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Paris and the Designers: Processes of Engagement of Oriental Designers in the Fashion Capital.

Ling, Wessie (2005) Paris and the Designers: Processes of Engagement of Oriental Designers in the Fashion Capital. In: IFFTI 2005 Annual Conference Proceedings. Bunka Women’s University, Tokyo.

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Ling, Wessie

The successful establishment of Oriental fashion designers in Paris could act as a springboard to their commercial success and professional status. Their participation in Paris has also taken place out of the fashion system where minority niches are favoured. The opening of minority niches has to a certain extent been perceived as an opportunity for advancing their immediate interests. However, while the value of taking such an opportunity is both significant in economic and professional terms, there is little consideration of the pragmatic processes of engagement.

Following Certeau’s (1984) articulation of the ‘hidden production’, this paper concerns the operational logic of Paris-based Oriental designers. Unlike Kawamura’s (2004) study of Japanese designers in Paris, it considers those Oriental designers as a whole who live and work as foreign entities in Paris, their relationships with the capital and the Paris fashion system. Bhabha’s (1994) discourse on racial/cultural/historical otherness and Kondo’s (1997) self-orientalisation provide the framework to examine the extent to which such relations are the subject to individual choice and the strategic use of Oriental stereotypes to advance their establishment in Paris.

This original study builds on existing discourse on otherness by cultural practitioners and extends the analysis of racial study to fashion designers. It contributes to the understanding of the dynamic relationship between Paris-based Oriental designers and the Paris fashion system, yet also opens discussion on the strategic establishment of foreign designers in fashion capitals.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

Wessie Ling


My research concerns identities with an emphasis on the discourse of cultural identities in the production of fashion. I am interested in the construction of identities, the expression and creation of an identity when producing fashion, the relation of such identity with one's locality and the tension within the industry in which it is produced. I have written on the engagement process of Paris-based Oriental designers, examining diasporic aesthetics that is born out of both the place and fashion system in which it is created.

My recent geographical focus on China has led me to publish a monograph (Fusionable Cheongsam 2007) and articles on how the identities of the Chinese dress have been constructed through its social and cultural history, popular culture and fashion production.

Further to the theme of identities is my practice-based research which draws on the relation between fashion, cities and identities, whereby fashion is acknowledged as a major social force and an interplay of consumer tastes, social habits and personal identities.

My installation aspires to consider how fashion represents our cultural selves and such liaisons within the society we inhabit. Projects being undertaken include Fusionable Cheongsam (2007), a solo exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre which considers the dichotomous representations of the Chinese dress by means of a series of installations, and Game On: The World Fashion Conquest, a touring solo exhibition (Vienna 2007, London 2006) which inquires into the economic and cultural role that a homogenised fashion week serves beyond the fashion industry.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Bunka Women’s University
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Research Centres No Longer Active > Fashion, The Body And Material Cultures Research Centre (FBMC)
Date: 1 October 2005
Related Websites: http://www.wessieling.com/, http://www.lifestyle.sg/articles/arts-and-culture_4/cheongsams-tale_243.htm, http://sites.a-n.co.uk/interface/reviews/single/368886
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Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 22:29
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2010 14:07
Item ID: 1647
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1647

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