Paris, Capital of Fashion



Paris, Capital of Fashion accompanies an incredible exhibition at The Museum at FIT, New York’s only museum dedicated solely to the art of fashion. This lavishly-illustrated book is edited by MFIT’s director and chief curator, Valerie Steele, also the creator of the acclaimed Paris Fashion: A Cultural History. This new book opens with a very powerful essay on how and why Paris changed into famous as the international “capital of fashion.”

Steele traces how the mythic “charisma” of Paris fashion was once constructed over generations, as the splendour of the court at Versailles came to be echoed by the spectacle of the haute couture. Yet Paris has faced repeated challenges from other fashion capitals, especially London, Milan, and New York. Essays by Christopher Breward, David Gilbert, Grazia d’Annunzio, and Antonia Finnane place Paris within a broader global narrative, whilst Sophie Kurkdjian investigates the cultural value of the Parisian couture, and Agnès Rocomora explores the web imagery of the chic Parisienne.

As The New Yorker recently put it, Paris is “essentially the most glamorous and competitive of the arena’s fashion capitals.” No other city has been branded “Fashion” as Paris has. By opening the study of Paris fashion to new approaches, this book explains why Paris still retains its position as the arena’s undisputed fashion capital.

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