Unfolding the Past

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en Limba Engleză Hardback – 05 May 2022
"Fascinating." Perspective "A fascinating, often funny, and eminently stylish personal memoir . I loved it." - Chris Breward, author of The Suit"Wide-ranging, thought-provoking and important." - Claire Wilcox, author of Patch Work Elizabeth Wilson is a pioneer of fashion studies, yet she never intended to become an academic. Starting her literary career as a feminist activist writing for the underground press, she went on to explore tennis, 'bohemians' and of course fashion - her obsession - along with forays into fiction. Throughout, she has never seen her work as abstract or disengaged from 'real life'. In her memoir, she traces this relationship between personal experience and her writing, revisiting pivotal moments from childhood, adolescence and adult life to explore her belief that research, by its nature, is always a form of autobiography. She unfolds the garment of her life in a wide-ranging exploration of scenes from her past: her difficult relationship with her mother, fashion in the 60s and gay liberation. In this journey through time she shows how experiences are inseparable from the way we seek to explain and understand them, offering a unique and deeply personal account of her - and our - cultural world.
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ISBN-13: 9781350232594
ISBN-10: 1350232599
Pagini: 296
Ilustrații: 20 bw illus
Dimensiuni: 138 x 216 mm
Greutate: 0.54 kg
Editura: Bloomsbury Publishing
Colecția Bloomsbury Visual Arts
Locul publicării: London, United Kingdom


Elizabeth Wilson explores the role fashionable dress played in her own life and how her feminist defence of fashion influenced and even transformed this field

Notă biografică

Elizabeth Wilson is a pioneer in the development of fashion studies, and has been a university professor, feminist campaigner and activist. Her writing career began in the 'underground' magazines of the early 1970s, (Frendz, Red Rag, Spare Rib, Come Together) before she became an academic. She's written for the Guardian and her non-fiction books include Adorned in Dreams (1985, 2003), The Sphinx in the City (1992) (shortlisted for the Manchester Odd Fellows Prize), Bohemians (2000) and Love Game (2014) (long listed for the William Hill sportswriting prize), as well as six crime novels, including War Damage (2009) and The Girl in Berlin (2012) (long listed for the Golden Dagger Award).


List of Illustrations1. Outside Looking In2. First Came Reading3. Researching My Life4. Bodies in the Library5. Dressing the Postwar Young Woman 6. Living the Bohemian Sixties7. What Does a Lesbian Look Like?8. Writing Feminism9. Bad Decade10. The Vulgar11. Fashion as Fetish12. Haunted Houses13. Nostalgia Mode14. Cracks in the Pavement15. In Search of Lost Streets16. A Visit to Rimini17. Returning to Queens Club18. Hedonism19. Down There on a VisitReferencesIndex


It's impossible not to warm instantly to Elizabeth Wilson . Unfolding the Past is so packed with Wilson's literary allusions, as well as her observations about life, sex, film and fashion over the centuries, it's like dipping into the anecdotes of a clever salonnière, peopled with Djuna Barnes, Proust and Marlene Dietrich. Wilson weaves a memoir in which the uniting thread is how clothing trends reflect changing mores as well as creating new cultural norms . Freed from the "invisible cloak" of her childhood, Wilson's fascinating text shows how fashion can be the opposite of frivolity. Ultimately, she says, it's the "search for personal identity through aesthetic experience".
A fascinating, often funny, and eminently stylish personal memoir [and] a moving insider's account of radical lives in challenging times . I loved it.
Wide-ranging, thought-provoking and important.
Brilliant and important ... [Wilson] is an exceptionally gifted writer, lucid, direct, engaging, often witty, always stimulating ... [A] book at once sinewy and elegant, rigorous and accessible, tough minded and enjoyable.
Elizabeth Wilson has always been an elegant thinker and an elegant dresser. Her memoir recalls a life lived believing both matter in a world that regarded them as mutually exclusive. A pleasure to read.
An outstanding chronicler of our times ... [and] a sophisticated and informed cultural commentator.
That such an important figure might now re-view, retrospectively, her own intellectual history, during a long and distinguished career, through the filter of her life and experiences, is incredibly exciting.