The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy

The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy


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The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy by Gilles Lipovetsky

In a book full of playful irony and striking insights, the controversial social philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky draws on the history of fashion to demonstrate that the modern cult of appearance and superficiality actually serves the common good. Focusing on clothing, bodily deportment, sex roles, sexual practices, and political rhetoric as forms of "fashion," Lipovetsky bounds across two thousand years of history, showing how the evolution of fashion from an upper-class privilege into a vehicle of popular expression closely follows the rise of democratic values. Whereas Tocqueville feared that mass culture would create passive citizens incapable of political reasoning, Lipovetsky argues that today's mass-produced fashion offers many choices, which in turn enable consumers to become complex individuals within a consolidated, democratically educated society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691102627
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 07/01/2002
Series: New French Thought Series
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 685,160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Gilles Lipovetsky teaches philosophy in Grenoble. He is the author of L'Ere du vide and Le Crépuscule du devoir, both published by Gallimard.

Table of Contents

Part 1The Enchantment of Appearances
Chapter IFashion and the West: The Aristocratic Moment18
Chapter IIA Century of Fashion55
Chapter IIIOpen Fashion88
Part 2Consummate Fashion
Chapter IVThe Seduction of Things134
Chapter VAdvertising on the Offensive156
Chapter VICulture, Media Style174
Chapter VIIMeaning Carries On203
Chapter VIIIThe Progressive Shifting of the Social226
Works Cited265

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