"I study Fashion academically"

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"I study Fashion academically"

Postby germinal » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:10 pm

Here at care-tags we embrace learning at every level. This thread is an environment for discussing capital eff Fashion in what, elsewhere, would be considered a very pretentious manner. Hopefully we shall be able to keep up with Messrs odradek and smiles, and with any luck the very erudite Rosenrot will school us good and proper like

Our reading list, courtesy of the V&A:
http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/g ... l-fashion/
http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/f ... ding-list/
(if you explore the related content on the right-hand side you will be taken into a labyrinth of reading lists which seem to get ever-more specific i shall be reading for some time it appears)

feel free to post any relevant articles or things you want to discuss in here (e.g. "the ethics of buying expensive clothing that romanticises being poor" or "on the use of cheap synthetics in the work of rei kawakubo and junya watanabe" etc)

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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby smiles » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:26 pm

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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby bels » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:27 pm

I find that if something is cheap and a synthetic blend I think "eh highstreet garbage" but if it's expensive I think "wow must be an amazing blend I wonder what it's like etc etc"
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby Syeknom » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:44 am

That reading list is very exciting, thanks germ! Going to grab some for the kindle

Wish I could go to antwerp and study fashion but still get paid my current salary :(
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby Rosenrot » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:19 pm

germinal wrote:Here at care-tags we embrace learning at every level. This thread is an environment for discussing capital eff Fashion in what, elsewhere, would be considered a very pretentious manner. Hopefully we shall be able to keep up with Messrs odradek and smiles, and with any luck the very erudite Rosenrot will school us good and proper like


You're too kind. The irony is that I had to look up the word 'erudite' in the dictionary.

Right now I'm just finishing this book - The Fashion Reader (http://www.amazon.com/The-Fashion-Reade ... b_title_bk). It is a collection of scholarly articles and essays surrounding many of the theories in fashion, including history of costume, psychology of dress, non-mainstream fashion trades around the world, business of fashion and sustainability. It's as academic as it can get without going to class.

One of the articles that I was very impressed by was taken from the book - The Fashioned Body (http://www.amazon.com/Fashioned-Body-Fa ... ioned+body). I have yet to get started, but I doubt it'll be disappointing. It's something for anyone interested in the psychology of dress, especially if you believe in the correlation of body and dress affecting one's overall looks.
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby germinal » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:48 am

hey let's talk about trompe-l'oeil!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trompe-l'%C5%93il

trompe-lo'eil and its use in fashion - for what purpose is it used? does margiela use it to distort the act of viewing clothes? (the same way his flat garments and so forth distort the act of wearing clothes?) ramdom, how does WvB use tromp-el'oeil? and why? who else uses it? is trom-pe'loeil always used in a playful, tongue-in-cheek, joke between contemporaries sort of way? or can it be a more nasty sort of deception?
trompel o-e'il and its use outside of fashion? ramdom mentioned banksy, about whom i know very little. is trompeloei-'l more effective in 2-D (a wall; a canvas) or in 3-D (clothing)? any examples of it being used in sculpture, for example? (help me out here smiles.) is James Turrell's work an example of tr-ompeloei'l? (creating substance where there is nothing.)
fashion is a visual art form, but it is also a sensual one - can clothes deceive us in other ways? (a material that looks soft, but is rigid; a fabric that appears shiny, but is rough to the touch; a fabric that smells like leather but looks and feels like wool; and so forth...)

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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby germinal » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:08 am

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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby sknss » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:15 pm

germinal wrote:ramdom mentioned banksy


i guess ramdom is referring to his work on the Israeli West Bank barrier
the trompe l'oeil here is used to make a hole in the wall

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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby ramdomthought » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:30 pm

was writing something up on trompe l'oeil in fashion actually

whatever guess i'll just dump the half written thing here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BFy ... MEhUg/edit
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby sknss » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:48 pm

we don't want your half finished paper
get to work
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby Stingray Sam » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:51 pm

