More than just a spectacle of moving hemlines, controversies over the return of granny pants, and the much-debated ebb & flow of "it" bags, fashion provides a chic peek into the collective unconscious: our aspirations, fears, dreams, drives, and desires. "Fashion holds a mirror up to the societies within which it exists," explains Mairi Mackenzie, a lecturer at the London College of Fashion and author of Isms: Understanding Fashion (Universe Publishing, February 2010). "It operates as both a cultural phenomenon and a highly complex business and as such it reflects the social, economic, sexual and political attitudes of an era...Also, fashion is integral to the construction and communication of one's social identity, helping to delineate the class, sexuality, age, ethnicity and particularly the gender of the wearer, as well as being expressive of an individual's cultural preferences."
An engaging purse-sized guide to style trends spanning the Empire craze of the 18th century and the birth of Haute Couture (late 1800s), through to Space Ageism (60s), Punk, and 90s Grunge, this stylishly slim volume connects the dots between what came before - Neoclassicism, Dandyism, Industrialism, Orientalism, Belle Epoque, Victorianism, Surrealism, Existentialism, Japanese Avant-Gardeism, Deconstructionism, Globalism - to where we are, and perhaps most importantly, where we might be headed in the rich personal ways we chose to adorn ourselves as individuals and as a culture.
- Lesley Scott
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