Man, this book is really really good. It doesn't really matter if you *think* you're interested in fashion-- you are, even if you're "not" you're in the mix, you know what I mean? No? Well, read the book, then. Anywho, as I was saying, this book is really good-- for fans of fashion, non-fashion, good writing, psychology, history, Lacan, culture, etc, etc, etc
With a critical eye trained on the capitalistic allure and environmental impact of the fashion industry, this timely and stirringly argued book puts forward a radical new approach to the way we represent ourselves through our clothes.
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.
About the Author
Anouchka Grose is a psychoanalyst and writer practicing in London and a member of The Centre for Freudian Research, where she regularly lectures. Her non-fiction books include No More Silly Love Songs: A Realist’s Guide to Romance and A Guide to Eco-Anxiety: How to Protect the Planet and Your Mental Health. Her journalism and fiction have appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, and Granta. She is also extremely fashionable.
“Grose’s wry tone makes her manifesto a joy, but this small book (enticingly produced, with pink cloth covers) has a serious intent. In light of fashion’s egregious role in the climate emergency, Grose wants to change our approach—to revise it—so that we may retain our abiding joy in clothes without further destroying the planet.” —Claire Messud, Harper’s Magazine