I don't really understand how trompe l'oeil is being used in those Walter van Beirendonck pictures. Could someone please explain this. Also is my understanding of trompe l'oeil correct, basically that it's a sort of forced perspective that is used in art to make things appear as they are not? And it is used in various ways in fashion to change the way we see clothes. Does trompe l'oeil go past forced perspective? Is there more to it than creating an illusion? Or is that what it is
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby sknss » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:13 pm

Stingray Sam wrote:I don't really understand how trompe l'oeil is being used in those Walter van Beirendonck pictures. Could someone please explain this.


well the pattern of the suit is like a picture of the corner of a room. the pants represent the wooden floor and the jacket is the two walls (one has a painting on it)

not sure i answered your question
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby germinal » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:19 pm

the way i understand trompe l'oeil can refer to any optical illusion; i could well be wrong

the wvb stuff is interesting because whilst it does force perspective somewhat, i find that the strange angle and the naive style serves to flatten it again

this might help you see the "room"
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby odradek » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:20 pm

i've always used stage-plays as my jumping off point for trompe l'oeil. there's a certain spot where set design stops being an abstraction of a thing like with mime but isn't quite a full blown recreation of the desired thing. it's one thing to say "oh, this cardboard cutout of a door isn't as good as a real door" and kill the illusion and it's another thing to say "this cardboard door is a door" and play into the illusion. with trompe l'oiel, i feel like it's a third thing: "this cardboard door is a cardboard door; it references the real door but it isn't one and it is its own thing and it is very good at being a cardboard door." all of a sudden you have something that gets to act both as it's signified and as itself and that opens up a whole bunch of possibilities to play with.

moving it to clothes and using the WvB example, it goes beyond just the dual purpose of "oh, this is a suit, this is a picture of a room, this a suit with a picture of a room on it." the best example is probably the flowers going past the lapel, where there's acknowledgement of the extension of the flat into the real world, ie, beyond the canvas which re-defines the nature of the suit (context-less, one would say "that lapel has funny shit hanging off of it") and the nature of the pattern on the suit ("it's reforming the suit pattern to the superficial on it.") is the model a guy wearing a room suit, or is he an extension of a room, or a representation of a room? why not all of them?
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby Stingray Sam » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:21 pm

Oh thanks, I wasn't recognizing what the patterns were and how they interacted with the other patterns
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby Stingray Sam » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:24 pm

Could one consider silhouette trompe l'oeil? Because it obscures the body and makes it appear different from reality? Or is that a misunderstanding of trompe l'oeil?
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby germinal » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:28 pm

i like how the flowers simultaneously refer to the flowers in the vase and the boutonniere in the lapel
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby odradek » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:44 pm

it may be helpful to learn about trompe l'oeil first as an artistic method and then as a fashion term. artistically it's mostly a way of creating the illusion of perspective, so like that hallway in charlie and the chocolate factory, and fashion usually plays with that and adds another layer of acknowledging the illusion of perspective. i'd say silhouette play is a different way of affecting how a person views the clothes.
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby ramdomthought » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:48 pm

Silhoutte isn't a form of trompe l'oeil (usually). The way I think about it there's nothing blending two different "worlds" together. In the jackets, the "world" of the room is interacting with our world. In silhoutte, you're usually missing that layer of the other world.

Trompe l'oeil isn't always about perspective and those kind of tricks. The classic example is Image this old as fuck painting of a Carthusian. The piece that's being presented as false is the fly in the picture meant to mimic a real fly (and it has arguably minimal or no use as part of the subject the artist was painting) so that the viewer would see it as a fly and not as a painting of a fly.

You see this as well with painted frames that are on canvas rather than a real frame. You see it with margiela's bras that are really just a nude colored shirt with a painted piece that looks like a bra.
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby can- » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:23 pm

how do u pronounce it doe.

"Tromp Lol"
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby sknss » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:34 pm

tromp luh-y(as in yes)
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby Stingray Sam » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:33 am

Can we talk about deconstruction. i always here this term thrown around, but i am not entirely sure what it means. I'd really like to know the philosophy behind it, how it relates/is used in fashion, and where can i see it in not only fashion but other arts as well.
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby odradek » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:15 pm

Forgive me if some of this is off, Derrida is...not easy and I'm not getting paid.

