Fashion Digital Memories
May
22
May 23

Fashion Digital Memories

  • Palazzo Badoer

From Fashion Europeana:

The Europeana Fashion International Association is organising this year its annual symposium, titled "Fashion Digital Memories" and focused on Fashion Heritage and New Technologies. The symposium is organized in collaboration with Università Iuav di Venezia and The New School - Parsons Paris. It will be held in the fantastic setting of Palazzo Badoer, where the School of Doctorate Studies at Iuav University of Venice is located.

The expression ‘Fashion heritage’ refers to a heterogeneous group of objects, different in nature and meaning. Lately, a general interest towards museum collections and archival materials related especially to fashion has been rising, demanding for access to this incredibly rich field of knowledge. It is the very variety of the ‘traces’ fashion leaves behind - not only clothes, but accessories, textiles, plates and magazines, sketches and photographs - that requires a reflection on what kind of technologies are better suited and how to apply them in order to preserve, disseminate and exploit these materials in all their potential.

The symposium gathers some of the most interesting case studies shaping their own practices in between the more traditional museum or archival practices with the new possibilities allowed by technology. These experiences nuance the relationship between fashion heritage and digital technologies; in presenting them all together, the symposium wants to tackle a variety of issues, concerning innovative techniques developed to update consolidated museum and archival practices, as conservation and traditional studies of material culture; reflections on how to incorporate technology in the conceptual and material development of displays and exhibitions; actions aimed at presenting fashion heritage to a wider - and often unspecialised - audience in appealing ways, exploiting the potential of social media and experimental platforms.

To participate, register here: goo.gl/TNahVY

Unravel Podcast & FSJ Present: A Curatorial Tour
May
26
6:30 pm18:30

Unravel Podcast & FSJ Present: A Curatorial Tour

  • JCC Manhattan

Join us on Friday, May 26 from 6:30-7:30 when FSJ contributor and community member Keren Ben-Horin will give a private tour of her new exhibition, Cutting Edges: Israeli Fashion & Design, now on view at the JCC Manhattan until July 30.

Cutting Edges is a showcase of contemporary Israeli clothing, textiles, jewelry, and accessories by multiple designers who examine questions of identity and use materials in inventive ways. The exhibition highlights the unique fabrication of Israeli design today. In addition it offers an inclusive approach reflecting the diverse communities, backgrounds, religions, and roots that make Israel a fertile ground for creative design.

The tour will be followed by a happy hour at a nearby bar. Space is limited so make sure to send your RSVP ASAP to unravelpodcast@gmail.com. You can also find more information and see who else is attending via our Facebook event page here.

We hope to see you there!

Self Portrait in Costumes: New Identities at Play
May
30
5:00 pm17:00

Self Portrait in Costumes: New Identities at Play

Conference/Workshop, 24 November 2017, Ecole des Beaux Arts de Nantes

Organized jointly by the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Université de Nantes, and Université de Bourgogne

Proposals of approximately 300 words may be submitted to valeriemorisson@gmail.comjulie.morere@univ-nantes.fr and emmanuelle.cherel@gmail.com, along with a short biographical note before 30th May 2017.

Self-portraits admittedly waver between earnest confession (as stressed by Philippe Le Jeune in Le Pacte autobiographique, Seuil, coll. “Poétique”, 1975) and concealment. It is often a representation of the self that goes beyond the idea of the artist as subject in order to tackle wider notions of subjectivity. In a similar way, the self-portrait in costume or disguise (in painting, photo or video) may either protect the artist from self-disclosure or put his own self at risk. It is a multi-faceted genre or mode that this conference purports to explore. In painting, clothing has recently received a long-deserved interest: in  Fabric of Vision : Dress and Drapery in Painting (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), Anne Hollander underscores the fact that clothing does matter as much as any other component of the composition in the eyes of the painter. This applies even more forcefully to self-portraits in costume.

Some classical painters have playfully included an image of themselves in period costumes in their compositions or painted self-portraits in costume. Veronese features dressed in white in The Wedding Feast at Cana (1562) while Rembrandt portrayed himself in oriental costume in The artist in an Oriental Costume (1631). The act of self-portrayal –as a creative process—may be viewed as an intimate act and private performance or as a staging of the self for public display, questioning the social and political status of the artist, the individual or his community. The costume inevitably introduces a twist or trick that may be playful or more intriguing: this strategy has not been fully explored and deserves more attention.

