Fashion and Everyday Life
London and New York
Taking cultural theorist Michel de Certeau’s notion of ‘the everyday’ as a critical starting point, this book considers how fashion shapes and is shaped by everyday life. Looking historically for the imprint of fashion within everyday routines such as going to work or shopping, or in leisure activities like dancing, the book identifies the ‘fashion system of the ordinary’, in which clothing has a distinct role in the making of self and identity.
Exploring the period from 1890 to 2010, the study is located in London and New York, cities that emerged as socially, ethnically and culturally diverse, as well as increasingly fashionable. The book re-focuses fashion discourse away from well-trodden, power-laden dynamics, towards a re-evaluation of time, memory and above all history, and their relationship to fashion and everyday life. The importance of place and space - and issues of gender, race and social class - provides the broader framework, revealing fashion as both routine and exceptional, and as an increasingly significant part of urban life.
By focusing on key themes such as clothing the city, what is worn on the streets, the imagining and performing of multiple identities by dressing up and down, going out and showing off, Fashion and Everyday Life makes a unique contribution to the literature of fashion studies, fashion history, cultural studies and beyond.