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The Sum of Us
The Language of Fashion210
Roland Barthes was one of the most widely influential thinkers of the 20th Century and his immensely popular and readable writings have covered topics ranging from wrestling to photography. The semiotic power of fashion and clothing were of perennial interest to Barthes and The Language of Fashion - now available in the Bloomsbury Revelations series - collects some of his most important writings on these topics. Barthes' essays here range from the history of clothing to the cultural importance of Coco Chanel, from Hippy style in Morocco to the figure of the dandy, from colour in fashion to the power of jewellery. Barthes' acute analysis and constant questioning make this book an essential read for anyone seeking to understand the cultural power of fashion.
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No one can claim that translating Barthes is easy. Nor is it easy to assemble, as Stafford and Carter have done, such a chronologically revealing series of essays, to footnote their French sources and explain the citations in them so fully, to provide a glossary of writers to help explain the evolution of Barthes's thought, and to frame the whole with a theoretically acute history of twentieth-century social theory, dress history, and his assessment by friends and foes. The Language of Fashion is paradoxically (as Barthes would say) reader-friendly but also respectful of the difficulties of his thought, an excellent advanced introduction to his writing on la mode. -- Ann Rosalind Jones * H-France Review *
Roland Barthes (1915-1980) was a major French writer, literary theorist and critic of French culture and society.
Preface \ I. Clothing History \ 1. History and Sociology of Clothing: Some Methodological Observations \ 2. Language andClothing \ 3. Towards a Sociology of Dress \ II. Systems and Structures \ 4. 'Blue is In Fashion This Year': A Note on Research into Signifying Units in Fashion Clothing \ 5. From Gemstones to Jewellery \ 6. Dandyism and Fashion \ 7. [An Early Preface to] The Fashion System \ 8. Fashion, a Strategy of Desire: Round-table Discussion with Roland Barthes, Jean Duvignaud and Henri Lefebvre \ 9. Fashion and the Social Sciences(interview) \ 10. On The Fashion System \ III.Fashion Debates and Interpretations \ 11. The Contest Between Chanel andCourreges, Refereed by a Philosopher \ 12. A Case of Cultural Criticism \ 13.Showing How Rhetoric Works \ Afterword: Clothes, Fashion and System in the Writings of Roland Barthes: 'Something Out of Nothing', Andy Stafford \ Editor's Note and Acknowledgements \ Bibliography \Glossary of Names \ Index.