Given that self-portraiture is an experimental and mediated exploration of the self (and a nearly unavoidable step for many artists in the intimacy of the creative process), it is an invitation to explore lighting, stances, and costume either humorously or more introspectively. Costuming or masquerading, that is seemingly assuming someone else’s identity, may partake of a documentary or fictitious project and rely on various autobiographical modes. The artist may metamorphose him/herself exploring different time-periods, geographical areas, or identities; the dress may be normative or conversely singular. The manipulation of the self in the visual arts may be liberating, as is the case in the tradition of the masquerade or fantasy photographic portraits: through costuming the artists free themselves from the constraints of society and its prevalent dress-codes. Handicrafts, intermediality and bricolage may be used to costume the self in a process-oriented approach sometimes close to artistic performance. The body may disappear entirely and the artist be buried in the costume, faceless; conversely the artist may be reduced to a shadow or use synecdoche to escape exposure.

The costume (attire, dress, props, or make-up) being more than a sign of belonging entails performative embodiments and blurs the identification process thereby disrupting the conventions of self-portraiture. As a matter of fact, the self-portrait in costume often entails narrativity and fictitious self-representations in which the artist may drift towards fantasy and virtuality to explore complex forms of otherness.

Portraying oneself in exotic attire is a means of drawing the spectator’s attention to the artificiality of portrait-painting and the theatricality of social roles. The self-portrait in costume, relying as it does on shared sartorial norms and social codes, articulates culture and counterculture and may debunk myths, stereotypes and normative discourse centered on the body. The self-portrait in costume thereby constitutes a puzzle for the viewer who finds himself trapped into the contrivances of the staging. When costuming also means revisiting previous images and relies on intericonicity, the viewer may be complicit and laugh or mislaugh at the quote or distortion. Contemporary photographers and video-artists conceive fictional or fictitious autobiographies inducing generic and referential instability. Artists related to postmodern and postcolonial art portray themselves in costume to critically explore identity construction and the notions of authenticity and nostalgia. In a postcolonial perspective, self-portraits in costume tends to question the politics of representation, power relationships in the modern society, representation of minorities and a multiplicity of possible identifications torn between cultural and social contradictions. Other self-portraits are haunted by a nightmarish vision of the artist as Other, referring to the divided self from a psychoanalytic perspective. The advent of the post-human has made these imaginary explorations more tangible.

There is, we suggest, more than imaginary playfulness in these self-staged performances: the self-portrait in disguise may verge on parody or satire and entail carnivalesque reversals; it may conceal, even camouflage, the true personality of an artist for various reasons; it may also challenge the notion of physical integrity, singularity and authenticity especially when produced in series. By changing his/her sexual, ethnic, social identity, the artist may convey a strong message and situate his/her practice within society. This conference is an invitation to consider the complexity of the self-portrait in costume particularly in the contemporary period. Indeed, both postmodern reflexivity and self-referentiality, and the extended possibilities offered by image manipulation have revived this genre, with the success of selfies or avatars for instance raising new questions.

Contemporary creation puts the relationships between animality/humanity, body/machine under scrutiny, and is inspired by ontological theories (E. Kosofsky Sedgwick, Donna Haraway, Mel Y. Chen). The otherization of the self or the incorporation of the other –and the other-self in works concerned with the motif of the doppleganger—are processes of self-investigation that are worth analysing.

Contact Info: Julie More, Centre de Recherche sur les Identités Nationales et l’Interculturalité (CRINI) -Université de Nantes, julie.morere@univ-nantes.fr

Fashion Night: Modern Black Dandies
Jun
1
6:30 pm18:30

Fashion Night: Modern Black Dandies

  • The Brooklyn Museum

From the Brooklyn Museum:

The Brooklyn Museum and Aperture Foundation invite you to celebrate black men’s style as a form of personal politics with a night of fashion, film, and music, organized in honor of author Shantrelle P. Lewis’s new book, Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style. With programs activating both our performance spaces and the Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern exhibition galleries, this evening celebrates the art and style of black dandies, men of African descent who use fashion to define and inhabit a proud, radically independent public persona. Discussion moderated by Rashid Shabazz, VP of Communications, Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

Featuring:

  • Shantrelle P. Lewis, author and curator
  • Darnell Moore, Editor-at-Large, Interactive One
  • Ignacio Quiles, Haberdasher, QP & Monty
  • Abiola Oke, CEO, Okayafrica.

Supported by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

Tickets are $16 ($14 for Members). Tickets with a copy of Lewis’s book are $50 ($45 for Members). To receive the Member discount code, email us at membership@brooklynmuseum.org with your full name and Membership ID.

