British Fashion Design explores the tensions between fashion as art form, and the demands of a ruthlessly commercial industry. Based on interviews and research conducted over a number of years, Angela McRobbie charts the flow of art school fashion graduates into the industry; their attempts to reconcile training with practice, and their precarious position between the twin supports of the education system and the commercial sector. Stressing the social context of cultural production, McRobbie focuses on British fashion and its graduate designers as products of youth street culture, and analyses how designers from diverse backgrounds have created a labour market for themselves, remodelling `enterprise culture` to suit their own careers.
British Fashion Design is a diligent and illumination sociological study of the careers of fashion designers. McRobbie has made out a strong case for attending more closely to cultural production - Jim McGuigan, New Times
'McRobbie is to be congratulated on providing business historians with a perspective on the fashion industry her book is well written and the organisation of the material is faultless.' - Katrina Honeyman, Business History, 41(3)
'A fascinating and skillfully narrated story of a creative workforce and its relation to contemporary British capitalism … a wonderfully readable addition to any undergraduate course on contemporary industries, or on gender and employment.' - Nina Wakeford, Work, Employment and Society, June 2000