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[ecrea] International Journal of Fashion Studies 5.2 published

Wed Oct 17 13:48:50 GMT 2018

Intellect is delighted to share that the beautifully designed International Journal of Fashion Studies 5.2 is available now! For more information about the issue, click here >>

Special ‘Open Space’ Section: South Asian Fashion


So far so good

Authors: Emanuela Mora And Agnès Rocamora And Paolo Volonté
Page Start: 285

Street-style geographies: Re-mapping the fashion blogipelago

Authors: Brent Luvaas
Page Start: 289

When street-style blogs – amateur web journals featuring photographs of stylish pedestrians from around the world – began to pop up on the Internet in 2005, they appeared to challenge the established geographic hierarchies of the global fashion industry. Shot by fashion outsiders with little formal training in photography, they featured a variety of people and places far outside the purview of the industry. Drawing in millions of readers, including trend forecasters, editors and designers from within the industry, blogs seemed to be a democratizing force in fashion, drawing attention to once peripheral fashion capitals like Helsinki, Cape Town and Buenos Aires, and creating a backdoor into the industry for their proprietors. But such a state of affairs could only last so long. This article traces the evolution of street-style blogs from the vantage points of several prominent street-style bloggers. As it does so, it chronicles the geographic struggles operating within the fashion ‘blogipelago’; the efforts of bloggers to expand the fashion world map; and the efforts of industry insiders to draw attention back to the established fashion capitals: New York, London, Milan and Paris.

The dressed body, material and technology: Rethinking the hijab through sartorial sociology

Authors: Anna-Mari Almila
Page Start: 309

This article explores the opportunities provided to dress and fashion studies by an analytical focus on garments through a number of disciplinary and conceptual lenses. Drawing upon sociological sources, including Bourdieu’s practice theory and Alfred Gell’s insights of human/object agency, as well as anthropology, considerations of material technologies and clothing physiology, a framework is developed for depicting the many roles that textile materials and garment objects play in knowledge-creation, individual experiences of wearing garments and the operation of habitus. In my case study analysis of female Islamic veiling in Finland, I draw upon both primary data and secondary sources that take account of histories – involving individual histories, socio-cultural histories, histories of technological and material developments and histories of transnational trade routes – and materialities, including the physicality of garments, human bodies and physical and spatial environments.

Street style, smelling and hanging out: Experimental methods of fashion research

Authors: Rosa Crepax
Page Start: 329

Feminist research of fashion, which is committed to understanding women’s experience with style in all its multiplicity and richness, is open to a variety of new interdisciplinary perspectives. Mirroring the open-ended nature of the contemporary world and the vivacious and fast-paced quality of the fashion scene, creative, experimental and innovative methods of sociocultural research represent a crucial attempt in capturing the diversity, variety and exceptionality of feminine fashion. This article discusses a methodologically innovative case study conducted for my research. It reflects on the feminist approach used in the creative experimental exploration of women’s experiences with fashion in everyday life, and on the contextual value of combining uncommon methods of inquiry such as street-style photography, hanging out, sketching and the collection of olfactory perceptions. Discussing how this experimental methodology goes beyond both traditional interviews and ethnography, the article draws attention to a series of questions that arise from its development and application: how does the emergence of innovative methods of fashion research respond to contemporary changes in the fashion industry? How are these methods influenced by the current fashion scene? How are they able to account for it? What are the implications of their relationship in terms of feminist research practice?

‘It’s like a souvenir of something that was important’: The role of nostalgic memorabilia in psychological well-being

Authors: Christoph-Simon Masuch And Kate Hefferon
Page Start: 347

The identity-establishing powers of actively worn fashion, clothing and dress have been widely explored by fashion scholars. However, the phenomenological aspects of fashion, clothing and dress in general, and the identity-establishing role of retained and treasured yet no longer or only occasionally worn vestimentary objects, have only been marginally explored. Based on data from a constructivist grounded theory analysis on the relationship between well-being and clothing practices, this study expands upon the findings of one particular theme, Eudaimonic Well-Being, and the role of nostalgia and dress memorabilia in identity formation. From semi-structured interviews with ten participants, two additional subthemes were identified: Reminiscing about Past Selves and Preserving Aspects of Self. These themes revealed that dress memorabilia served as aides-memoires and were the storage media of complex, self-relevant information spurring self-reflection. Furthermore, they enabled the positively framed reconsideration of past selves as well as the integration of aspects of past selves into the self-concept. Findings from this study are contextualized and integrated into existing phenomenological works on fashion, clothing and dress. Finally, the concept of dress nostalgia is furthermore developed and future routes for subsequent research are suggested.

