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Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed

Koda, Harold

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ISBN 10: 1588390152 / ISBN 13: 9781588390158
Published by Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
From Weller Book Works, A.B.A.A. (Salt Lake City, UT, U.S.A.)

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1588390152 Koda, Harold. Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed. New York City: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001. 168pp. Illustrated. 4to. Paperback. Book condition: Fine. Bookseller Inventory # UKODEXT00LR

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed

Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Publication Date: 2001


Book Condition:Fine

About this title


Over time and across cultures, extraordinary manipulations of the body have occurred in a continuing evolution of the concept of beauty. This volume features photographs, paintings, prints and drawings showing how fashion has constricted, padded, truncated and extended the body.


Throughout history, humans have used clothing and accessories to lift, squeeze, frame and pad the body. In Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed, Harold Koda deftly weaves anthropology, sociology, art history, and haute couture into a lively survey of shifting notions of the body beautiful. Divided into five sections--Neck and Shoulders, Chest, Waist, Hips, and Feet--the book surveys fashion's literal imprint on the body while tracing the history of clothing styles. The long neck may be the only bodily ideal equally prized by all cultures. Young Padaung women of Burma traditionally wore weighted brass coils that pushed down their collarbones and shoulders, creating the illusion of a remarkably long neck. The wide van Dyke lace collar achieved a similar "triangulated" shoulder-line in 17th-century Europe. Fashionable women in the 1830s relied on hugely inflated sleeves—-held up with down-filled or wire-ribbed supports—-to create the rounded dropped shoulder then in vogue. In the "Feet" section, Koda, who remains scrupulously nonjudgmental throughout, juxtaposes the miniaturized "Golden Lotus" bound foot of pre-Revolutionary China with the reshaping effect of today's stiletto heels. The platform shoe was another way of encumbering a woman's gait, whether as a way of keeping her at home (away from sexual temptation) or as a means of showing her off (the courtesans of Japan and Renaissance Venice perched on elevated soles). Men's body-altering fashions also get their due, from sculpted codpieces and male waist-binding to a front-padded shirt by Issey Miyake that resembles a baseball catcher's uniform. Koda's discussions of the historical allusions of avant-garde designers like Viktor and Rolf, Olivier Theyskens, and Hussein Chalayan vividly illuminate an often murky aspect of contemporary couture. Copiously illustrated with works of art and photographs of clothing and undergarments from many eras, Extreme Beauty packs a wealth of information into a slender volume. —-Cathy Curtis

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Weller Book Works sells new used and rare books. The bookstore was founded as Zion Bookstore in 1929 by Tony Weller's grandfather Gustav and is now owned and operated by Tony and Catherine Weller. WBW is a member of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA), the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB/LILA) and the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association (MPIBA). We are also members of The Salt Lake Vest Pocket Business Coalition, Local First, and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. Weller Book Works occupies 9000 square feet in historic Trolley Square, between Salt Lake City?s downtown and University districts and the Avenues and Sugarhouse. The store has two levels and ceilings high enough for salvaged local antique streetlights; it has an open industrial feel with exposed brick walls, stained concrete floors and salvaged metal on counters and facades. Our books are well organized and curated by 12 avid readers and diligent booksellers. We sell new, second hand and rare books of many topics with strong selections of literature, art, history, juvenile books and local culture. We also sell e-books via the KOBO link on our website. Additionally, Weller Book Works sells practical books, like cooking, self-help, crafts and how-to. We order new books and search for out-of-print and rare copies. In addition to books, we sell journals, cards, literary T-shirts and gift items. Our Rare Book Department showcases fine and collectible books of all topics with special expertise in Local History, Mormonism and Literature. We perform appraisals, host author readings, signings and other bookish affairs and we provide special services to libraries, schools, institutions and book groups.

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