The Fashion Business: Theory, Practice, Image PDF by Nicola White and Ian Griffiths

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The Fashion Business: Theory, Practice, Image
By Nicola White and Ian Griffiths
The Fashion Business: Theory, Practice, Image

Contents

Notes on Contributors vii
List of Figures xi
Introduction: The Fashion Business Theory, Practice, Image
Nicola White and Ian Griffiths 1
Part 1 Context
1 Fashion:Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Valerie Steele 7
Part 2 Theory and Culture
2 Cultures, Identities, Histories: Fashioning a Cultural
Approach to Dress
Christopher Breward 23
3 Fashion and Glamour
Réka C.V. Buckley and Stephen Gundle 37
4 Ethnic Minimalism: A Strand of 1990s British Fashion
Identity Explored via a Contextual Analysis of Designs
by Shirin Guild
Amy de la Haye 55
Part 3 Design for Industry
5 The Invisible Man
Ian Griffiths 69
6 Connecting Creativity
Luigi Maramotti 91
7 The Chain Store Challenge
Brian Godbold 103
Part 4 Image and Marketing
8 The Hilfiger Factor and the Flexible Commercial
World of Couture
Lou Taylor 121
9 John Galliano: Modernity and Spectacle
Caroline Evans 143
10 Luxury and Restraint: Minimalism in 1990s Fashion
Rebecca Arnold 167
11 Italy:Fashion, Style and National Identity 1945–65
Nicola White 183
Index 205

List of Figures

4.1 Portrait of Shirin Guild 1999. Photograph by Christian
Cunningham. 56
4.2 Shirin Guild for Spring/Summer 1998. Oatmeal coloured
linen gauze ‘Abba coat’ worn over Nehru collared, squareshaped
jackets and apron-front pants in undyed, crinkled
linen. Photograph by Robin Guild. 58
4.3 Shirin Guild for Spring/Summer 1999. White cotton tape
sweater with random slashes of seemingly dropped stitches,
worn with white linen ‘Kurdish’ pants. Photograph by
Robin Guild. 63
4.4 Shirin Guild for Spring/Summer 2000. ‘Coat Drop Back,’
‘Tribal Pants’ and ‘Top Tank’ in dual tone linen, worn with
knitted paper neckpiece. Photograph by Robin Guild. 65
5.1a&b Two ‘giaccone’ designed for by Weekend MaxMara ranges
Autumn/Winter 1997 (Figure 5.1a) and Autumn/Winter
2000 (Figure 5.1b). Photo by Cesare di Liborio. 87
6.1 MaxMara campaign Autumn/Winter 1992–3. 104
7.1 Brian Godbold. Photograph by Norman Watson.
8.1 Front Cover of Les Modes, Paris, 13 January 1918.
Half-mourning day dress. Author’s collection. 125
8.2 Advertisement for Versace jeans couture on the back of a
number 24 London Transport bus, March 1999. 132
8.3 Dreaming of ‘designer’ trainers, a young boy shopping in
Brighton, UK, July 1999. 133
8.4 Young shoppers wearing logoed leisurewear, Churchill
Square Shopping Precinct, Brighton, UK, July 1999. 134
8.5 Promotional advertising form Tommy Hilfiger Corporation,
1998. 135
8.6 Elite globalized fashion magazines, from Japan, Canada,
Poland, Singapore and the UK, 1999–2000. 140
8.7 Two young Chakma women crossing a river on a ferry
boat, Rangamati, the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh,
February 2000, with one wearing a Tommy Hilfiger tee-shirt.
With thanks to Polly Jones. 141
9.1 John Galliano for Christian Dior, Autumn-Winter 1998–9
couture collection, shown at the Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris.
The audience was seated on sand-covered platforms decorated
like an oriental souk; the models arrived on a steam train
with a wall of orange paper at the front through which a
model dressed as the Princess Pochahontas burst as the train
pulled into the station. Photograph: Niall McInerney 145
9.2 Monumental figure of ‘la Parisienne’ on top of the Porte
Binet, the main entrance to the Paris International Exhibition
of 1900, made from polychrome plaster, with a robe designed
by the couturier Paquin. Sculptor: Maureau-Vauthier. From:
‘The Paris Exhibition 1990: An Illustrated Record of Its
Art, Architecture and Industries’, The Art Journal Office,
London, 1900. Photograph: Caroline Evans. 157
10.1 Marc Jacobs, Spring/Summer 1998. Copyright Niall
McInerney. 179
11.1 Scarlet chiffon gown by Sorelle Fontana, 1953. Source:
Fontana archive, Rome, n. 17/F 1953. Courtesy of Sorelle
Fontana, Alta Moda SRL. 189
11.2 Printed silk shirt by Emilio Pucci, mid-1950s. Source:
Courtesy of the Museum of Costume, Bath,
BATMCI.42.98. 194
11.3 Wool day coat by Sorelle Fontana, 1964. Source: Fontana
archive, Rome, n31./F. Courtesy of Sorelle Fontana, Alta
Moda SRL. 195
11.4 Boutique beachwear by Veneziani, Moro, Lilian and Rina.
Source: Linea Italiana, Summer 1949: 9. 197
11.5 MaxMara suit, 1956. Source: MaxMara archive Reggio
Emilia, photographic records. Courtesy of MaxMara SRL. 200
11.6 Four versions of ‘Base 11’, drawn by Gianni Iotti for
MaxMara in 1962. Source: MaxMara archive, Reggio
Emilia, photographic records. Courtesy of MaxMara SRL. 201
11.7 Gold metallic shift dress, Gucci, Spring/Summer 2000.
Source: Niall McInerney. 202

