Contemporary fashion reflects society at its current state. That is why I compiled a reading list with six essential reads that help understand its complexity, give important insights and present the reader a unique viewpoint of the fashion industry. These books and articles are for anyone who wants to work in fashion or is interested in gaining a deeper understanding of it as a whole.
- “The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever”
Written by Wall Street Journal’s fashion reporter Teri Agins, “The End of Marketing” offers an objective view of the fashion industry. Although it was published in 2000 there are a lot of valid points that explain how fashion became what it is today and how it differs from the traditional notion of elite French fashion houses leading the industry. Furthermore Teri Agins explains the importance of marketing and for example red carpet events for the big fashion houses and shows how these have changed the structural identity of fashion.
If you are just getting started in fashion this is a must read that is both educational and interesting!
- “Vestoj: The Journal of Sartorial Matters”
The annually published journal Vestoj offers an academic viewpoint and in-depth analysis of current challenges and developments in fashion. Furthermore the authors regularly publish interesting articles on the website Vestoj.com. You can find a PDF of the 5th issue ‘On Slowness’ on the official website on here.
- Business of Fashion: “Education Courses“
The “Business of Fashion” offers a platform for online learning through educational videos and articles on different aspects of fashion. BoF aims to offer an “informed, analytical and opinionated point of view on the fashion business” and succeeds in doing so through the variety and depth of coverage they offer on the business side of fashion. The courses are especially useful for anyone wanting to work in fashion.
- “Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing”
“Fashion and its Social Agendas” by Diana Crane shows the connection between social change and personal style. It looks at how these two have correlated by comparing American fashion in the late 20th-century to 19th-century fashion in France. Hereby Diana Crane showcases how fashion can mirror societal developments.
- “The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History”
Robin Givhan outlines how American ready-to-wear fashion stumbled into the spotlight and gained importance. In “The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History”, which won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, she explains the significance of a night at the Theatre Gabriel in the Chateau de Versailles for American fashion history and its development.
- “Dior by Dior”
“Dior by Dior”, or “Dior & moi” in French, is the autobiography of Christian Dior. In it he tells his life story, shares insights into his thinking processes and shows the complexity and structure underlying big fashion houses like Dior. It is definitely worth a read.
I hope you enjoy reading these pieces as much as I did and get inspired!
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