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Brief history of contemporary fashion

Chelsea Rousso and Nancy Kaplan Ostroff

Source: Fashion Forward. A Guide to Fashion Forecasting, 2nd Edition, 2018, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter + STUDIO

The “spirit of the times,” or zeitgeistzeitgeist, refers to the current state of culture: the expression of the present. The mode of an era is determined by a complex mixture of historical, social, psychological, and aesthetic factors. During each era, creative artists and designers are inspired by current influences that they interpret into innovative ideas and products. It is not surprising that there are commonalities that influence an era. New aesthetics, newaesthetics can often be found in v

Feminist Ideologies in Postmodern Japanese Fashion: Rei Kawakubo Meets Marie Antoinette in Downtown Tokyo

Ory Bartal

Source: Dress and Ideology. Fashioning Identity from Antiquity to the Present, 2017, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

In the 1970s, the modernistic social paradigm collapsed in many post-industrial countries. In Japan, it resulted in the falling apart of the homogeneous culture that hailed collectivism. Various groups began to form. In 1970s Tokyo, the Karasu-Zoku (raven tribe) emerged as a parallel to the British Punk movement. Alongside the karasu-zoku was the an-non-zoku, a young and fashionable “tribe” consisting of women who enjoyed reading the mass communicationmagazinesmagazines an-an and non-no. The idea

Two: Thinking Critically: A History and Conceptual Examination of Fashion Branding

Joseph H. Hancock

Source: Brand Story. Cases and Explorations in Fashion Branding, 2nd Edition, 2016, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

New ads began to appear showing clothing that reflected the current fashion, with each advertisement trying to vie for the almighty dollar. At this time the French philosopher Roland Barthes suggested that advertising was creating a new level of existence for fashion. Barthes developed a theory that has since been called “The Fashion System,” which states that a garment is present at three distinct levels: the real garment or actual thing; the terminological garment, which signifies the basic ter

A Brief Overview of Modern Designing

Karl Aspelund

Source: Designing. An Introduction, 2015, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Designers Speak

Introduction

Adam Geczy and Jacqueline Millner

Source: Fashionable Art, 2015, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

And now the art world has become so big and stars seem to come and go as swiftly as reality television characters in Hollywood …

What is Fashionable Art?

Adam Geczy and Jacqueline Millner

Source: Fashionable Art, 2015, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

the erosion of the older distinction between high culture and so-called mass or popular culture. This is perhaps the most distressing development of all from the academic standpoint, which has traditionally had a vested interest in preserving a realm of high, or elite culture against the surrounding environment of philistinism, of schlock, and kitschkitsch, of TV series and Reader’s DigestReader’s Digest culture, and in transmitting difficult and complex skills of reading, listening and seeing to

Less is Less: Formlessness

Adam Geczy and Jacqueline Millner

Source: Fashionable Art, 2015, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

formlessnessWell, concerning civility or public morality, you can now see what’s happening in art. For any art exhibition in London, for example, to be effective, it must be something disgusting: show some dead fish or the excrement of cows. At one exhibition, my god, they showed a video of a colonoscopy. Today, more and more, the cultural-economic apparatus itself has to incite stronger and more shocking effects and products. These are the recent trends in the arts. But the thing is that transgr

Ann Demeulemeester

Elizabeth Kutesko

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Designer Biography

Stephen Sprouse

Elizabeth Kutesko

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Designer Biography

Dirk Bikkembergs

Elizabeth Kutesko

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Designer Biography

Dries Van Noten

Sandra J. Ley

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Designer Biography

Fetish

Frenchy Lunning

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Article

This article discusses the origins and history of fetish fashions (and gives an explanation of forms and functions) from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. Beginning with late nineteenth-century Paris, when these forms came into play, it tracks the development through modernist culture and into the postmodern culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, noting the similar cultural conditions of gender instabilities and roles. It explains how fetish f

A Narrative of Jazz Modernity

Alphonso D. McClendon

Source: Fashion and Jazz. Dress, identity and subcultural improvisation, 2015, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

postmodern identity, in jazzidentity(ies)postmodern in jazz“Satchmo at the Waldorf”“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill”“Jazz Urbane”Holiday, Billie“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill”classic jazzIn popular culture, jazz is situated in an environment beyond the 1960s stage of fusion, divergence and division, where it is now elevated, revered and presented as a nostalgic art form that conveys an ingenious past. Music scholars of the twenty-first century have applied numerous definitions to this perio

