Seduction is the first book to explore the sensual style of the seductress, from Marie Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour in pre-revolutionary France, through the screen queens of 1930s Hollywood, such as Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich, to the contemporary sex sirens of today, Madonna and Jennifer Lopez.
In chronological, themed chapters, international fashion authority, Caroline Cox explores the art of seduction, examining the many ways in which women have used their environment, clothes, and behavior to create a seductive allure. The lively and authoritative text is accompanied by gorgeous new and vintage images. Seduction is a visual feast and a fascinating study of the development of a woman's means of sedecution throughout the centuries.
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Caroline Cox, professor of cultural history at the University of the Arts London, is a leading fashion authority whose work explores the relationship between fashion, beauty, and culture. A lecturer and broadcaster, she is also a cultural trends advisor at Vidal Sassoon. Her previous books include Stiletto, Seduction, and The Handbag.From Publishers Weekly:
Fashion historian Cox (Stiletto) offers an in-depth history of the seductress in this lavish volume, packed with vintage and contemporary images. Beginning in the 18th century, Cox reveals how women have seduced men using everything from aphrodisiacs to lushly-decorated boudoirs to the all-important deployment of stockings. Icons such as Marie Antoinette, the flappers of the 1920s, Jayne Mansfield and the women of Sex and the City all make appearances. Among other topics, Cox offers an analysis of the evolution of women's undergarments, from the drawers of the 1700s to Jane Russell's cantilevered bra (engineered by Howard Hughes) to the now-ubiquitous thong, rooting her observations in sociological issues as well as fashion evolution. Her scholarly approach makes the work much more than a coffee-table photo-book, detailing not only what happened during a particular era, but extrapolating the consequences. Cox ably demonstrates, for instance, how something as simple as white satin "transformed the look of fashion," leading to a disregard for "naturalness" in favor of "artificially constructed glamour." Though an over-reliance on quotes weakens her voice and lends the text a thesis-like feel, those with an interest in the evolution of style, feminism and cultural mores will find the book a valuable and beautiful resource.
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