The London Look: Fashion from Street to Catwalk

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From Savile Row to Carnaby Street, from the bohemian dress of the Oscar Wilde circle in the nineteenth century to the punk street styles of recent years, London has been a significant source of fashion style. This stunning book, a rich and stimulating history of two hundred years of London fashion, explores the circumstances and characteristics that have made the “London look” distinctive.

Focusing on the design, production, marketing, and consumption of clothing during this period, the authors place these activities in the context of social, cultural, and economic change in the capital. They move chronologically, discussing the rise of the West End as a center of fashionable life; the era of imperial fashion when London dominated the world politically and economically; the increasing democratization of fashionable dress; the challenges and conflicts of modernity; the school of couturiers that emerged midcentury; and the rise of the independent fashion designer and small boutiques. Finally they describe the London punks who, toward the end of the twentieth century, theatricalized the street in a mood of social and sartorial dissent and paved the way for postmodern styles.

Lavishly illustrated, the book draws on photographs of the Museum of London’s remarkable collection of objects and images, and material from the London Institute.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The London Look; Fashion from Street To Catwalk takes as its starting point the same ethos as I-D: that the most exciting fashion is out there on the street already.”—I-D Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300103991
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/25/2004
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 10.06 (w) x 11.58 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Breward is deputy head of research at the Victoria and Albert Museum and visiting professorial fellow at the London College of Fashion. Edwina Ehrman is curator of Dress & Decorative Art at the Museum of London. Caroline Evans, reader in fashion studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, is also the author of Fashion at the Edge, published by Yale University Press.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 2
1 Gentlefolk in town : 1800-30 17
2 Clothing a world city : 1830-60 31
3 Fashion in the age of imperialism : 1860-90 47
4 Popular dressing : 1890-1914 61
5 Glamorous modernity : 1914-30 79
6 Broken traditions : 1930-55 97
7 Post-war poses : 1955-75 117
8 Cultural capital : 1976-2000 139
Postscript : beyond 2000 161
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