A La Mode : On the Social Psychology of Fashion by Rene Konig ; Translated by F. Bradley ; With an Introduction by Tom Wolfe
New York : Seabury Press, 1973. Hardcover. 239 pages ; b/w photographs ; 22 cm. $8.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Lean to spine. Address label on front free endpaper. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.
A LA MODE
On the Social Psychology of Fashion
Introduction by Tom Wolfe
A major European sociologist's fascinating attempt to understand and describe the many manifestations of fashion through the ages. Konig investigates the persistence of human interest in fashion; the concept of trends in human and animal behavior; the psychological implications of fashion, its relation to sexual mores and role playing, its ceremonial functions, and its economic significance. Man's reaction to modes of dress is examined, from the prophet Zephaniah's condemnation of "all those who array themselves in foreign attire" to the public rage over topless dresses and hot pants; and consideration is also given to the extended sense of fashion behavior as "consumerism." Konig's knowing and sound approach is made easily accessible through a style that is precise, light, and free of sociological jargon.
RENE KONIG currently heads the department of sociology at the University of Cologne. He previously served as secretary of the First World Congress of Sociology in Zurich, as president of the International Sociological Association, and as director ol the Sociological Research Institute, Cologne. A former Rockefeller Fellow, he has taught as guest professor at the Universities of Michigan, California, and Colorado, and at Columbia University.
From the Introduction by Tom Wolfe
"Fashion, to put it most simply, is the code language of status. We are in an age when people will sooner confess their sexual secrets —much sooner, in many cases—than their status secrets, whether in the sense of longings and triumphs or humiliations and defeats. And yet we make broad status confessions every day in our response to fashion. No one — no one, that is, except the occasional fugitive or spy, such as Colonel Abel, who was willing to pose for years as a Low Rent photographer in a loft in Brooklyn — no one is able to resist that delicious itch to reveal his own picture of himself through fashion."
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