L.A. Chic (Book)

A Locational History of Los Angeles Fashion

Los Angeles is undergoing a makeover. Leaving behind its image as all freeways and suburbs, sunshine and noir, it is reinventing itself for the twenty-first century as a walkable, pedestrian friendly, ecologically healthy and global urban hotspot of fashion and style,  while driving initiatives to rejuvenate its downtown core, public spaces and ethnic neighborhoods. By providing a locational history of Los Angeles fashion and style mythologies through the lens of institutions such as manufacturing, museums and designers and readings of contemporary film, literature and new media, L.A. Chic provides an in-depth analysis of the social changes, urban processes, desires and politics that inform how the good life is being re-imagined in Los Angeles.   Throughout the book, Susan Ingram and Markus Reisenleitner dig up submerged and marginalized elements of the city's cultural history but also tap into the global circuits of urban affect that are being mobilized for promoting L.A. as an example for the global, multi-ethnic city of the future. Engagingly written, highly visual and featuring numerous photographs throughout, L.A. Chic will appeal to any culturally inclined reader with an interest in Los Angeles, its cultural history and modern urban style.

Category: Fashion, Visual Arts
Series: Urban Chic

Edition

Los Angeles is undergoing a makeover. Leaving behind its image as all freeways and suburbs, sunshine and noir, it is reinventing itself for the twenty-first century as a walkable, pedestrian friendly, ecologically healthy and global urban hotspot of fashion and style,  while driving initiatives to rejuvenate its downtown core, public spaces and ethnic neighborhoods. By providing a locational history of Los Angeles fashion and style mythologies through the lens of institutions such as manufacturing, museums and designers and readings of contemporary film, literature and new media, L.A. Chic provides an in-depth analysis of the social changes, urban processes, desires and politics that inform how the good life is being re-imagined in Los Angeles.
 
Throughout the book, Susan Ingram and Markus Reisenleitner dig up submerged and marginalized elements of the city’s cultural history but also tap into the global circuits of urban affect that are being mobilized for promoting L.A. as an example for the global, multi-ethnic city of the future. Engagingly written, highly visual and featuring numerous photographs throughout, L.A. Chic will appeal to any culturally inclined reader with an interest in Los Angeles, its cultural history and modern urban style.

 Susan Ingram is associate professor of humanities at York University.

Markus Reisenleitner is professor in the Department of Humanities at York University.

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction: L.A. Chic: Between Rags and Riches

Urban chic: The becoming of the new Los Angeles

Chapter 1: Freeway vs Downtown

From suburban noir to downtown chic

From the suburbs to loft living, or: Neo-noir in gentrification-land: Veronica Mars – The Movie

Naomi Hirahara: Murder on Bamboo Lane and Grave on Grand Avenue

The subversive need for speed: Fast family, smart L.A. and muscle/cars in Furious 7

A gentler, softer, hipper Los Angeles for the twenty-first century?

Chapter 2: Santée Alley vs Santa Fe: Latinidad between Ramonaland and Latino Grit

Fuego: The new L.A. street style in Santée Alley

The Ramona mythology

Los Angeles and Santa Fe: A tale of two nostalgias

Fashioning latinidad

Chapter 3: L.A.’s Surf Chic: From Drop-Out Culture to Silicon Beach

Beaches, L.A. style

L.A. beaches become chic

Surfer culture

The original beachboys

Let’s go surfing now: Californian lifestyle in the 1950s

Surf globally, resist locally

Silicon surfers

Reading the beaches

Chapter 4: Bling and the Realities of Compton and Calabasas

The Bling Ring

Surfaces and seriality

Faciality

Umwelt – Calabasas

The ins and outs of Compton

Coda: GTA: City without angels

Chapter 5: L.A. Fashion in Museums

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)

Other fashion-related exhibitions in L.A.

Chapter 6: Los Angelization ą la Tom Ford: From American Gigolo to American Apparel

“Doing a Gucci”

Armani goes to Hollywood

“Doing a Dov”

Conclusion: Learning from Los Angeles, the Josephine Baker of Cities

Works Cited

Filmography

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