August fashion books take a global perspective on bodily identity signifiers. In her book Entanglement – The Secret Lives Of Hair, Emma Tarlo unravels the intriguing story of human hair and what it tells us about ourselves and society. With the help of leading thinkers in the field, Eternal Erasure questions the globalised material production, distribution and promotion of fashion, whilst Traces maps influences of migration on fashion. A new clothing related book in Bloomsbury’s successful Object Lesson series addresses veils.
Entanglement – The Secret Lives Of Hair by Emma Tarlo
When it’s not attached to your head, your very own hair takes on a disconcerting quality. Suddenly, it is strange. And yet hair finds its way into all manner of unexpected places, far from our heads, including cosmetics, clothes, ropes, personal and public collections, and even food. Whether treated as waste or as gift, relic, sacred offering or product in a billion-dollar industry for wigs and hair extensions, hair has many stories to tell.
Collected from Hindu temples and Buddhist nunneries and salvaged by the strand from waste heaps and the combs of long-haired women, hair flows into the industry from many sources. Entering this strange world, Emma Tarlo tracks hair’s movement across India, Myanmar, China, Africa, the United States, Britain and Europe, meeting people whose livelihoods depend on this singular commodity. Whether its journey ends in an Afro hair fair, a Jewish wig parlour, fashion salon or hair loss clinic, hair is oddly revealing of the lives it touches.
Published by Oneworld Publications
Eternal Erasure – On Fashion Matters Edited by Pieter Van Bogaert, Martine Zoeteman and Christophe Coppens
It’s easy to rant about the fashion industry. Nowadays, a large part of it is based on producing and consuming gigantic amounts of clothing. Collections are manufactured all over the world at dizzying speeds and are sold all year round for extremely low or incredibly high prices. This fast-changing system seems hard to break into, or out of. How, as a designer, do you deal with this model in an ever-changing world and come up with innovative ways of designing, producing, promoting, financing, selling, and eventually consuming? How do you meet the needs of today’s consumers and anticipate the needs of tomorrow’s world? The masters program Fashion Matters at the Sandberg Instituut takes the liberty of addressing these issues.
Published by Sternberg Press
Traces – Fashion & Migration edited by Olga Blumhardt and Antje Drinkuth
Fashions have always also been reflections of issues in society. Migration is a more topical, volatile, and controversial issue right now than it has been in a long time. Cultural diversity is embraced when it comes to musical, linguistic, or culinary influences. Critics devote ample space to celebrating the success of renowned international fashion designers—Haider Ackermann, Azzedine Alaïa, Yohji Yamamoto, and others—who hail from far-flung places. Contemporary fashion design in Germany is a different matter. This book, the result of a research project at the AMD Academy of Fashion and Design in Berlin, portrays and visualizes the enormous positive influence migration has had on contemporary fashion in Germany and around the world. Olga Blumhardt and Prof. Antje Drinkuth, who specialize in fashion journalism and design, and the well-known graphic and communication designer Mario Lombardo seek to highlight what may seem obvious: fashion with a migrant background enriches our culture and opens novel perspectives.
Published by Gestalten
Veil (Object Lessons) by Rafia Zakaria
The veil can be an instrument of feminist empowerment, and veiled anonymity can confer power to women. Starting from her own marriage ceremony at which she first wore a full veil, Rafia Zakaria examines how veils do more than they get credit for.
Part memoir and part philosophical investigation, Veil questions that what is seen is always good and free, and that what is veiled can only signal servility and subterfuge. From personal encounters with the veil in France (where it is banned) to Iran (where it is compulsory), Zakaria shows how the garment’s reputation as a pre-modern relic is fraught and up for grabs. The veil is an object in constant transformation, whose myriad meanings challenge the absolute truths of patriarchy.
Published by Bloomsbury