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Couture Culture: A Study in Modern Art and Fashion Paperback – April 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Troy (chair, art history, Univ. of Southern California) here offers the first thoroughgoing examination of the relationship between modern art and high fashion. The book locates the origins of contemporary haute couture in early 19th-century France, opening with the observation that what we now recognize as the international fashion industry evolved from work done by artisans in Parisian tailor shops. She traces the careers of a few savvy figures from Paris, who made the business decisions and original designs that helped to catapult the simple dressmaking trade into an art form. Particularly intriguing is the role couturiers played as art patrons and the way in which they utilized their artistic connections to amass wealth and build their house's cachet. Troy also considers the notion and import of authenticity in a trade demanding multiple copies of "original" designs-an industrial-era irony similarly confronting modern artists. With a wealth of period photographs, trade material, and serials, Troy's book documents the strong affinities between art and fashion and provides keen insight into the lives and social practices of the French upper classes. Recommended for all art, cultural studies, and social history collections.
Savannah Schroll, Smithsonian Institution Lib., Washington, DC
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Troy's prose is clearly written and consistently intelligent."
John A. Walker, The Art Book

"The first thoroughgoing examination of the relationship between modern art and high fashion."
Savannah Schroll, Library Journal

"A fascinating study of the swirling crosscurrents linking the worlds of art and fashion early in the 20th century."
Aaron Gell, W Magazine

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262701030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262701037
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,729,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Pilgrim on January 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
An early breakthrough toward a new "way of knowing" or paradigm shift in the history of arts and culture. I suspect that Troy's early work in this vein will be understood, not just as a harbinger, but also as an essential building block for a foundation of the future--a yet-to-be articulated, academic approach, as well as an even broader way of understanding the world through a lens that we now imperfectly refer to as the humanities (because the fast pace of innovation in media, materials and design has already begun to spur an implosion of our traditional definitions of academic disciplines and modes of inquiry).
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