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Book Fashion: A Philosophy


Fashion: A Philosophy

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Fashion: A Philosophy.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Lars Svendsen(Author)

    Book details

Donatella Versace and Jean-Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci: fashion is at once a familiar yet mysteriously elite world that we all experience, whether we're buying a new pair of jeans, reading Vogue, or watching the latest episode of America's Next Top Model. Lars Svendsen dives into this world in "Fashion: A Philosophy", exploring the myths, ideas, and history that makes up haute couture, the must-have trends over the centuries, and the very concept of fashion itself. "Fashion" opens with an exploration of all the possible meanings encompassed by the word fashion', as Svendsen probes its elusive place in art, politics, and history. Ultimately, however, he focuses on the most notable type of fashion: clothing. With his trademark dry wit, he deftly dismantles many of the axioms of the industry and its supporters. For example, he points out that some of the latest fashions shown on catwalks aren't actually fashionable' in any sense of the word, arguing that they're more akin to modern art works, and he argues against the increasingly popular idea that plastic surgery and body modification are part of a new wave of consumerism. Svendsen draws upon the writings of thinkers from Adam Smith to Roland Barthes to analyse fashion as both a historical phenomenon and a philosophy of aesthetics. Whether critiquing a relentless media culture that promotes perfect bodies or parsing the never-ending debate over the merits of conformity versus individual style, Lars Svendsen offers an engaging and intriguing analysis of fashion and the motivations behind its constant pursuit for the new.

" "Fashion" is an elegant and relatively easily read tour de force along academic and literary roads into the notion of fashion. . . . A very convincing book." -- "Weekend-Avisen" (Copenhagen)"""" ""Fashion" is an elegant and relatively easily read tour de force along academic and literary roads into the notion of fashion. . . . A very convincing book."--"Weekend-Avisen" (Copenhagen) """" 0; "Fashion" is an elegant and relatively easily read tour de force along academic and literary roads into the notion of fashion. . . . A very convincing book.1;2; "Weekend-Avisen" (Copenhagen)"" "" "Fashion is an elegant and relatively easily read tour de force along academic and literary roads into the notion of fashion. . . . A very convincing book."-Weekend-Avisen (Copenhagen)"A reliable basic theory of its practice. Svendsen sums up and renders obsolete many previous, famous explanations. . . . I like his lack of complicity with his subject."--Vera Rule"The Guardian" (09/16/2006)

4.4 (8573)
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Book details

  • PDF | 192 pages
  • Lars Svendsen(Author)
  • Reaktion Books (15 Aug. 2006)
  • English
  • 5
  • Art, Architecture & Photography

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Review Text

  • By RHK on 13 June 2012

    'Fashion: A Philosophy' is an engagingly written and thought-provoking exploration of the role and nature of 'fashion'; Svendsen begins with an interesting discussion of the concept of 'fashion' in general (as in trends that come and go, etc.) and then moves on to discuss areas such as fashion's relationship with art, the body and ideas concerning fashion as language.Svendsen writes beautifully and succinctly, and the subject is also much enlivened by his wit. I think it is quite clearly written, but - being a philosophical work - it will obviously pose a more challenging read to those who don't have much exposure to academic writing; I also think that some knowledge of basic sociological and art historical concepts is useful. But overall I think it would actually be a pretty good appetizer for those who have never given clothes or fashion much thought as an area of academic enquiryIn my opinion, Svendsen's arguments were sound and very well-grounded and his 'finishing blows' when rejecting the viability of theories/assumptions concerning fashion were very well delivered (you can probably tell I'm a gamer here!). He draws on a wide range of sources and theorists to explore the subject from different angles and across different historical periods, so you don't get bored of just hearing one tune. I'm only disappointed that I'm already over halfway through the book (it's 157 pages, excluding bibliography)!If you're interested in the subject of 'fashion' and clothes as an area of academic thought (but especially if you're not), then I highly recommend this book. You will find it to be a valuable addition to your bookshelf. And if you're interested in reading any fashion history books and continuing to ponder on the subject of 'fashion' and its relationship to the (highly conceptualized) body, then I would recommend Valerie Steele's 'The Corset' or (if you want something more general) Susan J. Vincent's 'The Anatomy of Fashion', which is a light and interesting general introduction to the subject. 'The Fabric of Cultures' (edited by Paulicelli, E. and Clark, H.) is also very interesting, but it's actually a collection of essays, some of which are quite densely written.....And yes, as hinted in the title of my review, I was first attracted to this book because of the cover! And I'm so glad that I was.

  • By Carlo Muttoni on 20 January 2012

    This book is like peeping under the skirts of fashion. It reveals the phenomenon in every stitch, passing from philosophy to pop culture with a great display of knowledge and cunning remarks, yet maintaining a light prose and style. I have read many books on the subject, from Walter Benjamin to Roland Barthes, but Lars Svendsen is the clearest and most informative one.Carlo

  • By Julia M on 9 February 2011

    I am really happy with this book, from the 5 books i have bought for my fashion investigation research this is the best understandable, easy reading and informational book I have found.

  • By E M on 31 March 2016

    Clearly written, it covers a lot of ground and in a critical and interesting way. Very readable and informative.

  • By Guest on 3 August 2014

    all ok

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