Fashion Foundations: Early Writings on Fashion and Dress
About this book
It is easy to view fashion as an entirely modern concept. Costume historians, in fact, trace the birth of fashion back to the thirteenth century and writings on fashion date back as early as the sixteenth century. This classic fashion writing has profoundly shaped our understanding of modern day dress—from the psychology of clothes to collective fashion trends. Its impact, however, has not previously been recognized. Fashion Foundations fills this major gap in the history of the discipline. This key text reprints a collection of pioneering fashion statements. Vital yet sometimes ignored treasures are brought together for the first time, tracing fashion writing from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Why do we wear clothes? What do they say about our self-awareness and body image? How can we "fashion" new identities through what we wear? In this book, Michel de Montaigne, William Hazlitt, Herbert Spencer, Thorstein B. Veblen, Adam Smith, Herbert Blumer, and Georg Simmel answer these questions and many more. In the process they reveal the true origins of our contemporary approach to fashion.