I think of Valerie Steele as a fashion activist of sorts. Whenever someone says anything about fashion being ridiculous and superficial I first agree with them and then say, "but it is also fascinating." My backup evidence is always Steele's excellent journal Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body, and & Culture where she serves as editor.
Fashion Theory is a quarterly publication that feeds the fashion geek in me like no other. The issues collect very academic (but still entertaining) essays about the interplay between fashion, dress, culture, and human behavior. They subject the seemingly superficial to analysis worthy of any art history lecture hall in the finest university. Subscriptions can be a bit pricey, but I've scored a few issues at various used bookstores and recommend keeping your eyes peeled for copies at fashiony thrift stores and the like. You can also peruse a sample issue on Berg's website. It'll put wrinkles in the only place most fashionistas want them--your brain.