Introduction
This book derives from a series of lectures organised by Kingston University in collaboration with the Italian manufacturer retailer MaxMara. The lectures, entitled ‘Perspectives in Fashion’, were launched in 1994 to explore emerging themes in the history and theory of fashion, with the objective of considering them in the context of contemporary industrial practice. Both Kingston and MaxMara shared the view that this would primarily benefit students of fashion design, opening their eyes to the intellectual significance of their chosen field, and would consequently be of service to the industry itself.

The lecture series represented an opportunity to consolidate the diverse lines of approach that were being pursued in the name of fashion, often in isolation. Since its inception, around five lectures have been presented each year by a broad spectrum of speakers: historians, academics and curators, designers, industrialists, magazine editors, journalists and public relations consultants. It was envisaged that this would constitute a multi-disciplinary arena which would enable the progressive formulation of a more useful, holistic view of this complex subject than single prescriptive approaches could allow. It was hoped that understanding of contributory disciplines would be enriched by the dynamic established between them.

Although the historical ambivalence towards fashion in academic circles is widely acknowledged, the lecture series was established at a time when this situation seemed to be changing.

The history and theory of fashion has, over the past decade, become a field of unprecedented academic interest, some interdisciplinary tensions and lively methodological disputes, which the lecture series has naturally reflected. During the same decade, the media profile of the fashion business has been raised to heady levels.

ID Magazine reported in 1999 that ‘the 90’s have been a decade of heightened celebrity and fashion designers some of its brightest stars. The grand narratives of fashion fame are as fascinating as any pop or celluloid’,1 whilst the sociologist and anthropologist, Joanne Finkelstein notes that fashion ‘now functions as a form of global entertainment reported in the nightly television news broadcast . . . the romances, wild escapades and indiscretions of the fashion industry’s supermodels and the occasional political insensitivities of its flamboyant designers all fuel the gossipy tabloids, and sometimes ignite the mad indignation of the international press’.2 The contemporary appetite for fashion is insatiable, and yet it seems that the practical realities of the fashion business are little known to very few other than those who work within it, including it appears to the many authors of academic discourses on the subject. It must also be noted that very few of those who practice within the fashion industry are even dimly aware of the body of academic research which has grown up around its theory and history. That a subject’s theory should be thus divorced from its practice is unusual; the MaxMara lectures aim to address this divide, for the benefit of practitioners and academics alike and, with this book, we hope to bring it to the attention of a wider audience. This, we believe, is the first sustained attempt at a conciliation of such diverse views.

With the analysis of the fashion arena in the post-war period as its central theme, the book is divided into three principal sections which have emerged from the lectures as the sites of important debates: the theory and culture of fashion, design and industry, image and marketing. The text begins with Valerie Steele’s contextual overview of the history of fashion in the second half of the twentieth century.
 
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