The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy by Gilles Lipovetsky; Catherine Porter Review by: Linda M. G. Zerilli Political Theory, Vol. 24, No. 3 ( Aug. Carolyn J. Dean; Gilles Lipovetsky. The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy. Translated by Catherine Porter. Foreword by Richard.
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To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Sign In or Create an Account. Although Lipovetsky offers a paean to modern individualism and to fashion culture, he concludes with a disturbing caution: Slavery after Rome, — Whereas Tocqueville feared that mass culture would create passive citizens fmpire of political reasoning, Lipovetsky argues that today’s mass-produced fashion offers many choices, which in lpovetsky enable consumers to become complex individuals within a consolidated, democratically educated society.
To analyze fashion’s role in smoothing over social conflict, he abandons class analysis in favor of an inquiry into the symbolism of everyday life and the creation of ephemeral desire. Sexualdifference, inotherwords,guarantees boththepreservation of subjectivedifferences and the boundaries of semioticfree-play. Lipovetskyneverreallytacklesthisquestionhead on, althoughone suspectshe wouldanswerintheaffirmative.
In a book full of playful irony and striking insights, lipovegsky controversial social philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky draws on the history of fashion to demonstrate kf the modern cult of appearance and superficiality actually serves the common good.
Carla Mateu rated it really liked it Aug 30, In important respects, Lipovetsky’s intellectual liberalism, hisinsistence on makingtheindividual theunitofsocialanalysis and refusalto yieldindividualdifferences to systemicaccountsof social change,is refreshing and enlightening.
Ivonne Spinoza rated it really liked it Oct 30, Lipovetsky repeatedly unsettles commonplaces aboutthefashionindustry, especiallythoseregard- ingbothproducers and consumers ofhautecoutureandready-to-wear. Although good for society, the narcissism fostered by fashion may well be disastrous for individuals.
Women’smonopolization ofartifice, Lipovetsky argues,can be better explainedas “a continuation oftherepre- sentations, values,and predilections of the femininethathad ruledfor centuries,” the”primordial requirement offeminine beauty” p.
The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy by Gilles Lipovetsky
Lipovetsky examines ljpovetsky malaise experienced by people who, because they can fulfill so many desires, lose their sense of identity. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.
In a strongly worded critique of the dominant explanation of fashion foundin theworkofHerbert Spencerand,later, inthatofPierreBourdieu lipovetsku, Lipovetsky conteststhe idea thatfashionis based solelyon economicand material factors. A similar problem emerges whenLipovetsky turnstodifferencesinwomen’s andmen’scontemporary relationship tobeauty. Superficiality fosters tolerance among different groups within a society, claims Lipovetsky.
With highbrowdisdainforall thatglitters but is not gold,intellectuals either dismissfashionas unworthy oftheirseriousattention orcondemnitas the graveofdemocracy andcriticalthinking.
The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy
The Lipovetzky of Fashion: This work is an exegetical study not of aesthetics but of Western culture’s Even radically antithetical viewpoints no longer give rise to inhibiting exclusions ” Lipovetsky provides an engaging and important history of fashion and politics that deserves to be read by a broad audience.
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Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Thislastclaimwillstrike Lipovet- sky’sreadersas particularly odd: Mariana rated it liked it Apr 28, Modern consumer culture, according to Lipovetsky, is not the nightmare of totalitarian fqshion suggested by Marxist and Foucauldian critics alike but a system in which individuals still maintain enough autonomy to “opt out.
Eloquent writing, making points I’ve thought of myself.
Natalia Ely rated it it was amazing Mar 17, Lipovetsky does notexactlycele- bratethesupposedintractability ofthedifference between thesexes,andeven betraysa longingfortheday whenthemasculinepole attains”thefree, proteanmobility ofthefeminine.
Whereas Tocqueville feared that mass culture would create passive citizens incapable of political reasoning, Lipovetsky argues that today’s mass-produced fashion offers many choices, which in turn enable consumers to become complex individuals within a consolidated, democratically educated society.