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A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk by Valerie Steele

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A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk
Edited by Valerie Steele

4to. pp. 248. profusely illustrated in colour & b/w. bibliography. hardcover. dw. (near fine - short year to foot of spine).  New Haven & London: Yale University Press in association with the Fashion Institute of Technology New York, [2013].

ISBN-10: 0300196709 / ISBN-13: 9780300196702


A ground-breaking exploration of gay contributions to fashion

From Christian Dior to Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, many of the greatest fashion designers of the past century have been gay.  Fashion and style have played an important role within the LGBTQ community, as well, even as early as the 18th century.  This provocative book looks at the history of fashion through a queer lens, examining high fashion as a site of gay cultural production and exploring the aesthetic sensibilities and unconventional dress of LGBTQ people, especially since the 1950s, to demonstrate the centrality of gay culture to the creation of modern fashion.  
Published to coincide with an exhibition at The Museum at FIT, this book features contributions by some of the world’s most acclaimed scholars of gay history and fashion – including Christopher Breward, Shaun Cole, Vicki Karaminas, Jonathan D. Katz, Peter McNeil, and Elizabeth Wilson. They trace the archeology of queer attire back to the homosexual underworld of eighteenth-century Europe, explore the content in which designers' lives and works form part of a broader gay history and demonstrate the influence of gay and lesbian subcultural styles from Marlene Dietrich's appropriation of the mmale tuxedo (which inspired Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking) to the erotic iconography of leather. This book is lavishly illustrated with fashion photographs and archival imagery.