Fashion: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199547906

Rebecca Arnold
160 Pages
113 x 173 mm
Pub date
Oct 2009
Very Short Introductions


To purchase this item, please add the product to your basket and click the Shopping basket link above to view your basket and continue.

Send mail
  • A wide ranging account discussing everything from production and design, couture, and retailing to the wider role of fashion in society
  • Covers the ethical and controversial aspects of fashion such as fur, exploitative trading, poor working conditions for labourers and ethical goods
  • Rebecca Arnold is a highly regarded writer on 20th-century fashion

Fashion is a dynamic global industry that plays an important role in the economic, political, cultural, and social lives of an international audience. It spans high art and popular culture, and plays a significant role in material and visual culture. This book introduces fashion's myriad influences and manifestations. Fashion is explored as a creative force, a business, and a means of communication. From Karl Lagerfeld's creative reinventions of Chanel's iconic style to the multicultural reference points of Indian designer Manish Arora, from the spectacular fashion shows held in nineteenth century department stores to the mix-and-match styles of Japanese youth, the book examines the ways that fashion both reflects and shapes contemporary culture. Using historical and contemporary examples, it gives a clear understanding of how fashion has developed since the renaissance, while raising questions about its status, ethical credibility, and influence on consumers.

The book provides insight into the structure of the fashion industry and how fashions are designed, promoted and consumed, in relation to relevant historical, social and cultural contexts. It is structured thematically, to look at the role and development of designers, the growth of shopping and the different businesses involved in making and selling fashionable clothes. Fashion's relationship to the wider culture is also explored, by considering its representation in art and collaborations between designers and artists, the moral controversies surrounding fashion, and attempts to produce ethical clothing, and the effects of globalisation on the fashion trade.

"Arnold is an intelligent, communicative writer." - Philippa Stockley, Times Literary Supplement

"Her fascinating little book makes a good framework for independent study and has a very useful bibliography." - Philippa Stockley, Times Literary Supplement

"Arnold summarises with caption brevity, and [I] admire both her research and her succinctness." - Vera Rule, The Guardian


Introduction: What Is Fashion?
1: Designers
2: Art
3: Industry
4: Shopping
5: Ethics
6: Globalisation
Conclusion: The End of Fashion?
Further reading

About the author: 

Rebecca Arnold is an Oak Foundation Lecturer in History of Dress and Textiles at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She was Guest Professor at the Centre for Fashion Studies at Stockholm University 2006-07. She has lectured internationally at a wide range of colleges including the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York University, Bard Graduate Center, George Washington University, and the Smithsonian Institution.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.