Paris, Capital of Fashion accompanies a major exhibition at The Museum at FIT, New York's only museum dedicated solely to the art of fashion. This lavishly-illustrated book is edited by MFIT's director and chief curator, Valerie Steele, also the author of the acclaimed Paris Fashion: A Cultural History. This new book opens with an important essay on how and why Paris became famous as the international "capital of fashion."
Steele traces how the mythic "aura" of Paris fashion was constructed over generations, as the splendour of the court at Versailles came to be echoed by the spectacle of the haute couture. Yet Paris has faced repeated challenges from other fashion capitals, especially London, Milan, and New York. Essays by Christopher Breward, David Gilbert, Grazia d'Annunzio, and Antonia Finnane place Paris within a broader global narrative, while Sophie Kurkdjian investigates the cultural value of the Parisian couture, and Agnes Rocomora explores the online imagery of the chic Parisienne.
As The New Yorker recently put it, Paris is "the most glamorous and competitive of the world's fashion capitals." No other city has been branded "Fashion" as Paris has. By opening the study of Paris fashion to new approaches, this book explains why Paris still retains its position as the world's undisputed fashion capital.
This striking book unpacks the mysteries of French fashion as material product and patrimony of a creative nation. Fashion worlds from Shanghai to Milan are studied here for the first time with a French accent, in this lavishly illustrated and imaginatively argued book. * Peter McNeil FAHA, University of Technology Sydney, Australia *
Fashion may be a global enterprise, but Paris, its legendary capital, is too often considered a place apart. This brilliant book situates Paris in a larger context and is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about the wide world of high style. * Caroline Weber, author of Proust's Duchess and Queen of Fashion *
In this outstanding collection Steele convenes a distinguished group of diverse historians. The result is an illuminating analysis of the mythic power both Paris and fashion hold in our consciousness. * Susan Hiner, Vassar University, USA *
This excellent book, brought together by the pioneering historian of Paris fashion at her best, exploresan often ignored aspect of the story: how fashion "capitals" get to be fashion capitals and how different contenders for the title vie with each other for acceptance and supremacy. * Steve Zdatny, University of Vermont, USA *
Offering both historical context and contemporary analysis, Paris, Capital of Fashion is an engaging collection of essays from an international roster of noted scholars. It provides insight into the symbiotic relationship of Paris with other fashion capitals, explores the unique cultural heritage of the Parisian fashion industry, and questions the cultural touchstone of the fashionable Parisienne. * Clare Sauro, Drexel University, USA *