Stitched Up : The Anti-capitalist Book of Fashion, Paperback

Stitched Up : The Anti-capitalist Book of Fashion Paperback

Part of the Counterfire series

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Winner of the ICA Bookshop Book of the Year 2014 Stitched Up delves into the alluring world of fashion to reveal what is behind the clothes we wear.

Moving between Karl Lagerfeld and Karl Marx, the book explores consumerism, class and advertising to reveal the interests which benefit from exploitation.

Tansy E. Hoskins dissects fashion's vampiric relationship with the planet and with our bodies to uncover what makes it so damaging.

Why does 'size zero' exist and what is the reality of working life for models?

In a critique of the portrayal of race in fashion, the book also examines the global balance of power in the industry.

Beautifully illustrated with specially commissioned designs, In a compelling conclusion Stitched Up explores the use of clothing to resist.

Can you shock an industry that loves to shock? Is 'green fashion' an alternative? Stitched Up provides a unique critical examination of contemporary culture and the distorting priorities of capitalism.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 264 pages, black & white illustrations
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fashion & society
  • ISBN: 9780745334561



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I received Stitched Up as part of a Goodreads giveaway.<br/><br/>I was excited to win Stitched Up because, while I do not work in the fashion industry, I have recently had to work closely with it for a work project. As a self-professed tomboy who dressed for comfort, I was fascinated and often aghast at the prices designer clothing and accessories fetch, the disposable attitude towards these incredible expensive items, so I was interested to hear Hoskins' perspective.<br/><br/>Stitched Up is a Marxist examination of the fashion industry from the 20th century, with an emphasis on recent history. To me, the strongest and most fascinating chapters were the ones on body image and race (and racism) in the fashion world. While they aren't unfamiliar topics of discussion, they did strike a chord with me and were very engagingly written, often forced to conform to particular sizes or stereotypes.<br/><br/>Other chapters felt a little off. Hoskins throws a lot of statistics at you, and it often feels like a barrage, like the point of the chapter is being lost in the numbers. I think Stitched Up is strongest in narrative mode: sometimes the social science aspect seems a little heavy-handed.<br/><br/>That said, it's an enlightening read for the fashion-forward among us, who live for the latest season's collections, as well as those who see the fashion world as frivolous but essentially harmless.

Also by Tansy E. Hoskins