Experimental Fashion: Performance Art, Carnival and the Grotesque Body (2017)

By: Francesca Granata

Experimental Fashion traces the proliferation of the grotesque and carnivalesque within contemporary fashion and the close relation between fashion and performance art, from Lady Gaga’s raw meat dress to Leigh Bowery’s performance style. The book examines the designers and performance artists at the turn of the twenty-first century whose work challenges established codes of what represents the fashionable body. These innovative people, the book argues, make their challenges through dynamic strategies of parody, humour and inversion. It explores the experimental work of modern designers such as Georgina Godley, Bernhard Willhelm, Rei Kawakubo and fashion designer, performance artist, and club figure Leigh Bowery. It also discusses the increased centrality of experimental fashion through the pop phenomenon, Lady Gaga.

More Information


Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: Dress Cultures

ISBN: 9781784533786
Publication Date: 18 Dec 2016
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 46 integrated bw

Table of contents

Table of contents

List of illustrations — Acknowledgements — Introduction — Against power dressing: Georgina Godley — Fashioning the maternal body: Rei Kawakubo — Performing pregnancy: Leigh Bowery — Deconstruction and the grotesque: Martin Margiela — Carnivalised time: Martin Margiela — Carnival iconography: Bernhard Willhelm — The proliferation of the grotesque: Lady Gaga — Interview with Nicola Bowery — Interview with Georgina Godley — Notes — Bibliography — Filmography — Index

About the author

About the author

Assistant Professor in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons the New School for Design, New York. She is the editor and founder of the journal Fashion Projects. Her work has appeared in Fashion Theory, Fashion Practice, and The Journal of Design History, as well as in a number of books and exhibition catalogues.

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