This collection rivals an early piece of Freudian text: it’s extremely dense and full of hopelessly complex words and historical references. It took me almost a month to get through this academic journal, dictionary in hand and brow furrowed. When I finally turned the last page, however, I felt as though my brain was delightfully engorged with obscure new information. At 263 pages, Fashion Theory, routinely features reviews of academic books and museum exhibits, as well as lengthy features on topics like “Consumers and Combatants,” a discussion of how the uniform is used to separate soldiers from civilians. Today, eyebrows returned to their normal position, I am able to discuss the modernist moment in fashion we have come to call Chanel, the relationship between traditional Indian and Italian fashion design, and I can list of various shopping destinations in Kuwait and what each offers to the women who live there. Fashion Theory is a feast of knowledge you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
Berg Journals, June 2010
reviewed by Alyssa Garrison (originally published in Worn Fashion Journal Issue 12)