Nothing in itself: complexions of fashion

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Indiana University Press, 1999 - Design - 302 pages

"This is a wonderful book not 'just' about fashion but modernism,postmodernity, the arts and popular culture, design and technology, biologyand culturalism. It has a lot to say about ideas in fashion (reflections ontheories of performativity, temporality, difference, repetition,class/gender relations, and the recessive status of Beauty today, organizethe chapters), and about fashion in ideas. And it's about how we might writecultural history for a 'posthistorical' time." -- Meaghan Morris

Beyond the theatricality of fashion, or its commerce, are other seductive issues that come with dress in its fascination-effect, including the validities, vanities, and deceits of appearance. No more than appearance, "nothing in itself," that fashion has substance, complex and elusive substance, is the thematic of this book, putting another complexion on the subject, the look, and the look that incites the look, in high style, street style, classical elegance or fetishistic chic, from farthingale and corset to power suits and grunge.

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Troubling over Appearances
The New Look and the Perpetual Blush
Temporality Modernity

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About the author (1999)

Herbert Blau is Distinguished Professor of English and Modern Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. In his career in the professional theater, he was co-founder and co-director of The Actor's Workshop of San Francisco, and co-director of the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center, New York. He is also author of The Impossible Theater: A Manifesto, Take Up the Bodies: Theater at the Vanishing Point, The Audience, and To all Appearances: Ideology and Performance.