By Michelle Lee
A riveting glance contained in the model international that exposes the reality approximately shopaholics, sweatshops, and superstar closets.
Fashion—from the $1500 Prada bag to the $30 Kate Spade knock-off offered at the sidewalk—has been remodeled from a commodity reserved for the elite to a strong presence in mass marketplace tradition. As a society, we're passionate about style and magnificence, racking up bank card debt to aid compulsive buying conduct, scouring magazines for the newest traits to shop for, and focusing extra on who’s donning what on the Oscars than on who’s successful. In Fashion Victim, award-winning journalist Michelle Lee blows the lid off the style undefined, and spotlights the fascinating—and frequently disturbing--ways within which it really is morphing our tradition, our economic climate and our values.
Dishing at the lords of the label, together with designers like Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Kenneth Cole, Fashion Victim finds a global that's occasionally ugly, occasionally glitzy, yet consistently fascinating. From endure hides to the Victorian bustle, Lee strains the function of favor in the course of the a long time, taking us from the sunrise of ready-to-wear in 1865 to the fashionable pattern cycles that incite us to clamor after leg heaters, bumster trousers, and Manolo Blahniks. She information the beginning of “Speed Chic”—the hamster wheel of fashion that retains us caught in an never-ending cycle of intake and has develop into the crack-cocaine of style, offering us with a short lived excessive till we spot the following pattern and succeed in for our wallets. She additionally explores the phenomenon of “McFashion,” the uncanny proliferation of shops just like the hole and previous army which are creeping into each city in the United States and stripping us—and the designers they knock off--of individuality and innovation. and he or she finally probes the human expense of fashion’s decadence, together with the distorted perceptions of attractiveness fueled through high-end designers, the hazards of dry cleansing, and the gruesome monetary disparity among those that make the garments and people who purchase them.
An unheard of glance in the back of the runway on the forces and personalities riding this $200 billion greenback undefined, Fashion Victim is a classy, provocative and hugely wonderful contribution to the research of yank renowned culture.
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Additional resources for Fashion Victim: Our Love-Hate Relationship with Dressing, Shopping, and the Cost of Style
By the late 1870s, most men wore suits that came from a factory. Were it not for those first bold steps of Henry Sands Brooks, we might still be making our own clothes or having them custom made by professionals. There would be no malls, no online or catalog shopping. In fact, there would be very little shopping at all. Today, it’s easy to take ready-towear clothing for granted. Few of us can hem a skirt ourselves let alone sew an entire outfit. Brooks Brothers remained popular for nearly two centuries with almost no advertising.
The brains of hominids by 200,000 years ago were fully capable of a wide range of complex thought and planning, including the production of serviceable, if inelegant, clothing,” says J. M. , director of the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute in Erie, Pennsylvania. “I have no doubt that the populations that manufactured these items certainly had the capability of using sinew or perhaps even plant fiber to stitch hides together to manufacture rudimentary clothing . . ” Adovasio believes that the Neanderthal’s predecessor, Homo erectus, was actually capable of creating clothing from a simple pattern and then stitching it along the edges.
At that time, and still today, dressing was unabashedly about impressing others. It was conspicuous consumption at its worst. By the early twentieth century, signs of the cumbersome bustle had begun to vanish, and then disappeared completely when women began wearing the sacklike dresses of the Flapper Era, and the fashionable body shape shifted from hourglass to floorboard (although the padded rump did make a small comeback in the 1980s thanks to rowdy British designer Vivienne Westwood, who caused quite a stir with her nouveau-bustle, a highly exaggerated pad on the backs of skirts and pants that made twiggish catwalk models look as if they had stuffed two volleyballs into their panties).