Adorned in dreams :

by Wilson, Elizabeth,
Edition statement:Rev. ed. Published by : I. B. Tauris, (London :) Physical details: 328p.: ill.; 22cm. ISBN:9781860649219.
Subject(s): Costume -- History. | Fashion -- History.
Year: 2003
Item type Current location Call number Copy number Status Date due
Books Books British Council Library
391.009 (Browse shelf) 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

When Adorned in Dreams was first published in 1985, Angela Carter described the book as 'the best I have read on the subject, bar none.' Elizabeth Wilson traces the social and cultural history of fashion and its complex relationship to modernity. Wilson delights in the power of fashion to mark out identity or to subvert it and this brand new edition of her book follows recent developments to bring the story of fashionable dress up to date, exploring the grunge look inspired by bands like Nirvana, the 'boho chic' of the mid 90's, retro-dressing and the meanings of dress from the veil to Beck's pink-varnished toenails.

Previous ed.: London: Virago, 1985.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


An intriguing and provocative study that explains fashion as a multifaceted phenomenon intricately active within the broad framework of social history. Wilson (Polytechnic of North London), author of Women & Welfare State (London, 1977), Only Halfway to Paradise (1980), and Mirror Writing (London, 1982) here discusses several theories of fashion. She rightfully challenges as inadequate the usual feminist explanation of fashion as economic exploitation, and points to unresolved tensions derived from conflicting feminist interpretations of culture. Consistently, Wilson stresses the ambivalence of fashion: "when we dress we wear inscribed upon our bodies the often obscure relationship of art, personal psychology and the social order." She includes the usual association of fashion to eroticism, mass production, and gender, but adds several new "modern" dimensions: fashion as related to city life and popular culture, oppositional dress or deviant forms, and utopian notions of dress. This important work borders on becoming a philosophy of fashion. Literary and historical references fill 19 pages of footnotes. There are both a 10-page bibliography and a 14-page index. Although the 41 black-and-white photographs provide excellent visual complements, a photographic index is needed. All libraries. B. B. Chico Mizel Museum of Judaica

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