on 27 November 2008
Beginning with the suggested roots of fashion in Italian cities of the 1400s, this book takes us on a journey - highlighting the essential role that `being fashionable' plays in many people's lives - yet, at the same time, acknowledges the low-regard and uneasy relationships people often hold and possess toward fashion and fashionable behaviour.
The way in which chapters are organised is particularly helpful. Each begins with an elaboration of the detail it is addressing - with a precise yet comprehensive summary to conclude each chapter. In addition, interesting `case studies' are provided - such as the recent `puzzlement' of displaying one's derriere cleavage to onlookers.
By taking into account the broadest range of theories and perspectives related to fashion, what this book highlights is the fact that to understand fashion, fashion change and consequentially, fashionable behaviour - there is greater need than considering the specifics of the design of a style, most popular in any given period. To more fully understand the styles of a given period therefore, and how it was that certain ones gained greatest popularity - or formed an ongoing trend - of whatever period of time, then, a wide range of perspectives need to be consulted to fully understand what was happening at that particular time. Issues related to identity and the meaning the clothing we choose impacts on this, popular culture, the media and where it is we gain our inspiration from, our own culture or ethnic background, our social position - educational attainment and level of income, our gender and sexual persuasion are all persuasive elements in the phenomenon termed `Fashion'.
To achieve this broadest understanding, the academic disciplines of sociology, cultural studies, psychology, fashion studies, art history and other perspectives are consulted, summarised and the position of each precisely clarified. As a result of the broad range of disciplines consulted, the authors draw upon material from wide range of texts from which to underpin each theory or perspective the book discusses.
Although the book is aimed at those studying fashion - and to those of other disciplines with an interest in fashion - the material in the book is easily accessible to those with no academic background. Where required terminology is used, it is clearly described or discussed so that there is little possibility of confusion or inability to comprehend. Essentially, if you want to gain an in-depth understanding of fashion and of human fashionable behaviour - this book deserves to be considered as one of the core texts that you consult.