October fashion books

October fashion books explore bodies and photography. Image as a reflection of time is amplified in Fashion Photography: The Story in 180 Pictures by Eugénie Shinkle and In the Eighties: Portraits from Another Time by Derek Ridgers. Body politics on the other hand are at the forefront in Androgyne: Fashion and Gender by Patrick Maoris and The Artificial Body in Fashion and Art by Adam Geczy. Rosie Findlay’s research, that focuses on personal style blogging, combines both of this month’s themes. 


 

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Personal Style Blogs: Appearances that Fascinate by Rosie Findlay

From Style Rookie to Style Bubble, personal style blogs exploded onto the scene in the mid-2000s giving voice to young and stylish writers who had their own unique take on the seasonal fashion cycle and how to curate an individual style within the shifting swirl of trends. Personal Style Blogsexamines the history and rise of style blogging and looks closely at the relationship between bloggers and their (frequently anonymous) readers as well as the response of the fashion industry to style bloggers’ amateur and often unauthorized fashion reportage.

The book charts the development of the style blogosphere and its transformation from an alternative, experimental space to one dominated by the fashion industry. Complete with examples of several famous fashion bloggers, such as Susie Lau, Rumi Neely, and Tavi Gevinson, the author explores notions of individuality, aesthetics, and performance on both sides of the digital platform. Findlay asks: what can style blogging teach us about women’s writing and the performance of a private self online? And what drives style bloggers to carve a space for themselves online?

published by The University of Chicago Press


 

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Fashion Photography: The Story in 180 Pictures by Eugénie Shinkle

Fashion photography captures our desires and fantasies about how we present ourselves to the world, while reflecting the changing values of our culture and society. Fashion Photography: The Story in 180 Pictures explores the profound influence that fashion photography has had on us over the past eight decades, presenting its evolution as a language, and a genre, while showcasing some of its most glamorous moments.

Featuring work by every important fashion photographer of the past, alongside those shaping contemporary taste today―including Richard Avedon, Horst P. Horst, William Klein, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Steven Meisel, Corinne Day, and Juergen Teller, to name a few―fashion chronicler Eugénie Shinkle reveals illuminating moments in the story of fashion and photography, while sketching the bigger picture. She charts how fashion photography flourished with the rise of illustrated magazines, how influential art directors collaborated with photographers to shape epochs of style, and how generations of fashion photographers have built upon each other’s ideas to expand this genre. An object of exquisite beauty in its own right, this book serves as an accessible primer to the story of fashion photography, for everyone engaged by this compelling subject.

Published by Aperture


 

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Androgyne: Fashion and Gender by Patrick Mauriès

‘This ad is gender neutral’, proclaimed a 2016 poster for the fashion brand Diesel; ‘I resist definitions’, announced a Calvin Klein ad in the same year, while a Louis Vuitton shoot featured Jaden Smith, son of actor Will Smith, wearing a skirt like a natural. Fashion magazines have printed countless features on the blurring of gender barriers, while brands including Yves Saint-Laurent, Gucci, Burberry, Givenchy and Dolce & Gabbana have all interpreted the concept ‘girls will be boys and boys will be girls’ in their own individual style. The previous turn of the century was as obsessed with androgyny as this one, as seen in the art of Edward Burne-Jones and Gustave Moreau, and the writings of Oscar Wilde and the mystic Joséphin Péladan. From the late 19th to the early 21st century, the genders have blended: from Berlin in the 1920s to Hollywood of the 1930s with Garbo to Dietrich; from the 1940s Bright Young Things to the androgynous pop stars of the 1970s, and beyond.

What do these variations on a theme have in common? What has caused the dizzying rise of androgyny? Why has this concept, a staple of ancient myth that was first discussed in Plato’s Symposium, been revived today? Accompanied by a striking selection of contemporary photographs, Patrick Mauriès presents a condensed cultural history of androgyny, drawing on the worlds of art and literature to give us a deeper understanding of the strange but timeless human drive to escape from defined categories.

Published by Thames & Hudson


 

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In the Eighties: Portraits from Another Time by Derek Ridgers

‘It was the best of times it was the worst of times.’ Maligned, misunderstood and fetishized the 1980’s stands as the decade when post-modern life began in the west, and London was at the epicenter of this shift. An explosion of creativity took place against a backdrop of radical social change. London became a city of tribes. The vast youth culture categories of the preceding decades shattered into shards. It was the decade that sub-culture as a way of life reached it’s zenith before giving way to it’s inevitable scene surfing conclusion. Ridgers documented this cultural moment obsessively. Punks, post-punks, cyber-punks, gothic punks, mods, hard mods, Trojan skins, racist skins, ska, reggae, dub, early electronica, synth pop, acid house, happy hardcore, Blitz Kids, New Romantics, Hip-Hop, Rap, Electro, Break Beat, Techno, Rave these were all sub-cultural spaces with scenes attached in London in the 1980’s. Unlike now, subcultures in the 1980’s were not casual playthings they were a way of life for their participants. They inspired profound loyalty. They were a beautiful a doomed flowering of the hope for a better world. Derek Ridger’s exquisite street portrait photography has captured this creative decade beautifully.

Published by Carpet Bombing Culture


 

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The Artificial Body in Fashion and Art by Adam Geczy

Artificial bodies constructed in human likeness, from uncanny automatons to mechanical dolls, have long played a complex and subtle role in human identity and culture. This book takes a range of these bodies, from antiquity to the present day, to explore how we seek out echoes, caricatures and replications of ourselves in order to make sense of the complex world in which we live.

Packed with case studies, from the commedia del’arte to Hans Bellmer and the 1980s supermodel, this volume explores the divide between the “real” and the constructed. Arguing that the body “other” plays a crucial role in the formation of the self physically and psychologically, leading scholar Adam Geczy contends that the “natural” body has been replaced by a series of imaginary archetypes in our post-modern world, central to which is the figure of the doll.

The Artificial Body in Fashion and Art provides a much-needed synthesis of constructed bodies across time and place, drawing on fashion theory, theatre studies and material culture, to explore what the body means in the realms of identity, gender, performance and art.

Published by Bloomsbury


 

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