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Fashioning Masculinities The Art of Menswear

Fashioning Masculinities

The Art of Menswear

Editor Claire Wilcox, and Rosalind McKever


Price: $60.00

  • Publication Date: April 19, 2022
  • Imprint: V & A Publishing
  • Trim Size: 9 12 x 12 14
  • ISBN: 9781838510114
  • Page Count: 304
  • Illustrations: 250 color illustrations
  • Rights: North America

A visually stunning exploration of how fashion shapes ideas of masculinity

At a moment of unprecedented creativity in men’s fashion and reflection on gender, this thought-provoking, richly illustrated book explores how designers, tailors, photographers, and artists—and their clients and sitters—have constructed and performed masculinity and unpicked it at its seams. Fashioning Masculinities first strips things back to consider the naked male body and the continued influence of the classical ideal: the Adonis—enthusiastically reconsidered by successive generations from 18th-century (Grand) tourists to Robert Mapplethorpe, Calvin Klein, and even Captain America. The book then transitions to explore the very opposite—“the peacock.”

For centuries men have used clothing to express status, wealth, and individuality. In this section, everything from richly embellished fabrics, shimmering textiles, voluminous cloaks, bulging codpieces, and highly polished armor to Stormzy’s stab vest and Prince’s boots is featured—the uniting factor being that they have all been worn with swagger and defiance. The final section surveys the suit: the three-piece tailored garment that has come to epitomize masculine attire. But for all its homogeneity, the suit has taken on myriad personas, from the historicizing cut of the Teddy Boys and the bold iconoclasm of Alexander McQueen to the creativity of Billy Porter’s “Tuxedo” Oscars gown. Fashioning Masculinities challenges our preconceptions about menswear revealing the fascinating historical roots of the styles we see gracing the sidewalks, catwalks and red carpets of today.

“Billy Porter’s hot pink Golden Globes cloak and Harry Style’s embroidered Gucci suits are set to have a fashion face-off with the Belvedere Apollo and Auguste Rodin in the V&A’s upcoming exhibition dedicated to the evolution of menswear.”—The Guardian on the exhibition

“Key looks worn by fashion icons will also be interspersed throughout, from Harry Styles, Billy Porter and Sam Smith, to David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich, highlighting the multiplicities of masculine sartorial self-expression, dressing beyond the binary.”—Women’s Wear Daily on the exhibition

About the author

Claire Wilcox is Senior Curator in the Department of Furniture, Textiles, and Fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Professor in Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London. Rosalind McKever is Exhibition Project Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Marta Franceschini is Exhibition Research Assistant at the V&A.