Evolution versus entrenchment: Debating the impact of digitization, democratization and diffusion in the global fashion industry

Authors: Taylor Brydges And Brian J. Hracs And Mariangela Lavanga
Page Start: 365

In the report The State of Fashion 2017, written by Business of Fashion and the McKinsey Institute (2016), industry executives used three words to describe the current state of the fashion industry: uncertain, changing and challenging. Indeed, the fashion industry is undergoing dramatic transformations, from digitization and the rise of ‘see now, buy now’ fashions, to brands redefining the function and timing of fashion weeks, and increasing levels of global integration and competition (Crewe 2017). As such, the fashion industry has been recognized as a valuable lens through which to explore significant and ongoing changes to the production, curation and consumption of goods, services, and experiences (Brydges et al. 2014; Brydges 2017; D’Ovidio 2015; Hracs et al. 2013; Lavanga 2018; McRobbie 2016; Pratt et al. 2012).

Drawing inspiration from this stream of scholarship, we organized four sessions titled Trending Now: The Changing Geographies of Fashion in the Digital Age at the Royal Geographical Society and Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) conference in London, 30 August – 1 September 2017. In these sessions, researchers and practitioners from a wide range of locations and disciplines – including fashion studies, media studies, cultural economics, business and geography – came together to share research related to the structures, labour dynamics, spaces, value propositions and practices of the contemporary fashion industry.

While a range of issues were discussed, the sessions were connected by an overarching theme. Namely, the extent to which power in the fashion industry is expanding or consolidating. While there is a prominent discourse that states that structures, systems and spaces within the global fashion industry have been (and will continue to be) disrupted by new actors, technologies, practices and cities, we collectively questioned whether the fashion industry has really entered an era of democratization, or if established power structures remain entrenched. Through empirical case studies from a variety of geographic contexts – from India to Italy – about different actors and activities within the industry, each presentation contributed new evidence and perspectives to this debate. The discussion below distils some of the key themes that emerged.

DKNY – city connection: The impact of New York City on the brand and the designer

Authors: Sanem Odabaşi
Page Start: 373

Countries and cities are influential in the formation of brands and the identity of designers, as well as being areas that shape creative thinking. The relationships that fashion designers have with their geographies influence and differentiate their creative power and production. New York, Tokyo, London, Milan and Paris are renowned as the five ‘fashion capitals’, and all are known for their distinct fashion style. Paris, for instance, is defined through its haute couture while London is associated with avant-gardism and quirkiness and ‘New York’ often signifies casual ready-towear designs for the urban businesswoman (Loschek 2009; Rocamora 2009). The nature of a place affects what products can actually proliferate, and since places do differ from one another, so too do the products differ depending on where they are produced (Molotch 2003: 157).

Introduction: Continuing the dialogue on South Asian fashion studies

Authors: Lipi Begum
Page Start: 383

Handcraft as luxury in Bangladesh: Weaving jamdani in the twenty-first century

Authors: Sonia Ashmore
Page Start: 389

The practice of making things by hand in the Indian subcontinent is centuries old. Many, if not most, artefacts were handcrafted until the late twentieth century and some are still. From handwoven textiles made from handspun and hand-dyed cloth, printed and embroidered by hand; to brass water pots beaten out by hand, making a deafening noise, and handloom carpet weaving in the Indian town of Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh. Many of these crafts and their associated livelihoods are now almost extinct or under threat (Radzan 2007). By the late seventeenth century, Bengal in Western India had become the centre of a worldwide silk and cotton textile trade, notably in the largescale hand production of muslin and jamdani – exceptionally fine plain and figured woven cottons made specifically in the area around Dhaka, capital of independent Bangladesh since 1971. In the late eighteenth century, Dhaka, then part of Bengal, also had royal workshops devoted to producing fine cotton muslins exclusively for royal consumption (Latif 1997: 43). A length of Mulmul khas, or ‘special muslin’, measuring 22 yards by one yard (20.11 × 0.91 metres) took up to six months to weave. It could only be made when the air was moist enough to prevent the fibres from breaking. With a drastic decline in fine handweaving, however, the exceptional textile traditions of Bangladesh today are precarious. This article focuses on the situation of jamdani weaving, indigenous to a specific geographical area now in Bangladesh; it argues that the survival of traditional muslin and jamdani making has to be considered not as a ‘folk craft’, but as the production of the refined luxury fabric it was historically. While there are other traditional textiles being made by hand in Bangladesh today, this short article will focus on the handweaving of jamdani.

Sartorially weaving their way through bhodrota (respectability): Georgette sarees, bangles and selling sex in a Kolkata neighbourhood

Authors: Mirna Guha
Page Start: 399

In this excerpt, I unpack my field notes from the day to reveal the ways in which female sex workers in Kalighat, a red-light area embedded in a middleclass neighbourhood in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, negotiate middle-class norms of respectability and female propriety. Specifically, I focus on how the women navigate and manipulate sartorial norms which are imposed on them and their work to their social and economic advantage.

Visual fashion landscapes: Gender and class in Lollywood billboard advertising

Authors: Hena Ali
Page Start: 407

Book Reviews

Authors: Dina Khalifa And Margarita Estévez-Saá
Page Start: 417

Luxury Indian Fashion: A Social Critique, Tereza Kuldova (2016, first edition) Fashion, Dress and Identity in South Asian Diaspora Narratives: From the Eighteenth Century to Monica Ali, Noemi Pereira-Ares (2018, FIRST EDITION)
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