strange sartorial choices. Throughout history, men and women have turned to clothing and accessories to adorn and accentuate parts of the body. Some of the fashions, like bloomers, were surprisingly functional. Others, like powdered wigs and hobble skirts, were inconvenient and uncomfortable. And a few particularly painful practices could even permanently disfigure the wearer, like brass coils worn in Burma to lengthen the neck and the custom of binding of women’s feet to fit tiny lotus slippers in Song dynasty China. Presenting dozens of the most peculiar fashions, including shoes, hats, jewelry, undergarments, and outerwear, the book provides insightful commentary, placing the garments and accessories in the proper historical, social, and cultural context.
If you’ve ever wondered why the codpiece was created or the leisure suit went out of style, this book will answer that question and many more. Fully illustrated and packed with fun facts, Why Would Anyone Wear That? introduces readers to the fascinating stories behind some of the world’s weirdest fashions.
Vienna may not be synonymous with fashion like its metropolitan counterparts Paris and Milan, but it is a fashionable city, one that historically has been structured by changing fashions and fashionable appearances. Like the Litfaßsäule in Orson Welles’s 1949 urban noir masterpiece The Third Man, into which Harry Lime escapes in order to avoid capture and which hapless visitors today presume are merely surfaces for advertising, there are many overlooked aspects of Vienna’s distinct style and attitude. By focusing on fashion, Wiener Chic narrates Vienna’s history through an interpretation of the material dimensions of Viennese cultural life—from architecture to arts festivals to the urban fabric of street chic.
The first book that connects Vienna and fashion with urban theory, Wiener Chic draws on material that is virtually unknown in an English-language context to give readers an insider’s vantage point on an underappreciated European fashion capital.
Whether in a court room or a dressing room, wigs come in many forms and represent many things: from power, to sexuality, to parody, to health, to self-identity, to disguise. Wigs are present at parties and in chemotherapy rooms, in pop music and contemporary art. In this witty and eloquent book, Luigi Amara reflects on the curious history of the wig and along the way takes a sideways look at Western civilization. Amara illuminates how the wig has starred throughout history, from ancient Egypt to the court of Louis XIV, and from British courtrooms to drag shows today. Containing many striking and unusual images, The Wig will appeal to all those interested in the history of fashion—as well as philosophy, art, culture, and aesthetics.