 Fashion, Race and "Cultural Appropriation"
Jun
10
10:00 am10:00

Fashion, Race and "Cultural Appropriation"

  • Central Saint Martins

Central Saint Martins (London, UK)

Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Chinese inspired’ designs of the late 1970s, Ricardo Tisci’s AW 2015 ‘Chola girl’ runway show; bindis worn at festivals, baby-curls and ‘braid bars’ - fashion has always borrowed from non-western or socially marginalised cultures. These creative strategies have increasingly been criticised, particularly online, for their insensitivity to, and exploitation of, the colonised, the economically underdeveloped, and the geopolitically subaltern. The term ‘cultural appropriation’ is now a popular idiom that describes this act of so-called creative borrowing from the non-west. It is closely associated with the use of exoticism, the ‘Oriental’ Other and varieties of racial stereotyping and micro-aggression in fashion design and image making.

Fashion, Race and ‘Cultural Appropriation’: A Conference at Central Saint Martins will address the representation of race and ethnic identity in fashion design and associated media through the framework of cultural appropriation. This one-day event seeks to locate race, ethnicity, borrowing and appropriation within intellectual debates arising from postcolonial theories, critical race theory, whiteness studies and cultural and historical studies. Design takes inspiration from all things, but how can we understand borrowing and appreciation, the embodied conventions of genre in a globalised economy and digital cultural environment? Is one consumer’s beauty another’s racism and white supremacy? Walter Benjamin talks about the ‘rag-picker’ as a mode of modern creative practice. In our contemporary geopolitical environment, does rag-picking hide more complex dynamics of inequality inherent to fashion consumption? How can we explore these ideas without dictating to creatives and consumers, admonishing them for their choices? Our current media environment holds creativity up to intense scrutiny. Is it the job of design to challenge clichés, stereotypes and white supremacy? Are image making and fashion ever truly separate from geopolitics?

Keynote Speakers: Dr Sarah Cheang (Royal College of Art, London) and Dr Serkan Delice (London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London)

More information and registration can be found at the conference website.

 

Clothing & Race
Jun
11
6:00 pm18:00

Clothing & Race

  • Junior High

Join us for the first installment of Clothing & _____, a three part conversation series exploring our ever-evolving relationship with clothing.

Our first topic is Clothing & Race. We will be joined by Rikki Byrd and Charles Harbison for a conversation exploring contemporary issues concerning clothing and race.

Rikki Byrd is a writer, educator and scholar with a passion for cultivating innovative spaces for conversations on fashion and race. She is the co-editor of the Fashion and Race Syllabus – an ongoing, online academic project exploring the intersection of fashion and race, expanding upon and decentralizing fashion history. Rikki is currently a faculty member at Washington University, St. Louis where she has developed new courses on Fashion History and Research, Fashion and Race and Fashion and African American Studies.

Charles Elliot Harbison is the founder and Creative Director of HARBISON. Charles developed an early interest in fashion while observing the transformative impact that clothing had on his mother's persona. Charles studied fine arts, painting, and textiles at North Caroline State University, where his curriculum was based largely on the modernist movement –an aesthetic code he continues to employ. Charles began his professional career as a textile designer before moving on to womenswear at Michael Kors. Charles launched HARBISON in 2013.

Clothing & _____ is an interdisciplinary programming series that engages contemporary designers, performers, writers and researchers on topics related to our ever-evolving relationship with clothing. This series will highlight the role clothing plays in constructing identities in visual culture. 

Each Clothing & _____ event will focus on a specific topic: Clothing & Race, Clothing & Comedy, Clothing & Size. Thinking about the relationship of how we dress ourselves, how communities of people are represented, and how we as a culture are responsible for shaping identities is a crucial element of understanding and participating in past, present, and future visual culture.  

Different Bodies: (Self-)Representation, Disability and the Media
Jun
23
5:00 pm17:00

Different Bodies: (Self-)Representation, Disability and the Media

  • University of Westminster

University of Westminster (London, UK)

This one-day conference seeks to explore representations of the body as strange, shameful, wrong, impaired, wounded, scarred, disabled, lacking, different or ‘other’ in contemporary media.

The advent of digital media has underlined the importance of visual culture and our curiosity in representations of the body to form opinions about ourselves and others. Media portrayals of bodies can affect our lives because media are one of the primary agents of socialization (Moore and Kosut, 2010). Bodies we see in newspapers, on television and in our social media feeds are often made to appear perfect in order to conform to racialized and heteronormative ideals of what it means to be beautiful and normal in contemporary capitalist societies. Presentations of the body that are white, young, slim and productive have been critiqued from different fields in academia such as feminism, queer theory, disability studies, critical theory and postcolonial studies.

