Fashioning London: Clothing and the Modern Metropolis
Over the past three centuries, London has established itself as one of the worlds most inventive fashion capitals. City life and fashion have always been intertwined, but nowhere has this relationship been more excitingly expressed than on the streets of London. Fashioning London looks at the manner in which particular styles of dress became associated with this leading international city, ultimately challenging the dominance of Paris, Milan and New York.From the ballrooms and boxing rings of the eighteenth century, through Victorian extremes of poverty and conspicuous consumption, to the flamboyant explosions of subcultural taste that define the capital today, Londoners have constantly offered an idiosyncratic reading of fashionability that has profoundly influenced the nature of style elsewhere. Breward constructs an original history of clothing in London its manufacture, promotion and cultural meaning while showing how issues of space, architecture and performance impinge on notions of fashionability. It highlights the importance of such outfits as the dandy's suit, the dolly bird's mini-skirt and the second-hand ensemble of the punk in forming our understanding of the capital's distinctive character. Drawing on a range of sources, including paintings, street photography, maps, tourist guides, literature, stage and press representations, Fashioning London paints a vivid and definitive portrait of Londons iconoclastic style.