Experimental fashion has a dark side, a preoccupation with representations of death, trauma, alienation and decay. This seminal publication offers an unexpected discussion of cutting-edge fashion in the 1990s, exploring what its disturbing themes tell us about consumer culture and contemporary anxieties. Caroline Evans analyses the work of innovative designers, the images of fashion photographers and the spectacular fashion shows that developed in the final decade of the twentieth century to arrive at a new understanding of fashion’s dark side and what it signifies.
Fashion at the Edge considers a range of ground- breaking fashion in unprecedented depth and detail, including the work of such designers as John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Viktor & Rolf, and photographers such as Steven Meisel, Nick Knight and Juergen Teller.
Drawing on diverse perspectives from Marx to Walter Benjamin, Evans shows that fashion stands at the very centre of the contemporary, and that it voices some of Western culture’s deepest concerns.
“Magnificent . . . Evans takes fashion very seriously, and writes in serious depth about it . . . sophisticated and seductive.”—Suzanne Moore, New Statesman
“Outstandingly researched, beautifully illustrated, and thrillingly authoritative, Fashion at the Edge may prove to be the definitive book on the generation of designers from London and Antwerp who came to prominence in the 1990s.”—Roger Tredre, WGSN
“Caroline Evans makes bold claims . . . by the end of the book I was gripped.”—Madeleine Bunting, Guardian
“A benchmark publication that sets into print the preoccupations of a generation of like-minded scholars, curators, theorists, practitioners and critics. Handsomely designed, with a selection of arresting images that will convince future historians of fashion imagery that the turn of the twenty-first century was truly an extraordinary and haunted epoch, Fashion at the Edge is a complex synthesis . . . Evans has authored an influential classic.”—Christopher Breward, Costume
“I cannot be alone in having longed for just this type of book, a detailed study of cutting edge fashion, by someone who really understands its complexities as a discipline in its own right.”—Nicola Donovan, Selvedge
“A complex and provocative text, one that displays both the substantial intellect and practical curiosity of its author.”—Publishers Weekly
“Evans grapples with extremely interesting issues, such as why fashion imagery has become so dark and decadent. Her choice of contemporary fashion imagery—and her juxtaposition of these images with similar themes in art—is brilliant.”—Valerie Steele, Director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology