1-884167-67-5 / 978-1-884167-67-6 $19 USD Trade Cloth, 7 x 9” 104 pages 43 color and b&w photographs 7500 print run Umbrage Editions May 2007

Dressed To Kill: Fashion Makes History
Essays by Nan Richardson







Dressed to Kill puts fashion and style in their rightful place--at the center of the historical stage. Fashion has been a symbol of falling dynasties, rising queens, infamous celebrities, criminals, and movie stars. While critics and moralists through the ages have deemed fashion as essentially frivolous, the deeply subliminal and theatrical power of fashion cannot be denied. Dressed to Kill displays fashion’s supreme importance in our cultural memory, almost Proustian in its power to mark notable times and places in history.

An anthropologist`s dream source for studying ongoing political, sexual, and social trends, these fashion talismans offer future generations an extended, if quirky, index to past centuries. Who can imagine the 50`s without James Dean’s signature black leather jacket? Though never worn in a movie, it became the symbol of rebels everywhere. The topless bathing suit was as headline-making a symbol of new sexual mores as the blue jeans were in the 60s, both sexy and radical in their androgynies. This dynamic, engaging compilation addresses the way we look, proving, that, at least in history’s eyes, we are what we wear.