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Fashion is a dynamic global industry that plays an important role in the ecomic, political, cultural, and social lives of an international audience. It spans high art and popular culture, and plays a significant role in material and visual culture. This book introduces fashion's myriad influences and manifestations. Fashion is explored as a creative force, a business, and a means of communication. From Karl Lagerfeld's creative reinventions of Chanel's iconic style to the multicultural reference points of Indian designer Manish Arora, from the spectacular fashion shows held in nineteenth century department stores to the mix-and-match styles of Japanese youth, the book examines the ways that fashion both reflects and shapes contemporary culture. Using historical and contemporary examples, it gives a clear understanding of how fashion has developed since the renaissance, while raising questions about its status, ethical credibility, and influence on consumers. The book provides insight into the structure of the fashion industry and how fashions are designed, promoted and consumed, in relation to relevant historical, social and cultural contexts. It is structured thematically, to look at the role and development of designers, the growth of shopping and the different businesses involved in making and selling fashionable clothes. Fashion's relationship to the wider culture is also explored, by considering its representation in art and collaborations between designers and artists, the moral controversies surrounding fashion, and attempts to produce ethical clothing, and the effects of globalisation on the fashion trade. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Rebecca Arnold is an Oak Foundation Lecturer in History of Dress and Textiles at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She was Guest Professor at the Centre for Fashion Studies at Stockholm University 2006-07. She has lectured internationally at a wide range of colleges including the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York University, Bard Graduate Center, George Washington University, and the Smithsonian Institution.