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Language of Fashion
     

Language of Fashion

by Roland Barthes, Andy Stafford (Translator), Michael Carter (Editor)
 

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Roland Barthes was one of the most widely influential thinkers of the 20th Century and his immensely popular and readable writings have covered topics ranging from wrestling to photography. The semiotic power of fashion and clothing were of perennial interest to Barthes and The Language of Fashion - now available in the Bloomsbury Revelations series - collects some

Overview

Roland Barthes was one of the most widely influential thinkers of the 20th Century and his immensely popular and readable writings have covered topics ranging from wrestling to photography. The semiotic power of fashion and clothing were of perennial interest to Barthes and The Language of Fashion - now available in the Bloomsbury Revelations series - collects some of his most important writings on these topics. Barthes' essays here range from the history of clothing to the cultural importance of Coco Chanel, from Hippy style in Morocco to the figure of the dandy, from colour in fashion to the power of jewellery. Barthes' acute analysis and constant questioning make this book an essential read for anyone seeking to understand the cultural power of fashion.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As part of his edgy 1960s cultural criticism, French sociologist Barthes wrote extensively on fashion, culminating in The Fashion System. British academics Stafford and Michael Carter have assembled a smattering of the early interdisciplinary essays that haven't been translated before, originally published in publications as diverse as Revue Fran aise de Sociologie and Marie Claire. The essays reveal the chronological development of Barthes's thinking, from 1957 to 1969, which essentially aimed to apply Saussure's semiology to clothing forms to show how "the signifying function of dress makes it a total social object." In the early "History and Sociology of Clothing," for example, Barthes equates the Saussurian linguistics distinctions "langue" and "parole" to fashion; that is, "langue" is dress, while "parole" is the act of getting dressed. "Language and Clothing" delves into fashion history, extracting the nugget that men's current anti-dandyist style derives from the austerity of Quaker dress. "From Gemstones to Jewellery" is one of the few essays for lay readers, as is a consideration of classic versus modern style entitled "The Contest Between Chanel and Courr ges." There's a lot of padding and explication in this slender volume, necessary to navigate Barthes's fairly difficult system. (Apr. 5) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This volume includes several previously untranslated essays on fashion by legendary philosopher and critic Barthes (The Fashion System) as well as transcriptions of two rare interviews. The scholarly essays are divided into three sections dealing with clothing history, systems and structures, and fashion debates and interpretations. Originally published in French, the essays appeared in such periodicals as Annales, Marie Claire, and Communication. In general, Barthes's writings here fall into structuralist/poststructuralist and semiotic categories and have a strong sociological slant (i.e., you won't find essays about what not to wear next winter). Included is an excellent afterword by Stafford (French studies, Univ. of Leeds) that will prove helpful to any readers unfamiliar with Barthes's previous work on the subject. Naturally, the content is most useful alongside Barthes's other works (particularly The Fashion System) and will be practical to anyone needing further resources on Barthes. Recommended for academic libraries only.-Jason Moore, Madison Cty. Lib. Syst., MS Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“One is able to hear the voice of a sensitive and sensible critic who was alive to the symbolic vitality of the world.” —New York Times

“[T]he content is most useful alongside Barthes's other works (particularly The Fashion System) and will be practical to anyone needing further resources on Barthes. Recommended for academic libraries only.” —Jason Moore, Madison City Library System, MS

New York Times

One is able to hear the voice of a sensitive and sensible critic who was alive to the symbolic vitality of the world.
Jason Moore

[T]he content is most useful alongside Barthes's other works (particularly The Fashion System) and will be practical to anyone needing further resources on Barthes. Recommended for academic libraries only.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845203801
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
03/21/2006
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.48(h) x 0.61(d)

Meet the Author

Roland Barthes (1915-1980) was a major French writer, literary theorist and critic of French culture and society.

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