If fashion is an expression of individuality, why do we all dress alike? Can modernity be described as the experience of 'feeling modern' and, if so, what part does fashion play? Answering these intriguing questions and many more, this pioneering book shows how the concepts of fashion and modernity are intimately linked. It argues that capitalism and identity construction as social processes both have symbiotic relationships with the fashion system. Technology, the body, nationality and gender are informed and shaped by modernity, and vice versa. Drawing on key modernist texts as well as fashion theory and practice, this book seeks broadly to cover the history of fashion and modernity, a topic that has been surprisingly overlooked. Tackling themes including court masques in seventeenth-century London, Paris couturiers and forensic laboratories in twentieth-century Washington, the authors show how fashion throughout history has been a cornerstone in the construction of a modern self.
'Fashion and Modernity offers both the conceptual framework and the kind of 'thick' historical and contemporary analyses required to move forward a number of debates in fashion studies. The contributions to this remarkable volume generate a lively, interdisciplinary exchange of perspectives, individually and collectively putting to rest any semblance of a notion of modern, western fashion history as a seamless, linear narrative.' Susan Kaiser, Professor and Chair of the Division of Textiles and Clothing, University of California at Davis.