This beautifully illustrated book brings together a selection of pieces spanning 500 years of fashion, with new texts and fascinating literary definitions by curator and exhibition-maker Judith Clark and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. Taking the definitions as a starting point, more than 200 stunning images are also included, weaving together historic dress, haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion, textile ornamentation, manuscripts and photography. Illustrator Alice Smith adds exquisite emblems that animate the definitions.
The book includes dictionary definitions and literary quotes of the word vulgar alongside transcripts of interviews with leading contemporary designers, including Walter Van Beirendonck, Manolo Blahnik, Hussein Chalayan, Pam Hogg, Stephen Jones, Christian Lacroix and Zandra Rhodes, and works by Chloé, Christian Dior, Pam Hogg, Charles James, Christian Lacroix, Lanvin, Moschino, Miuccia Prada, Elsa Schiaparelli, Philip Treacy, UNDERCOVER, Walter Van Beirendonck, Viktor & Rolf, Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood.
Potent, provocative and sometimes shocking, the word vulgar conjures up strong images, ideas and feelings in us all. The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined considers this inherently challenging but utterly compelling territory of taste. It questions notions of vulgarity in fashion while reveling in its excesses, and invites the reader to think again about what makes something vulgar and why it is such a sensitive and contested term.