The Language of Fashion
Roland Barthes, widely regarded as one of the most subtle and perceptive critics of the 20th Century, was particularly fascinated by fashion and clothing. The Language of Fashion brings together all Barthes' untranslated writings on fashion.The Language of Fashion presents a set of remarkable essays, revealing the breadth and insight of Barthes' long engagement with the history of clothes. The essays range from closely argued essays laying down the foundations for a structural and semiological analysis of clothing to a critical analysis of the significance of gemstones and jewellery, from an exploration of how the contrasting styles of Courrges and Chanel replayed the clash between ancient and modern to a discussion of the meaning of hippy style in Morocco, and from the nature of desire to the role of the dandy and colour in fashion.Constantly questioning, always changing, Barthes' ideas about clothes and fashion remain to provoke another generation of readers seeking to understand not only the culture of fashion but the fashion of culture.
- Paperback | 224 pages
- 132.08 x 187.96 x 17.78mm | 226.8g
- 21 Apr 2006
- Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Berg Publishers
- London, United Kingdom
- bibliography, index
About Roland Barthes
Roland Barthes changed the way a generation read. A cultural commentator before his time, his careful if playful analysis of texts revolutionised the way we comprehend cultural products. Both critic and literary essayist, his writings continue to provoke. His best known work includes Mythologies, Camera Lucida, Image-Music-Text, The Empire of Signs, A Lover's Discourse, Writing Degree Zero, S/Z and The Fashion System. Translated by Andy Stafford, Senior Lecturer in French Studies, University of Leeds and edited by Andy Stafford and Michael Carter, Department of Art History and Theory, University of Sydney.
'It is the making of symbols that both enlightens and disturbs and in many ways this collection opens our eyes to the fashion myth - without destroying one of the most compelling of social fantasies.'Financial Times'For Barthes, words and objects have in common the organized capacity to say something; at the same time, since they are signs, words and objects have the bad faith always to appear natural to their consumer, as if what they say is eternal, true, necessary, instead of arbitrary, made, contingent.'Edward Said'Barthes's treatment of fashion in The Fashion System is his most elaborate attempt to reveal the little worlds of meaning enclosed in each nuance of social life. 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'..the great student of signs'Edmund White'..a wily observer of 'naturalness' and the 'falsely obvious.' A vivid polemicist, Barthes has something too of the c
Table of contents
Contents Preface Part I. Clothing History 1. History and Sociology of Clothing. Some Methodological Observations 2. Language and Clothing 3. Towards A Sociology of Dress Part II. Systems and Structures 4. Blue is in Fashion This Year 5. From Gemstones to Jewellery 6. Dandyism and Fashion 7. [An Early Preface to] The Fashion System 8. Fashion, A Strategy of Desire (round-table discussion with Jean Duvignaud and Henri Lefebvre) 9. Fashion and the Social Sciences (interview) 10. On The Fashion System (interview) Part III. Fashion Debates and Interpretations 11. The Contest between Chanel and Courrges. Refereed by a Philosopher 12. A Case of Cultural Criticism 13. Showing How Rhetoric Works Clothes, Fashion and System in the writings of Roland Barthes: Something out of Nothing by Andy Stafford Editors Note and Acknowledgements Bibliography Glossary of Names Index