Paris Fashion: A Cultural History

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing, Sep 21, 2017 - Design - 344 pages
Paris has been the international capital of fashion for more than 300 years. Even before the rise of the haute couture, Parisians were notorious for their obsession with fashion, and foreigners eagerly followed their lead. From Charles Frederick Worth to Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent, fashion history is dominated by the names of Parisian couturiers. But Valerie Steele's Paris Fashion is much more than just a history of great designers. This fascinating book demonstrates that the success of Paris ultimately rests on the strength of its fashion culture – created by a host of fashion performers and spectators, including actresses, dandies, milliners, artists, and writers.

First published in 1988 to great international acclaim, this pioneering book has now been completely revised and brought up to date, encompassing the rise of fashion's multiple world cities in the 21st century. Lavishly illustrated, deeply learned, and elegantly written, Valerie Steele's masterwork explores with brilliance and flair why Paris remains the capital of fashion.
 

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Contents

Paris Capital of Fashion?
1
The Birth of Paris Fashion
19
Liberty of Dress
43
Fashion in Balzacs Paris
63
The Black Prince of Elegance
79
Fashioning the Parisienne
93
Capital of Luxury and Fashion
117
The Theater of Fashion
139
Into the Twentieth Century
193
Chanel and Her Rivals
215
Fashion under the Occupation
229
Ups and Downs of Paris Fashion
241
Fashions World Cities
263
Endnotes
277
Image List
299
Selected Bibliography
311

The Private Life of Paris
157
La Mode Retrouvée
171

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About the author (2017)

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she has organized more than 25 exhibitions. She is also the founder and editor in chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, and the author of more than 20 books including The Corset: A Cultural History; Fetish: Fashion, Sex, and Power; and Women of Fashion: Twentieth-Century Designers. Described in The Washington Post as one of "fashion's brainiest women" and by Suzy Menkes as "The Freud of Fashion," Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale Ph.D.) with the rare ability to communicate with general audiences. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Valerie Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion.

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