The Handbag from the 1970s to 2000

Lucy Moyse

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Article

The need to collect, carry, and contain one’s belongings has existed for as long as humanity. From sacks to hold prehistoric flint and pouches for early coins to purses with contemporary cosmetics, various types of handbags have appeared in art and writing throughout history. While always fulfilling a practical function, handbags have also evolved with changing needs. They can be signifiers of fashion, social status, and even psychological state, as they mediate the boundaries between interior an

Fendi, Spring/Summer 1988

Alexis Romano

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Article

Fendi was an important feature of the globally renowned, flourishing 1980s Italian fashion landscape, yet it retained its original status as one of the traditional accessories brands that helped shape Italy’s classification as a historic center of artisanal, high-quality craftsmanship. Fendi’s 1988 collection, with Karl Lagerfeld at the helm, was at once bold, whimsical, ironic, and rebellious in terms of color, motif, silhouette, and accessories. It was a celebration of postmodernism, which in t

1970s Style: Key Themes and Trends

Jo Turney

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Article

The 1970s established fashion as performance, an element of cultures of display in which the street became catwalk (and vice versa), fusing fashion with media such as music, dance, film, and art. It was a decade of imagination and individuality, resulting from newfound social and personal freedoms (Tom Wolfe dubbed it the “Me” decade) which combined with a sartorial knowingness created a new confidence in the presentation of the self—anything was possible and the only limits were of one’s imagina

1944–2011: Postwar Revivalism and Transorientalism

Adam Geczy

Source: Fashion and Orientalism. Dress, Textiles and Culture from the 17th to the 21st Century, 2013, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

To call the toga or the mandarin’s gown ‘chic’ is to suggest a process of change which barely existed in ancient Rome or China; the clothes of the beefeater of the samurai are eminently respectable, precisely because they are not up to date; the tarboosh was never ‘all the go’ for it has never gone.

Issey Miyake

Bonnie English

Source: Japanese Fashion Designers. The Work and Influence of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo, 2011, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

Clothes … speak many languages … and have to be seen on the outside … as well as felt on the inside.

Techno Textiles

Bonnie English

Source: Japanese Fashion Designers. The Work and Influence of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo, 2011, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

While there are a number of monolithic factories in Japan, such as Toray, the largest textile company in the world, which are technically advanced and automated, the majority of operators are small and simple by comparison. Toray has expanded its base of synthetic fibres and textiles to include many other fields, such as plastics and chemicals, advanced composite materials, pharmaceutical and medical products, construction materials, housing, and engineering. Many of the smaller factories, includ

Global Influences: Challenging Western Traditions

Bonnie English

Source: Japanese Fashion Designers. The Work and Influence of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo, 2011, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

The Maison Margiela teamThe designers that we most admire are ‘those with an authentic approach to their work.’

Branding, Fashion and Music

Janice Miller

Source: Fashion and Music, 2011, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

A kind of special status for creative people is part of a set of characteristics constructed in the nineteenth century by the writers, poets, composers and painters that Raymond Williams (1971) labels the ‘Romantic Artists’. Williams argues that a certain mystique and an almost stereotypical artistic personality were created by and around sets of individuals as a method of resistance to encroaching industrialization.

Tradition and Fashion

Elizabeth D. Lowe

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

One might think that because Canada and the United States are countries that can be considered technologically advanced and would be characterized as thoroughly modern societies, the role of fashion in the lives of these countries’ residents would be strong and the place of tradition would be minimal. But to understand where and how tradition and fashion contrast, complement, and intersect in these modern Western societies, it is necessary to begin by exploring the meaning of these concepts.

Barthes, Roland

Nicole Pellegrin

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

Following Jean-Baptiste Farges and Andy Stafford, one can try to distinguish three moments—but they are also three directions, closely connected but not successive— in the activities and the life of Barthes: the polemical journalist immediately after the war, the triumphant yet marginal university professor of the postwar boom, and the elusive “novelist” celebrated by the entire intelligentsia of the left in the 1970s.

Research Approaches

Lise Skov and Marie Riegels Melchior

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

Dress and fashion are rich and varied fields of study. Some scholars refer to them as “hybrid subjects” because they bring together different conceptual frameworks and disciplinary approaches, including those from anthropology, art history, cultural studies, design studies, economics, history, home economics (in the early twenty-first century more likely to be known as “family and consumer studies” or “human ecology”), literature, semiotics, sociology, visual culture, and business studies. Invari

Baudrillard, Jean

Efrat Tseëlon

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

Initially, Baudrillard argued that when products move from the realm of function (reflecting use value and exchange value) to the realm of signification (reflecting sign value), they become carriers of social meaning. Specifically, they become “objects.” Baudrillard’s notion of sign value is based on an analogy between a system of objects (commodity) and a system of sign (language). He applied Ferdinand de Saussure’s structural linguistics to the study of fashion, media, ideologies, and images. I

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