Fashion Theory Essay by Valerie Steele


Review one fashion book in 800 words. Consider how the language and style differ from traditional journalism. You may use a text which you already own or are familiar with, but you should be reading books. Ultimately, I want you to become familiar with many different types of writing styles.

-To look closely at Fashion Theory.

-To recognize how and why Fashion Theory differs from standard journalism.

-To become familiar with different writing styles.


Fashion Theory Essay

Fashion Theory by Valerie Steele acts as a fundamental guide to students seeking to gain a deeper understanding of fashion. This book provides readers with a rare glimpse into the fashion world by exploring its relationship with the cultural context. The book gives meaning and form to fashion. Fashion Theory employs an interdisciplinary approach in analyzing a number of issues relating to fashion, such as fashion advertising, art history, foot binding, and other contemporary designs. Her interdisciplinary approach draws on a wide range of subject areas such as humanities, anthropology, literature, social sciences, and other areas. The book provides a critical analysis of the dressed body, including opinions about body alterations such as piercing and tattooing.

In Fashion Theory, Valerie Steele takes into account a variety of articles by other fashion writers. Valerie Steele conducts an in-depth analysis of theories propounded by people such as Roland Barthes eth al., Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva. The book analyzes the works of renowned designers since the early period. A historical approach of the various fashion designs that existed helps readers gain a better understanding of the evolution of fashion. The book begins by giving readers a taste of fashion in the late 1800s. The book achieves this by reviewing the article by Emily Apter, provides details on fashion by drawing ideas from books such as novels. Apter’s analyzes how characters in a French novel are dressed and by this gains a sense of the fashion designs that existed at the time. This is an interesting way of learning about the 1800 fashion designs (Steele, 2012).

Fashion Theory examines the way fashion has evolved over time, focusing on the critical question about why clothes are designed in particular ways. The theory notes that over time, fashion has been used by women as a means for achieving seductiveness. Indeed, this can be tied to the rise of hyper-sexualized fashions and their popularity compared with other type of fashions. Majority of the articles depict the role of eroticism and the way it is tied to the fashion world (Steele, 2012).

Related:  Counterfeits in The Fashion Industry

Fashion Theory and standard journalisms

Fashion Theory is significantly different from standard journalism. Fashion Theory and standard journalisms share some aspects, such as consumerism and modernity. However, Fashion Theory cannot be entirely likened to standard journalism. Valerie Steele uses the term “theory” which is a deviation from the traditional view on fashion. The term is used to make individuals think about fashion in an intellectual way. It enables people to think of fashion in methodologically and as an intellectual system. This is different from the traditional view of fashion where it was not associated with any theoretical or intellectual foundations.

In standard journalism, fashion stories revolve around celebrities, models, and top designers. The stories are presented in a less serious manner, with the serious issues largely missing from the top features, or totally lacking any coverage. The major role of standard journalism is to convey information to consumers and in producing content. On the other hand, Fashion Theory aims at advancing knowledge in the field of fashion and mostly meant for designers and others involved in the industry, rather than the consumers. Standard journalisms involves use of second-hand information which journalists obtain from a number of sources. Often in celebrity culture, journalists at times find it hard to support the integrity of the publications they make. The quality of their work is often put under scrutiny by industry watchdogs. On the other hand, Fashion Theory focuses on creating or developing new and distinct ideas. Thus, it is impossible for Fashion Theory to utilize second-hand information unlike in standard journalism.

In standard journalisms, certain professional standards are expected just like in Fashion Theory. These professional standards include proper ethical conduct, research, originality, public benefit, innovation, and others.  However, standard journalism differs in that it is required to be humorous and entertaining for it to gain a wide readership. On the other hand, Fashion Theory need not be humorous or entertaining. Standard journalisms is about making a piece of article as interesting as possible. Standard journalism is filled with sensationalism compared to Fashion Theory which views various aspects in a rationalized manner. Fashion Theory represents more informed or intelligent way of reporting various aspects of the fashion world. Fashion Theory is presented using complex language and use of theories which underpin the various facts or information provided.

Standard journalism does not employ complex theories to back information. In addition, information is written in an easy to read manner, using less complex terms since it is meant for the ordinary consumers. Fashion Theory employs technical jargons since the readers are expected to be aware of these terms.  Standard journalism may determine the rise or fall of various designers. This is because some of the articles written directly touch on the designers with a focus on the quality of their works. Magazines play a crucial role in promoting the fashion industry. On the other hand, magazines have little role in promoting the Fashion Theory.


Steele, V. (2012). Fashion Theory. Berg Publishers.

Pitch letter for Fashion Fabshoes