Roland Barthes, Système de la mode [The Fashion System]

Graham Allen (University College Cork)
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Barthes researched and wrote the bulk of

Système de la mode

between the years 1957 and 1963. The study begins with a foreword, written at the time of publication in 1967, which already shows Barthes moving away from this kind of semiology towards a more post-structuralist understanding of the sign. The study is offered to Barthes's readers, therefore, as a moment in the “history of semiology” (

The Fashion System

, trans. Matthew Ward and Richard Howard, New York: Hill and Wang, 1983: ix). Barthes goes on to explain why his original intention for the study, a semiological analysis of actual clothing, was replaced by a study of written clothing, more precisely the fashion pages of a few women's magazines (mainly



Le Jardin des Modes

) in one specific “fashion year” (1958-9).…

1101 words

Citation: Allen, Graham. "Système de la mode". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

10342 Système de la mode 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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