The London Look: Fashion from Street to Catwalk

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9780300103991: The London Look: Fashion from Street to Catwalk
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From Savile Row to Carnaby Street, from the bohemian dress of the Oscar Wilde circle in the nineteenth century to the punk street styles of recent years, London has been a significant source of fashion style. This stunning book, a rich and stimulating history of two hundred years of London fashion, explores the circumstances and characteristics that have made the London look” distinctive.

Focusing on the design, production, marketing, and consumption of clothing during this period, the authors place these activities in the context of social, cultural, and economic change in the capital. They move chronologically, discussing the rise of the West End as a center of fashionable life; the era of imperial fashion when London dominated the world politically and economically; the increasing democratization of fashionable dress; the challenges and conflicts of modernity; the school of couturiers that emerged midcentury; and the rise of the independent fashion designer and small boutiques. Finally they describe the London punks who, toward the end of the twentieth century, theatricalized the street in a mood of social and sartorial dissent and paved the way for postmodern styles.

Lavishly illustrated, the book draws on photographs of the Museum of London’s remarkable collection of objects and images, and material from the London Institute.

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About the Author:

Christopher Breward is deputy head of research at the Victoria and Albert Museum and visiting professorial fellow at the London College of Fashion. Edwina Ehrman is curator of Dress & Decorative Art at the Museum of London. Caroline Evans, reader in fashion studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, is also the author of Fashion at the Edge, published by Yale University Press.

From Publishers Weekly:

An impressively researched endeavor to give London’s fashion its due, this book—which accompanies an exhibit at the Museum of London—demonstrates the city’s "distinctive character" through clothes and asserts that London stands apart from other fashion epicenters like Paris, Milan and New York City. The authors work in tandem to illuminate London’s rich sartorial history, each taking on a section of the book (Breward the 1800s, Ehrman the first half of the 19th century and Evans the latter half). Each examines the iconic trends that prevailed during these periods, from the tailored finery of Savile Row to the subversive theatricality of Carnaby Street, and through personas as diverse as Oscar Wilde, Twiggy and David Bowie. The authors also offer expansive, erudite commentary on London’s social, political and cultural currents, providing a lens through which to view the city’s protean identity. London’s marked ethnic and class diversity both find expression in the clothes; take, for instance, a lavishly beaded and embroidered silk evening dress made by Louise Winter in 1893 or a hand-woven cotton creation with a clear Thai influence, fashioned by Wendy Dagworthy in 1982. Style-setters over the centuries have seized upon London’s lively culture as a dramatic backdrop for avant-garde costumes, as it were—exaggerated, idiosyncratic and even satirical threads that amplify the city’s current cultural mood. This volume’s sumptuous photographs and sketches showcase the pageantry and playfulness of various styles, as well as the assertions of elegance and the streaks of subversion woven through the texture, color, fabric and silhouette of each garment. All in all, this is a lavish treatment that lends the caprices of fashion the heft of informed scholarship. 20 b&w and 120 color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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9780904818871: The London Look

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Publisher: Yale University Press, 2004
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