Deconstruction is one of the many offshoots of the incredibly dense and oblique continental line of philosophy that followed one Ferdinand Saussure's text "Course on General Linguistics" and the field of semiotics that it established. The basic idea is that there's a sign, like the word "CAR" and then the signified, the actual car, and there's a relationship between the two. After a lot of hubbub, Jacques Derrida wrote Of Grammatology, a prolix and unpleasant book whose main thrust is that this sign-signifier relationship, which has by this point become a much larger beast and includes more or less any (hegelian-reminiscent, which caused Derrida to make precise distinctions between his ideas and Hegel's) dichotomy, is necessarily violent and hierarchical and things can/should be done about that. Derrida was mostly referring to the idea that written language was not entirely in service to oral language and thereby could, in fact, create things to itself (thus, Grammatology, the study of textual meaning) but the method of doing so was talking about how the relationships between x and y are struggles between the two terms, that there are values placed on one or the other or both. Writing is subservient to speech, for instance.

Derrida comes to the conclusion that the violence of this kind of thing is probably Not Cool because of how it informs thought and contends that deconstruction of these relationships will allow a person to analyze them from all angles and in so doing, subvert and corrupt them. Now we are cooking mit gas, ja? One thing that's important to note is that this cannot be done willy-nilly: our understanding of the world exists through these relationships and, violent or not, we need them to communicate with one another. However, we can communicate through them with deconstructionist knowledge of other ways of appreciating these relationships.

As attached to fashion, according to internet research, it was first applied to the scene as a comparison with deconstructivist architecture. You might recognize Frank Gehry or Daniel Libeskind, or at least some of their buildings, and how they create discontinuities in the environment and their own structure, or what wikipedia calls "controlled chaos." After fashion was stuck with the appellation, there seems to be, in my unscholarly view, a bit of a backwards jump to reconnect to Derrida's version of deconstruction as a form of analysis rather than as a subsidiary of the deconstructivist ideas. This is also a bit more literally shown in some designers work, with clothes actually in states of deconstruction rather than strictly as a philosophical movement. There's a nice ~synergy~ there.

Anyway, as far as fashion is concerned, there are a few good articles online of people who know more than I do, but as is always true of the stuff, images will always be better. Designers like Rei Kawakubo and Margiela are more or less vanguard party, but stuff like Jean Paul Gaultier, some Alexander McQueen, my homeboy Jun Takahashi and others (feel free to add) also play with the stuff. You'll find it often manifests in things like frayed hems, reconstituted items, flattening of intrinsic meaning, inside-out pieces, broken pieces, unfinished pieces, pieces literally deconstructed into constituent parts, more or less the context in which you would expect things to exist being subverted.

The internet also informs me that there's a little bit of La Destroy to be pieced in here, a French movement of making ripped as fuck clothes that I'm sure sknss can comment more on.
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby smiles » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:42 pm

Margiela’s deconstruction fashion brings forth the question “What are the conditions under which Fashion continues to make forms as seamless presence?


when deconstructionism is mentioned i always direct people to this illuminating article by alison gil http://newpurse.tumblr.com/post/15655731853/deconstruction-fashion-the-making-of-unfinished
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:14 pm

[b]odradek[/b/], do you study philosophy academically? And if not, how do you learn it? Through courses, books of the original work, books of analysis of the original work, internet articles on the books analyzing the original work, etc.?
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby sid3000 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:01 am

just wanted to give a tip to the kiddos still in university: check if your school does Interlibrary Loan (ILL). It's a really amazing way to get your hands on designer archive publications, biographies, photography books, whatever youre into. Doesnt cost a dime. If your school has an art library/department check what they have too. Youd be surprised.
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby Iliam » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:38 pm

Found this well interesting article on "the ancient erotic appeal of runaway models" (http://www.slate.com/articles/business_ ... shion.html). It's not an academic article but Ann Hollander is a costume historian and wrote a book called "seeing through clothes" which I saw on the V&A reading list. It starts out by saying

It isn't just the widening international scope of the fashion industry that makes clothing design everybody's business these days. It's the shows, which are ever more fantastic, and the press coverage of them, which is ever more hysterically serious. It certainly isn't the clothes. If you look around at what men and women are actually wearing in the big fashion cities--Paris, Milan, London, New York--you'll see very little evidence that runway fashion has any impact at all....


