The editor invites essays for a book which explores the relationship(s) between identity, display, space, and fashion. Recently, we have witnessed the global expansion of more spectacular and grandeur designer boutiques with designers collaborating with famed architects to become cutting-edge places of innovation and spectacle, while numerous exhibitions and institutions have lent their spaces to explore the visual and material cultures of fashion. Never before has fashion played such a pivotal role in the cultural, social, and private lives of some many. Yet the spaces and places which allow all this to take place remain obscured functioning simply as backdrops when in fact they are pivotal to the creation of meaning and the very notion and function of display. While there is a rich and significant body of work which has interrogated the practices of shopping and fashion as object of consumption, critical attention has viewed the places and spaces of fashion simply in terms of capitalism and consumer culture obliterating the myriad nuanced layers involved. In addition, more recently, much has been made of the connections, metaphorical or otherwise, between fashion and architecture, paying little attention to the material and visual connections, objects and bodies interacting in and negotiating the spaces of fashion. In other words, attention has been paid to the surface/flesh/fabric of fashion and architecture, and little to the depth/interior/insides of these places and spaces. This volume hopes to explore the display of fashion as a site of spectacle, desire, pleasure, identity, and performance. In sum, what we are discussing here is the topography and spatial representations of fashion.
The editor invites papers both historical and theoretical which address either or all of the following central core themes:
how spaces, established either temporarily or permanently, define fashion’s meaning and knowledge for society or the individual
the sites of production, circulation, exhibition, consumption, and promotion of fashion
the spatial interstices which provide for a bond between embodied consumers/spectators and fashion objects.
Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following spatial structures/narratives:
Spaces of protest through fashion
Movement and navigation of the body
The senses and the phenomenological
Department stores and boutiques
Window displays/store fronts/mannequins
Trade shows (international or national)
Other cultural venues whose primary purpose has nothing to do with fashion, but whose spaces and the literature pertaining to its renown as a centre of display has made it significant, such as operas, theaters, nightclubs or other specific events/venues
Show rooms/work rooms
The body’s relationships to the spaces of fashion
The relationship of ‘fine art’ to the display of fashion
Performative aspect of being ‘in’ spaces of and ‘looking’ at display
The blurring of the ideals of private/public, inside/outside, personal/social, depth/surface
Fashion districts as they function as a display within the context of the city as a whole
Ateliers (private and couture showrooms)
Display as pedagogical tool for fashion students
Virtual and cyber spaces of display and sartorial interaction
The editor seeks contributions from scholars and curators working in any geographic location between 1700-2006.
Please submit a 500-750 word abstract (for completed papers to be in the range of 5000 to 7000 words including endnotes), in addition to a 200 word relevant bio. by email.
Deadline for abstracts and bio. (and if available completed paper): Friday 16 June 2006.
School of Fine Art and Music
Guelph, On, Canada
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