A Study on Walter Benjamin's Thoughts on Fashion Phenomenon

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Gelareh Kousha
Nayer Tahoori
Nayer Tahoori
Elham Etemadi


This study is focused on Walter Benjamin’s[i] thought about one of the modernity consequences: the phenomenon of fashion. After industrial revolution, which took place from the 18th to 19th centuries, fashion appeared in the second half of 19th century in Paris as could be seen in Impressionist paintings. In the beginning, it was considered as mere covering style but in the early of 20th century, especially after World War II, while women’s social and commercial activities decreased, it started to play an important role as an important kind of arts in all modern life fields as economy, power policies, sexism and even protestant movements.

Walter Benjamin, one of the most renowned philosophers, art theorists and literary cultural critics of the20th century, and famous thinkers of Frankfurt School, who called Paris capital of the 19th century and Charles Baudelaire[ii] a lyric poet in the era of high Capitalism in his unfinished luminous work: The Arcades Project. In some sections of this book, Benjamin criticized the modern period as the age of technological reproduction, and also studied the fashion issue. Moreover, regarding to the works of Surrealist painters, he studied the collection of The Devil in Paris of Grandville[iii] as an urban organism.

The purpose of this research is to study Benjamin's thoughts on the phenomenon of fashion and its relationship with the industrial communities in Europe. The main questions are: According to Benjamin, what factors caused the birth of fashion phenomenon? And how did it become one of the most important form of modern art. My approach in this study is a descriptive-analytic method to explain the ideas of Benjamin in the field of fashion.



[i]Walter Benedix Schoen flies Benjamin (1892-1940)

[ii]Charles Baudelaire, the French translator, poet, and literary artistic critic, the artist who played a significant role in informing the women and men in his era of their modern industry in the 19th century. Before everything, he is famous due to the collection of the collection of “the flowers of Evil” which is probably the most important and effective poem collection published in Europe in the 19th century (Tahoori, 2005, p. 44). He accompanies a paled face and old human full of nonsense emotions of modernity on the streets of Paris to discover his misery in the heart of his depression and frustration (Shayegan, 2015, p. 25).

[iii]J.J. Grandville (1803-1847): It is the French caricaturist of the 19th century who designed clothes for a theatre group in addition to lithography. The subject of his works was mostly the comic combination of animals and human with clothes at different time situations and people mainly welcomed the illustration of contemporary events and characters presented by Grandville.


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Kousha, G., Tahoori, N., Tahoori, N., & Etemadi, E. (2019). A Study on Walter Benjamin’s Thoughts on Fashion Phenomenon. International Journal of Applied Arts Studies (IJAPAS), 4(1), 41-56. Retrieved from http://ijapas.ir/index.php/ijapas/article/view/245