• Rachel Lifter

    Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies


    I write about fashion - its identities, its industry and its aesthetics - through a pop cultural lens.

    My book - Fashioning Indie: Popular Fashion, Music and Gender (Bloomsbury 2019) - narrates the evolution of indie: from a 1980s British music subculture into a 21st-century international fashion phenomenon. Covering the rise of both festival fashion and the second-hand retail sector, among other themes, the book also offers essential insights into the broader culture of popular fashion in the 21st century and the values that inform it.  

    My current work focuses on fashion industry professionals and the knowledges they mobilize within their work. Under this umbrella, I write about the costume designers and stylists who fashion the look of pop music and I have begun an oral history charting the impact of the AIDS epidemic on New York's fashion industry in the 1980s.  

    My teaching spans fashion studies and fashion design, wherein I integrate theory, social and cultural analysis, and history with design practice.

    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

    Recent Publications:

    2020    "Creating Fashionable Identities," in E. Huggard and J. Cope (eds) Communicating Fashion Brands: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives. London: Routledge (forthcoming).

    2020    "Styling 1990s Hip-Hop, Fashioning Black Futures". in A. Lynge-Jorlén (ed) Fashion Stylists: History, Meaning and Practice. London; New York: Bloomsbury (forthcoming).

    2019    Fashioning Indie: Popular Fashion, Music and Gender in the 21st Century. London; New York: Bloomsbury.

    2018    “Fashioning pop: Visual cultural producers and the imaging of popular music”. In F. McDowell and L. Armstrong (eds) Fashioning Professionals. London: Bloomsbury. 

    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:

    Advanced Thesis Preparation (Fall 2019)

    ARS: Fashion

    Thesis 1 (Fall 2019)

    Thesis 2