Roland Barthes, widely regarded as one of the most perceptive critics of the twentieth century, was particularly fascinated by fashion and clothing. This collection brings together all of Barthes' untranslated writings on fashion, revealing the breadth and insight of Barthes' long engagement with the history of clothes. The essays range from an analysis of the significance of gemstones and jewelry, to an exploration of Courreges and Chanel, to a discussion of of hippy style in Morocco, and the role of color in fashion.
This English translation first published 2005.
Praise for Roland Barthes:
"One is able to hear the voice of a sensitive and sensible critic who was alive to the symbolic vitality of the world."--"New York Times"
"A wily observer of 'naturalness' and the 'falsely obvious.' A vivid polemicist, Barthes has something too of the classic artistry of Montaigne. Indeed, unlike most structuralists he is a pleasure to read."--"New York Review of Books"
.."the great student of signs"--"Edmund White"
"One of the great public teachers of our time, someone who thought out, argued for, and made available several steps in a penetrating reflection on language sign systems, texts and what they have to tell us about the concept of being human. His work is always partial, passionate underneath its cool, and preliminary, ready to be superseded or contradicted, yet its pedagogical power is durable."--Peter Brooks, Yale University