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OLD CLOTHES, NEW LOOKS: SECOND HAND FASHION
Alexandra Palmer & Hazel Clark eds.

Berg, 2005
Softcover
255 pages
Mostly text, some b+w illustrations.
ISBN: 1859738575

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Recent interest in 'vintage' and second hand clothes by both fashion consumers and designers is only the latest manifestation of a long and complex cultural history of wearing and trading second hand clothes. With its origins in necessity, the passing of clothes between social and economic groups is now a global business, but with roots that are centuries old. To move from one social and cultural situation to another used clothes must be 'transformed' to become of potential value to a new social group. How, when and why this happened is the subject of this book.

Old Clothes, New Looks presents a three-part focus on the history, the trading culture, and the contemporary refashioning of second hand clothing. Historical perspectives include studies located in Renaissance and mid twentiety-century Ireland. The global nature of the second hand trade in clothing is presented through original research from Zambia, India, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Japan. The reuse of garments as contemporary fashion statements is explored through studies that include neo-mod retro-sixties subculture in Germany, the impact of 'vintage' in the USA on consumers and designers, as well as consideration of its sartorial and cultural challenges, encapsulated by the work of designer XULY.Bët.

 

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