Selling Culture

Debora Silverman, Author Pantheon Books $17.95 (175p) ISBN 978-0-394-55109-8
UCLA cultural history professor Silverman aims to demonstrate a connection between the values of the ""New Right'' and recent trends in high fashion, focusing on Diana Vreeland, particularly on her role as curator of several Costume Institute exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum. Surely Silverman shows that Vreeland's clothing exhibits are woefully ahistorical (mixing and matching from different eras and social stations) and promote opulent living as desirable in and of itself. But Silverman's prose is arch, repetitive and academic. (``Vreeland's Saint Laurent presentation reiterated the essential link between historical and contemporary luxury, organizing the Saint Laurent costumes along a single axisluxury.'') There are many trenchant observations scattered here, but does anyone need to argue in such detail that Diana Vreeland is not Mother Teresa? (October)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
Paperback - 175 pages - 978-0-394-74303-5
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