Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty (Book)

Volume One

Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty brings together articles from the first volume of this cutting-edge journal – which is also the first of its kind in the field. Taken together, the pieces collected here offer a snapshot of critical debate in fashion, a growing area of scholarly interest.

The volume’s contributors, who come from disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, explore such topics as fashion trends in a global context, including contemporary Italian fashion identity, the kimono’s metamorphoses, the dynamics of luxury and basic fashion after the recent economic crisis and the negotiation through fashion of social class and feminine identity. Their collective efforts contribute to the journal’s mission: the examination of fashion and beauty systems as symbolic spaces of production, reproduction, representation and communication of artefacts; meanings; social practices; and renditions of cloth, clothing and appearance. Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty will therefore interest scholars of fashion and anyone looking for an introduction to this dynamic area of inquiry.


Efrat Tseëlon was appointed Professor of Fashion Theory at the University of Leeds, in 2007 and is the founder and Principal Editor of Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty since 2010. As a cultural theorist with marketing and organizational industry experience she has published widely. Since receiving her Ph.D. from Oxford in social psychology entitled ‘Communicating via Clothing’ (1989) she has been developing an innovative approach to fashion research which she calls Critical Fashion Studies that she applied to many topics from gender, fashion ethics and popular culture, to the school uniform and the traditional carpet. She pioneered the study of ‘inside view’ (the wearers) over the ‘outside view’ (designers, museums) which was prevalent in research on fashion before, and she developed the perspective of wardrobe research (focused on wearing everyday clothes) over the stereotype approach (which privileges occasion garments). Tseëlon has also pioneered a research approach which is rooted in historical and theoretical frameworks but draws on several fields to ground its claims with empirical work from a number of fields: a synthesis of qualitative and quantitative research, discursive approaches, the uncanny method, and techniques derived from problem-based learning.

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