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Dark Glamour

Valerie Steele and Jennifer Park

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $45.00
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Out of Print

From its origins in the eighteenth-century literature of terror to its contemporary manifestations in vampire fiction, cinema, and art, the gothic has embraced the powers of horror and the erotic macabre. “Gothic” is an epithet with a strange history – evoking images of death, destruction, and decay. Ironically, its negative connotations have made the gothic an ideal symbol of rebellion for a wide range of cultural outsiders.


Popularly associated with black-clad teenagers and rock musicians, gothic fashion encompasses not only subcultural styles (from old-school goth to cyber-goth and beyond) but also high fashion by such designers as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano of Christian Dior, Rick Owens, Olivier Theyskens, and Yohji Yamamoto. Fashion photographers, such as Sean Ellis and Eugenio Recuenco, have also drawn on the visual vocabulary of the gothic to convey narratives of dark glamour. As the text and lavish illustrations in this book suggest, gothic fashion has deep cultural roots that give it an enduring potency.

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where Jennifer Park is coordinator of special projects. Steele is also editor-in-chief of “Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture.”

"Gothic thoroughly examines the gothic subculture and its most visible element: fashion. . . . The book is a collection of photos and text that totally explores the world of gothic glamour from the runways of New York to the punk kids sitting next to you in school . . . . The book is an incredibly interesting read, filled with tons of beautiful and brilliant fashion photographs, that chronicles the birth, rise, and reign of gothic-isnpired fashion in our society today. It's definitely worth a read."—Bram Fulk,

"Valerie Steele dispels the myth that Gothicism is only for rebels as she tells of how designers such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano of Christian Dior, Rick Owens, Olivier Theyskens, and Yohji Yamamoto incorporate Gothic looks into their designs; thus, giving light to cultural outsiders."—Dujour Magazine

"Gothic resonates with several groups. Fashionistas will relish the chance to see famous creations by Oliver Theyskens, Ann Demeulemeester and other avant-garde designers. Readers of Poe, Shelley and other Romantic literature will enjoy seeing gothic characters and settings come to life (or undeath). And the eager consumers of adolescent vampire fantasies, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Twilight, will thrill to the clothes' sex-and-death subtext."—Karen Rosenberg, New York Times

"If you thought goth fashion was just about Marilyn Manson and heavy eyeliner, this book . . . will teach you quite a lesson. . . . With sexy, compelling pictures of high-fashion goth glam, the authos make clear why black has always been alluring."—Julie Neigher, The Los Angeles Times ("A holiday book list for the fashion-minded") 

"[An] extensively researched exhibition catalogue. . . . Gothic is the most thorough academic book on gothic fashion published to date." —Y. Cortes, Choice

Received an Honorable Mention in the 2009 American Association of Museums Publications Design competition.

Selected for "A Holiday List for the Fashion-minded,” Julie Neigher, The Los Angeles Times

ISBN: 9780300136944
Publication Date: October 21, 2008
Publishing Partner: Published in association with The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
180 pages, 9 x 11
100 color illus.
Ralph Rucci

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Valerie Steele, Patricia Mears, and Clare Sauro

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Colleen Hill; With an introduction by Valerie Steele

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Valerie Steele and Melissa Marra; With Susanne Bartsch and

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