The digital media landscape is posing new challenges to the study of body representation. The Internet and social media in particular have led to an increased representation and engagement with the body through practices such as selfies, webcamming, blogging, vlogging and so on. While digital media may contribute to an empowerment of excluded and silenced bodies, they may equally open up spaces of discrimination, threats, hatred, trolling and silencing online, as the #gamergatecontroversy or author Lizzie Velásquez’ self-presentation on social media have recently illustrated.

A critical approach to representations of bodies and disability is therefore essential as a means of change (Bolt, 2014). This conference aims to develop a new understanding of disability and the media in the 21st century by establishing a dialogue between different scholars on the theme of body representations. In particular, we seek to formulate new questions to comprehend how the tension between non-digital and digital media is creating spaces for new ways of framing disabled bodies. 

Conference attendance will be free and registration will open in late spring.

Revisiting the Gaze: Feminism, Fashion and the Female Body
Jun
28
Jun 29

Revisiting the Gaze: Feminism, Fashion and the Female Body

  • Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London

Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London (London, UK)

Keynote Speakers: Prof. Reina Lewis, London College of Fashion; Dr. Mo Throp, Chelsea College of Arts; and Dr. Maria Walsh, Chelsea College of Arts.

In 2015 Laura Mulvey’s seminal essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975) enjoyed its fortieth year. The BFI hosted a panel to mark the occasion, where Mulvey emphasized that her essay was very much a ‘historical document of its time’: emerging from the politics of the women’s movement in the 1970sMulvey used the term the ‘male gaze’ just once in her essay yet the concept has become central to debates on spectatorship. Critique has focused on the psychoanalytic underpinnings of this concept as well as the privileging of gender over other aspects of identity (e.g. hooks 1992). Furthermore, Mulvey herself has acknowledged that elements of the essay have ‘necessarily been rendered archaic by changes in technology’ and has revisited it in her subsequent writing.

The idea of the gaze – whether male or female – has proved incredibly fruitful in making sense of the fashioned body. Yet, with the recent resurgence of feminist activism – being termed ‘fourth wave’ or ‘digital’ feminism – debates on fashion and the gaze have evolved enormously. Blogs such as Man Repeller playfully mock the idea of the ‘male gaze’ whilst other women have explored the empowering potential of self-authored images of the female body (e.g. Petra Collins, #freethenipple, Emily Ratajkowski). Activists on the street have used their own fashioned bodies as a site for articulating protest, through movements such as Femen and Slutwalk, with these protests, in turn, being subject to critique on social media for their privileging of white, heteronormative bodies.

Becoming visible opens up opportunities for empowerment but as Michel Foucault (1975) has noted, ‘visibility is a trap’, as underlined in instances of revenge porn and catcalling on the street. Furthermore, Angela McRobbie (2009) has argued the ‘male gaze’ has been replaced by super-strict regulation of appearance – whether by oneself, one’s peers or the fashionable milieu. The ‘politicized, hypervisibility’ of the veiled body, as well as the different gazes that fall on Muslim bodies in both online and offline spaces, has been noted by Reina Lewis (2015). Such visibility has in some cases proved empowering, but in others led to body shaming, reprisals and even to death – as in the recent killing of the Qandeel Baloch, the Pakistani Twitter celebrity.

These social and digital changes provide the impetus for a re-examination of fashion and the politics of looking. Working from the premise that the gaze is intersectional (Gamman and Marshment 1988), we want to consider what remains fruitful in Mulvey’s essay as well as thinking about new ways of theorising fashion, the female body, and the gaze.

More information and registration can be found at the conference website.

Cultural Mediators in the Digital Age
Sep
4
9:00 am09:00

Cultural Mediators in the Digital Age

  • King's College London

September 4, 2017, King's College London

This Symposium is organised by the School of Communications at University Adolfo Ibanez (UAI), the Culture, Media and Creative Industries Department at King’s College (KCL), and the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London (UAL). 

