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Rachel Lifter


Rachel   Lifter

Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies , Art and Design History and Theory

Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies

Office Location:

  • Email: lifterr@newschool.edu


  • My research and teaching explore the intersections of fashion, feminism and LGBTQ studies, popular culture and cultural studies. In my forthcoming book (I.B. Tauris 2017) I explore "festival fashion," firstly, to provide one part of a historicized account of popular fashion in the 21st century and, secondly, to explore the politics of a mainstream (and feminized) popular cultural formation. I also write about contemporary popular music and some of the people who make it: pop stars, themselves; journalists and critics, who write about them; and stylists, hair stylists, make-up artists and costume designers, who mold their looks. Finally, I have begun a cultural history, exploring the impact of the AIDS epidemic on the fashion industry. 

    I was most recently Postdoctoral Fellow in Fashion Studies in the School of Art and Design History and Theory. I have taught as lecturer in cultural and historical studies at London College of Fashion, and as adjunct faculty at Central Saint Martins. My courses introduce students to various theoretical tools necessary to engage in the analysis of fashion as a form of popular culture. Moreover, my undergraduate courses explore the intersections of theory and practice.

    I am Reviews and Open Space editor for International Journal of Fashion Studies.


    Degrees Held:

    PhD, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London: Fashion Studies, Concentration in History, Theory and Culture, 2012

    MSc, London School of Economics: Sociology, 2006 

    BA, University of Pennsylvania: German Studies, 2005

    Professional Affiliations:

    American Studies Association 

    Recent Publications:

    2017    Fashioning Indie: Popular Fashion, Music and Gender. London; New York: I.B. Tauris. (Forthcoming). 

    2017    “Fashioning pop: Visual cultural producers and the imaging of popular music”. In F. McDowell and L. Armstrong (eds) Fashioning Professionals. London: Bloomsbury. (Forthcoming).

    2014    “Resistance: Why does it still matter?”. Catalogue article accompanying the forthcoming “Clash – Counterculture in Fashion” exhibition at The Herning Museum of Contemporary Art in Denmark.

    2014    Review of “Beyoncé: The Visual Album”. In International Journal of Fashion Studies 1 (2): pp. 271-273.

    2013    “Fashioning ‘indie’: The consecration of a subculture and the emergence of ‘stylish’ femininities”. In S. Bruzzi and P. Church Gibson (eds) Fashion Cultures: Theories, Exploration and Analysis. 2nd Edition. London: Routledge: pp. 175-185.

    Current Courses

    Interpreting Fashion

    Pop!



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