Fashioning Indie: Popular Fashion, Music and Gender – A New Book by Rachel Lifter

Fashioning Indie: Popular Fashion, Music and Gender a new book by Rachel Lifter, assistant professor of Fashion Studies at Parsons was just published by Bloomsbury and is currently available for purchase.

In 2005, British supermodel Kate Moss went to Glastonbury with her then-boyfriend, indie rocker Pete Doherty. Their unwashed appearance captured widespread attention, propelling the British indie music scene and its signature look-slender bodies clad in skinny jeans-to the center of popular fashion.

Using this fashionable watershed as a launching point, Fashioning Indie narrates indie’s evolution: from a 1980s British music subculture into a 21st-century international fashion phenomenon. It explores the lucrative transformation of indie style, first into high concept menswear and later into “festival fashion”-a womenswear phenomenon that remade what indie looked like and provided a launching point to reimagine who the ideal subject of indie could be.

Fashioning Indie is essential reading for academic and popular audiences, offering an original account of what happens when a subculture is incorporated into the commercial fashion system. As the music and fashions of festivals face increasing scrutiny in debates about diversity and inclusion, and the transformations of indie style coincide with the global expansion of the second-hand retail sector, the book offers also essential insights into the broader culture of popular fashion in the 21st century and the values that inform it.

Rachel Lifter has background in social and cultural analysis and is a scholar and educator of fashion in its multiple and intersecting forms: history, high culture and pop culture, media, bodily performances of identity, and global industry. Lifter is working on three other projects that address in varying ways the themes of identity, cultural value and work: the labor and aesthetic knowledges of pop stylists; the production, regulation and wearing of the USPS mail carrier uniform; and the impact of the AIDS epidemic on New York’s fashion industry in the 1980s. Lifter holds a PhD from London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London: Fashion Studies, Concentration in History, Theory and Culture and has previously been published in Fashioning Professionals,  International Journal of Fashion Studies and Fashion Cultures: Theories, Exploration and Analysis. 2nd Edition. 

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