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Sizes and scales of fashion research: connecting bodies and garments from skin to globality

Almila, Anna-Mari (2017) Sizes and scales of fashion research: connecting bodies and garments from skin to globality. In: Zonemoda, 3.5.-5.5.2017, Rimini, Italy.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Almila, Anna-Mari

As fashion studies has come to be established as an independent and institutionalised academic area from the 1980s on, also its research focus has gradually taken new directions. From rather generalizing statements about the nature of fashion in the early 20th century, to more empirically grounded but Eurocentric ideas about fashion (systems) especially from the 1980s onwards, to a critique of such Eurocentricism in both theoretical and empirical research from early 2000s on, fashion studies now recognises the whole globe as its potential field of research. Yet, with few exceptions, studies of fashion tend to be small-scale case studies, with varying success in recognising transnational and cosmopolitan connections. In this paper, I seek to offer new conceptual and methodological tools for fashion studies, drawing upon various social scientific and other sources, such as globalization theory, the new sociology of art, Actor Network Theory, and material technology.

First, drawing upon ideas developed within globalization theory of everyday practices’ importance for globalization processes on the one hand, and globalization’s impact on everyday practices on the other, I explore the micro, meso and macro levels connected to fashion phenomena in various geographical contexts, both coral and peripheral to the fashion system. I argue that it is crucial to study all these together, for failing to do so is often to downplay the (well-known) global inequalities involved in fashion processes. Second, I stress the importance of following connections rather than focusing on one (or a limited number of) geographical location(s) only (as is typically the case in case studies). There are at least three types of connections that need to be recognised here: individual garments travelling through production systems and after; garment-body connections in all phases and elements of this chain; and garment-body-space connections which particularly influence the wearer and her/his relationship to the garment. Through these considerations, I seek to involve physical, mental, social and global elements within the same framework, thus hoping to provide further, fertile grounds for fashion research in the future.

Official Website: https://events.unibo.it/zonemoda-conference2017/
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: history of fashion studies, globalization
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: May 2017
Event Location: Rimini, Italy
Date Deposited: 09 May 2017 11:29
Last Modified: 09 May 2017 11:29
Item ID: 10826
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/10826

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