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Fashion: A Manifesto takes a look at the psychology of fashion in order to unpick the hold it has on so many of us. On the one hand clothes can supposedly help you out with embodied life by concealing the bits you feel ashamed of and accentuating the bits you’re proud of. However, fashion isn’t really about clothes in any practical sense, but rather the endless replacement of clothes by other clothes, and especially the vilification of certain styles and the extreme elevation of others.
Like gambling, fashion is a system that keeps us captivated by treating us badly, trapping us in a cycle of promises and dashed hopes by suggesting that new clothes will help us to like ourselves more. And while it’s easy to dismiss fashion as elitist and wasteful, isn’t fashion also fascinating, exciting and perhaps sometimes even radical—not to mention surprisingly egalitarian?
Rather than insisting we give up on the pleasures that clothes have to offer, this brilliant new book by psychoanalyst and writer Anouchka Grose puts forward a post-fashion logic that rejects the parade of manufactured novelties in favor of more idiosyncratic forms of sartorial imitation.
Taking us on a journey from the court of Louis XIV to TikTok’s avant apocalypse, Fashion: A Manifesto scrutinizes fashion from a number of angles: historically, psychologically, politically, environmentally, even linguistically, to open up questions about the ways in which it works both for and against us and looks forward to a future where our clothes treat us—not to mention the planet—a great deal more kindly.
Hardcover | 176 pages.