Introduction

Publisher:
Routledge
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives, 2010, 1, pp. 1 - 14
Issue Date:
2010-01
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Scholars have paid a great deal of attention to the changing role and nature of fashion, both conceptually and practically. They have underlined how present-day societies find thei,. identity and formulate thei,. understanding of change not simply by referring to technological progress, economic growth or cultural transformation in society, but also through the medium of fashion. Today few individuals would deny the powerful role of fashion in everyday life. The media presents us with an array of images from the real to the fantastic. Large multinational corporations and powerful fashion houses shape the discourse of fashion, influence public opinion and sct in place global productive and distributive structures. Fashion is thus a specific vision of change that is shaped by practices, economic systems and actors. Fashion is also heavily contested, opposed and criticised. It retains in the public mind strong connections with vanity, frivolity, waste and folly. It can be conveniently blamed for everything from psychological illness, the ratings of Miss World, nastiness on Project Runway and the death of baby animals. \There is something about fashion that can make people ve!'y nervous' remarks Vogue editor Anna Wintour in the 2009 film The September Issue.
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