Monday, August 27, 2007

Why So Few? Gilles Lipovetsky's View

It seems I am not alone in my inquiry. Here is how Gilles Lipovetsky's starts his book, The Empire of Fashion.

The question of fashion is not a fashionable one among intellectuals. This observation needs to be emphasized: even as fashion goes on accelerating its ephemeral legislation, invading new realms and drawing all social spheres and age groups into its orbit, it is failing to reach the very people whose vocation is to shed light on the mainsprings and mechanisms of modern societies. Fashion is celebrated is museums, but among serious intellectual preoccupations it has marginal status. It turns up everywhere on the street, in industry, and in the media, but it has virtually no place in the theoretical inquiries of out thinkers. Seen as an ontologically and socially inferior domain, it is unproblematic and undeserving of investigation; seen as a superficial issue, it discourages conceptual approaches. The topic of fashion arouses critical reflexes even before it is examined objectively: critics invoke it chiefly in order to castigate it, to set it apart, to deplore human stupidity and the corrupt nature of business. Fashion is always other people. We are overinformed about fashion in terms of journalistic accounts, but our historical and social understanding of the phenomenon leaves much to be desired. The plethora of fashion magazines is matched by the silence of the intelligentsia, by its forgetfulness of fashion as both infatuation with artifice and the new architecture of democracy.

What can I say, except "Amen."


Anonymous michelle said...

Do you have an email address that I can contact you in regards to your Fashion Blog?

Thank you

11:25 AM  
Blogger Fashion Critic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Stylesalvage Steve said...

Here here. wow what an excerpt! This has now been added to my must read list. Thanks!

1:43 PM  
Blogger jean said...

thank you for this recommendation! i have been searching for a non-condescending fashion theory book for a very long time, and voila, i came across your wonderful blog and here is this except!

5:23 PM  
Blogger Muhammad said...

I absolutely love this book, so much so I might do my PhD on his theory!

10:13 PM  
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