Event | Yoken Lecture with Valerie Steele: Paris, Capital of Fashion

On Monday, April 30, 2018 at 4 p.m. in the Metcalf Auditorium of RISD Museum’s Chace Center, Valerie Steele will deliver the annual Mel and Cindy Yoken Cultural Series Lecture entitled, “Paris, Capital of Fashion.” This event is free and open to the public. A light reception will follow. A book sale and signing will take place during the reception.

Valerie Steele

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, where she has organized more than 25 exhibitions. She is also the founder and editor in chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, and the author of more than 20 books including The Corset: A Cultural History; Fetish: Fashion, Sex, and Power; and Women of Fashion: Twentieth-Century Designers. Described in The Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest women” and by Suzy Menkes as “The Freud of Fashion,” Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale Ph.D.) with the rare ability to communicate with general audiences. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Valerie Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion.

Paris, Capital of Fashion

Paris has been the fashion capital of the world for over 300 years. Even before the rise of haute couture, Parisians were notorious for their obsession with fashion, inspiring the latest styles around the globe. From Charles Frederick Worth to Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent, fashion history is dominated by the names of Parisian couturiers. But Valerie Steele’s book Paris Fashion: A Cultural History, from which she will draw for this talk, is much more than just a history of great designers. Steele demonstrates that the success of Paris ultimately rests on the strength of its fashion culture–created by a host of fashion performers and spectators, including actresses, dandies, milliners, artists, and writers.

Paris Fashion: A Cultural History

Paris Fashion: A Cultural History¬†will be available for purchase at the event. First published in 1988, Paris Fashion was acclaimed as “fascinating” and “original.” The captivating new edition has been completely revamped and brought up to date, encompassing the latest developments in fashion around the world. Lavishly illustrated and elegantly written, Valerie Steele’s masterwork presents with brilliance and flair her analysis of the reasons why Paris remains the capital of fashion.

Date: Monday, April 30, 2018
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center/RISD Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, 20 North Main Street, Providence, RI