Fashion: Visual & Material Interconnections Book Series
Bloomsbury Publishing/The Courtauld
Series Editor: Rebecca Arnold
And the List’s second publication:
Danger in the Path of Chic, by Lucy Moyse Ferreira
We are proud to announce the launch of a new book series – a collaboration between Bloomsbury Publishing and The Courtauld Institute of Art that brings together scholarly and innovative approaches to understanding the relationship between the visual and material in forming fashion and dress cultures. It focuses on books that foreground fashion as lived experience – the ways emotional and sensory encounters with dress, its design, manufacture, promotion, and consumption, but also, wearing clothing and the role it plays in social engagement – changes its meanings and signiﬁcance. Books included in the series explore the ways looking, seeing, wearing and being interconnect, with each other, but also with, for example, wider visual and material cultures, and technological changes in the ways dress and fashion are represented, produced, promoted and experienced.
During the interwar years, a proliferation of violence encroached upon the glossy world of fashion: from the curiously common appearance of dismembered heads in fashion illustration, to perfume bottles in the form of a dismembered torso, to dress purposely designed to appear assaulted and destroyed. Why did such disturbing imagery appear in this field, which is typically perceived as being based on fantasy and escape, and at this moment in history? Concentrating on fashion centres London, Paris, and New York, Danger in the Path of Chic brings this disturbing imagery to light for the first time in an in-depth examination of why graphic horror manifested itself in this way in fashion. Beginning in the aftermath of the First World War, it goes on to uncover the further turbulence that developed over the course of interwar modernity in order to explore why violence and trauma manifested in fashion. In doing so, it situates fashion within, rather than beyond, the upheaval of the period, evaluating fashion’s complex relationship with its social, political, and cultural contexts. It also assesses violence’s place in concurrent developments in areas such as art and psychoanalysis, offering a fresh interpretation of its implications in both fashion and culture at large. It asserts that fashion both reflected and contributed towards violence and presents new evidence that women were faced with a range of types of social and cultural violence throughout the interwar period. It also demonstrates how fashion offered women a means through which to fight back against this very violence in both their lived experience and representation.
Lucy Moyse Ferreira is Lecturer in Fashion Media at London College of Fashion. She completed her PhD and MA in History of Dress at The Courtauld and holds a BA in History of Art from the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on fashion and beauty and their relationship with society, media, film, art, and psychology. She has published broadly on these themes, including recent chapters in The Routledge Companion to Fashion Studies (2021) and Shopping and the Senses: A Sensory History of Retailing and Consumption (Palgrave, 2022). She has produced and presented a documentary on her doctoral research and is a regular conference speaker and media commentator, with recent contributions including TRT World Television, The Independent, and Financial Times.
Organised by Rebecca Arnold (The Courtauld)