The Rise of Fashion: A Reader

The Rise of Fashion: A Reader




Writing more than a century before Vogue, no less a figure than G. W. F. Hegel reviewed the fashion of his day and found it wanting because, in becoming outmoded so quickly, it drew attention away from the timeless beauty of the human form. And Hegel is not unique among philosophers in his interest in fashion's role; for more than 250 years, social thinkers have considered fashion-its transitive nature, the conformity it inspires, the vast range of its influence-as a defining feature of modern life.In The Rise of Fashion, Daniel Leonhard Purdy brings together key writings from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century that explore fashion as the ultimate expression of modernity. Making available many previously untranslated or otherwise unfamiliar works from French, German, and English, Purdy establishes an extraordinary lineage of fashion commentary dating back to Mandeville and Voltaire, which laid the groundwork for the writings on commodity culture of Adorno, Benjamin, and the Frankfurt School. From critiques of aristocratic excess to accounts of fashion's influence on our ideals of masculinity or femininity, from the figure of the dandy and the eroticism of clothing to the class politics of fashion, this landmark reader includes works by philosophers (Carlyle, Rousseau, Georg Simmel) and social theorists (Herbert Spencer, Veblen), as well as writers (Goethe, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Wilde) and critics (Karl Kraus, Adolf Loos, Simone de Beauvoir). Collecting and contextualizing many of the earliest and most significant formulations of fashion theory, The Rise of Fashion provocatively examines the proposition that to be modern is to be fashionable. Daniel Leonhard Purdy is associate professor of German at Pennsylvania State University and the author of The Tyranny of Elegance: Consumer Cosmopolitanism in the Era of Goethe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816643936
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publication date: 09/01/2004
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Part IAristocratic Excess and the Display of Rank
"Pride" from The Fable of the Bees (1724)21
Letter to His Son (1750)28
"The Man of the World" (1736)32
"Discourse on the Arts and Sciences" (1750)37
"Etiquette and Ceremony: Conduct and Sentiment of Human Beings as Functions of the Power Structure of Their Society" from The Court Society (1969)49
Part IIPublic Discourse and the Semiotics of Dress
"On Fashion" (1792)65
"An Answer to the Question: Would It Be Harmful or Beneficial to Establish a National Uniform?" (1791)72
"Adornment" from Sociology (1908)79
Part IIIDress Reform and Gender
Masculine Simplicity
"The Benefits of a National Uniform, Declaimed by a Citizen" from Patriotic Fantasies (1775)87
"Men's Fashion" and "Men's Hats" (1898)93
"The Great Masculine Renunciation and Its Causes" from The Psychology of Clothes (1930)102
Feminist Dress Reform
"The New Costume for the Ladies" and "The New Dress" from The Lily (1851)109
"Some Realizations in Dress Reform" from Feminism in Germany and Scandinavia (1915)117
"Social Life" from The Second Sex (1953)126
Part IVIdealist Aesthetics
"On Art and Craftwork" (1797), "On Objects Portrayed in Visual Arts" (1797), and "On Strict Aesthetic Judgments" (1798/1799)139
"On Drapery" from Aesthetics (1820)145
"Fashion and Cynicism" (1879)153
Part VDandyism
"The Dandiacal Body" from Sartor Resartus (1831)165
"The Anatomy of Dandyism with Some Observations on Beau Brummell" (1845)174
"The Dandy" from The Painter of Modern Life (1863)192
"Fashion and the Modern" (1846)196
"The Dialogue of Fashion and Death" from The Moral Essays (1824)206
Part VIGlorifying the Artificial
"Beauty, Fashion, and Happiness," "Modernity," and "In Praise of Cosmetics" from The Painter of Modern Life (1863)213
"Jewels" and "Wedding Presents" from La Derniere Mode (1874)222
"The Pervasion of Rouge" (1896)226
"The Suitability of Dress" (1882)232
"The Eroticism of Clothes" from Die Fackel (1906)239
"Analysis of the Cases (Complex of Symptoms)" from Transvestites: An Investigation into Erotic Masquerade (1910)245
Part VIIClass Conflict and Status Emulation
"Conspicuous Consumption" and "Dress as an Expression of the Pecuniary Culture" from The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899)261
"Fashion" (1901)289
"Economy and Fashion: A Theoretical Contribution on the Formation of Modern Consumer Demand" (1902)310
"Bourgeois Dress" (1912)317
"Fashion" from The Principles of Sociology (1902)328
"Customs" (1909)333

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