Book Review| Stitched Up The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy E. Hoskins
What can I say about the book Stitched Up The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy E. Hoskins ? Well as a fashion journalist reading the book, it made me think about what I do for a living and my own personal buying habits. As well as the fashion industry and how it’s participants run old and new business in today’s global economy. Who are the major players? And what their contributions are to the world and how they affect our daily lives on this planet?
This book in the end changed the way I look at fashion today.At many points in the book I had to put it down to digest and marinate on what I was reading. I had to think about my role in the Business of Fashion. Each chapter made me want to read more, I thought I knew about fashion. I become thirstier for more knowledge reading every page. Stitched Up is a book for anyone who wants so learn more about the clothes they buy and wear. It’s a book to be added to many of today’s Fashion MBA’s reading lists for students. Its the intellectual approach to fashion consciousness. The author Tansy E. Hoskins tackles race, class, gender, fashion blogging, global politics, environmental issues and employment rights in 240 pages.
Is Fashion Racist?
The Dark Heart of Fashion, from Catwalks to Sweatshops
Stitched Up dives right into the seductive world of fashion to unveil what is really behind the clothes we wear. The author’s intention is to show us what Karl Lagerfeld has to do with Karl Marx. The book examines consumerism, class and advertising to reveal the interest, which benefit from exploitation. Tansy E. Hoskins compares fashion to a Vampire cult like society. She asks the questions many of us are afraid to ask. Like: Why does “size zero” exist and what is the reality of working life for models?
The debate about hijab has raged for centuries, with women’s voices generally excluded.
Another question the author demands the industry answer is the portrayal of race in fashion. Is the new darling of the fashion world Lupita Nyong’o, just a trend? The book Stitched Up also examines the global balance of power in the industry. One of my favourite chapters is Resisting Fashion. “Can you shock an industry that loves to shock?” Can ‘Punk’, street-style trends and ‘ green fashion’ be a fashion statement? Is ‘green fashion’ really green? You will be surprised after reading the chapter. I certainly thought I knew everything, but was surprised by the facts.
Clothes become the means to rebel, signifying absolute resistance to the theft of self-definition, history and cultures.
Other great chapters are Reforming Fashion and Revolutionising Fashion. These chapters focus on how the Fashion Elite deal with the rest of the world. The Fashion club’s biggest challenges are to open up its doors to diversity. People of colour spend too, but are these groups represented equally in fashion? Does the fashion world respect and speak to these clients. Stitched Up comes up with a unique critical examination of contemporary culture and the distorting priorities of capitalism. Where do you stand?
We may have come here on a different ships, but we’re on the same boat now. Angela Davis
After reading Stitched Up – The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion, I had to sit with it for a few days. It has encouraged me to think about the fashion stories I write and what angle I would come from next. As a woman of colour, and with the advice of the author Tansy E. Hoskins and Mr. Edward Enninful British fashion stylist, and current fashion and style director of W magazine, I have to stay in the fashion game. Just re-think my position, because voices like my own need to be heard. In hopes the game changes and for little girls like me with fashion dreams.
About the author: Journalist and activist. Tansy has worked for the Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Islam Channel. She writes for the Guardian and Business of Fashion, and has appeared on the BBC, Al Jazeera and Chanel 4’s Ten O’clock Live.
Portrait photo: Henna Malik.
Illustrations by Jade Pilgrom