Fashion, desire and anxiety : image and morality in the 20th century
Part of the Fashion & Popular Culture S. series
This text argues that fashion and the imagery surrounding it give us a vision of Western culture that is both enticing and alienating, flaunting capitalism's euphoric emblems of glamour and success but also representing the underside of modern life.
In the 1970s, photographers like Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton set models against backdrops of tarnished glamour; in the 1990s Alexander McQueen and John Galliano created decadent femmes fatales whose sexual allure was equally tempting and threatening.
Rebecca Arnold exlores the complex nature of modern fashion, attempting to unravel the contradictory emotions of desire and anxiety that it provokes.