Anne Hollander’s books include Seeing Through Clothes, Sex and Suits, and Feeding the Eye. Fabric of Vision: Dress and Drapery in Painting, a companion book for the upcoming exhibition at the National Gallery in London, will be published this spring. (February 2002)


Absolutely Fabulous

Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed

Catalog of the exhibition by Harold Koda
You could say that Western fashion arose in the late Middle Ages to be the enemy of beauty in clothing. Many people seemed to think so from the beginning. Since the late fourteenth century, new modes in the European dress of both sexes were the target of disapproval and derision, …


The Language of Clothes

by Alison Lurie, with illustrations assembled by Doris Palca

The Fashionable Mind: Reflections on Fashion, 1970-1981

by Kennedy Fraser
Alison Lurie has speculated in some of her essays on the ways dress can be understood as a language, and she presumably intends to show how in The Language of Clothes. She begins, after a preliminary bow to semiology, by analogizing the parts of dress to the parts of speech …

A Tight Squeeze

Fashion and Fetishism: A Social History of the Corset, Tight-Lacing, and Other Forms of Body-Sculpture in the West

by David Kunzle
David Kunzle has chosen an awkward moment to write seriously and in detail about corsets and tight-lacing. We are living in a period when, as he allows in his preface, the practice is viewed “as one of the quintessential Victorian social horrors, the forcing of young females into narrow corsets …