I think that disconnect between the immense media coverage of shows and the fashion impact of the shows is an interesting idea. Is this actually the case? Have the runway shows lost their power to influence the masses? people always talk about 'trickle down' effects, talk about them on the net and look at runway shows as influences for what will be trending in the future - but maybe that isn't true? be interested to hear what people think about the link between runway shows and the clothes people wear everyday, if there is one.

The main thrust of the article, however, is about models
The central focus of everything is the bevy of unbelievable models and the way they work. Clothes, no matter how outrageous, don't register by themselves. It's the girls parading around in them that make the show, dazzle the audience, magnetize the cameras, and entrance the world. Them, and the obscurely thrilling knowledge that they are paid enormous sums to do it.


and this (pretty strong) paragraph

The appeal of these female platoons [the models] is ancient, potent, and forbidden. They are like rows of whores or slaves, odalisques or concubines, servants in Astarte's temple, Satan's demons as myriad sirens. They don't offer intricate performances that took years of severe training to perfect; they don't sing, speak, or chant; they don't earnestly appear for a cause; they aren't eagerly joining in a festival. They have no will. They parade their fresh charms in seductive, borrowed plumage for our judgment, but only for the greater glory of the sultan, the high priest, the whoremaster, the ringmaster, the devil himself, the designer and his backer who have bought them as toys to play with. It's one of the oldest erotic fantasies, recurrent in legends and fictions of many kinds, lending itself well to traditional ballet and cabaret--see Scheherezade, La Bayadère, Les Folies Bergères, the Copacabana.


is Hollander's link between fashion shows and erotic performance is right? That it is part of an unchanging erotic ritual that "is all about sex of a very old-fashioned and dirty-minded kind"? seems like ppl like Rick Owens and McQueen are/were trying to change this up, maybe?
@ab167 and @Rosenrot i'd be pretty interested to hear a feminist perspective (not that i am asking you to speak for feminism as a whole but you both seem v adept with the arguments) on both the language of this article and the erotic discourse around runway models.

the last line of the article, referring to the runway shows, is
Anyone looking for a further proof of the return to barbarism at the end of this millennium could probably find it there.
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby Rosenrot » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:52 pm

Thank you for posting, some excellent points you've raised.

My first thought after reading the article is, what about the men? Are they slaves too? Why is she only looking at the female models?

I will get back on this once I have time for proper thinking
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby stappard_ » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:03 am

50iliam wrote:
The appeal of these female platoons [the models] is ancient, potent, and forbidden. They are like rows of whores or slaves, odalisques or concubines, servants in Astarte's temple, Satan's demons as myriad sirens. They don't offer intricate performances that took years of severe training to perfect; they don't sing, speak, or chant; they don't earnestly appear for a cause; they aren't eagerly joining in a festival. They have no will. They parade their fresh charms in seductive, borrowed plumage for our judgment, but only for the greater glory of the sultan, the high priest, the whoremaster, the ringmaster, the devil himself, the designer and his backer who have bought them as toys to play with. It's one of the oldest erotic fantasies, recurrent in legends and fictions of many kinds, lending itself well to traditional ballet and cabaret--see Scheherezade, La Bayadère, Les Folies Bergères, the Copacabana.


My thought when I read this is that she doesn't seem to address the fact that the major difference between womenswear runway shows and 'rows of whores or slaves' etc is the first-hand audience; the former majority female (and even secondhand viewership doesn't fit, the daily sport isn't publishing catwalk fashion) and the latter overwhelmingly male.

She doesn't mention it in the quote you gave (it may be addressed in the full article) but there is certainly an implication in this passage of the 'catwalk performance' as part of a wider trend of female subordination and I'm not sure the example of fashion shows fits with the historical example provided.

The only caveat to this point may be the argument that this is self-subordination as a result of insidious patriarchy but then this is the wrong thread for that
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Re: "I study Fashion academically"

Postby bels » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:13 am

Are there more male womenswear designers than female? (I feel there are but I'm extremely ignant)
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