Following from the influential work of Pierre Bourdieu, cultural intermediaries (CIs) have been typically analysed within cultural studies and sociology (Smith-Maguire and Matthews 2013; Nixon and du Gay 2002; O’Connor 2015) as significant mediators of culture, shaping cultural forms and identities; for example, in fashion (Blumer 1969; Braham 1997; Entwistle 2006; Fine and Leopold 1993), music (Hesmondhalgh 2007), food (Bob, et.al. 2013) masculinity within popular culture (Nixon 1996, 2003). This early cultural intermediaries literature was important in establishing a more complex and dynamic relationship between production and consumption by examining the work of influential ‘taste-makers’ located within key professional spaces and institutions (publishing, fashion industry, etc.). However, in the digital age, today’s CIs also include fashion bloggers and vloggers, Youtubers (Rocamora, forthcoming, 2017), music and food bloggers, and so on, who are examples of new forms of labour, as well as practices where cultural value is generated and circulated across digital spaces. Further, ideas about the ‘prosumer’ and ‘prosumption’ challenge the uni-directional view of flows of influence: consumers are emerging as ‘experts’ of the flows they are consuming (Baym and Burnett 2009), as well as ‘cultural mediators’ or ‘intermediaries’ (Arriagada 2014; Entwistle 2009; Bourdieu 1984; Rocamora 2011; 2016), bringing ‘a range of cultural things to markets: goods, images, tastes, aesthetics’ (Entwistle 2009: 15). In addition, science and technology studies (STS) and actor-network-theory (ANT) have challenged ideas about mediation to include non-human actors within these networks and flows of goods. 

In this Symposium we will explore how much of the early cultural intermediaries literature within cultural studies (emerging from the late 1980s-1990s) and across a range of industries (fashion, music, popular media/magazines, for example) is relevant to today’s cultural forms in the digital age. Specifically, the aim of the symposium is to gather experts on cultural industries to discuss and analyse how consumers’ practices performed in digital spaces (e.g. blog, social media, and websites) are facilitating the emergency of new cultural and economic forms in this industry. It will be cross- disciplinary and cross-sector, seeking also to examine the differences, synergies and similarities across key cultural industries (for example, fashion, music, print/publishing, film, food, gaming). 

The program will be available by June the 22nd. 
Participation in the Symposium will cost £50 and £30 (students).

All that Glitters: Visual Representations of Dress in the Early Modern and the Boundaries of Reliability
Sep
14
Sep 15

All that Glitters: Visual Representations of Dress in the Early Modern and the Boundaries of Reliability

  • Kulturforum

Kunstgewerbemuseum & Lipperheidesche Kostümbibliothek, Kulturforum (Berlin, Germany)

Since few garments survive from the early modern period, especially pre-1700, reliance on depictions of early modern dress in art is unavoidable. Dress and textile representations in paintings, drawings, prints, costume books, album amicorum and sculptures form some of the main visual sources, which in addition to possibilities have various limitations with regards to reliability and interpretation. From fantasy draperies and studio props to true to life portrayals of the sitter’s real garments, the implications of what pictorial representations can offer to dress historians are innumerable and complex.

While in some cases depictions of dress and textiles can act as tools for interpretations of paintings, in others, such as some depictions of dress and fabric worn in the overseas colonies are merely akin to fantasy dress in art. Portrayals of the elite largely survive providing information about the dress worn by the upper echelons in society. However, do such portrayals depict innovations in dress style and textile patterns accurately or do they merely portray a traditional form of dress that conforms to the specific genres of the various visual mediums? Furthermore, such portrayals are scarce in regard to clothing worn by other classes of society and in many cases the context in which they were depicted may have affected the representation. The conference aims to generate a discussion about the extent to which visual sources can be reliable in providing an accurate representation and understanding of the changes and innovations in dress, textiles, fur, haberdashery and jewellery with regards to the context in which they are depicted and used.

More information and registration can be found at the conference website.


Critical is the New Black
May
18
1:00 pm13:00

Critical is the New Black

Espoo Museum of Modern Art (Helsinki, Finland)

In the 21st century, it has become fashionable to claim that fashion is dead. The death of fashion refers to the rise of “fast fashion” which has accelerated the cycle of trends and highlighted ethical problems of fashion production.

CRITICAL IS THE NEW BLACK addresses the negation of fashion. It asks, what are the possibilities of fashion as social commentary and critique beyond consumerism? How can fashion help us reflect and rethink culture, world and ourselves? How can fashion help to create a better future in the face of current cultural, political, economical and climatological challenges?

CRITICAL IS THE NEW BLACK brings together leading scholars of fashion: Professor Hazel Clark (Parsons School of Design, New York), Professor Peter McNeil (University of Technology Sydney), Professor Paula Hohti (Aalto University), Professor Sofia Pantouvaki (Aalto University) and Adjunct Professor Annamari Vänskä (Aalto University).

CRITICAL IS THE NEW BLACK is organised jointly with EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art in conjunction with the exhibition For Fashion’s Sake. The curator of the exhibition, Reetta Kalajo and one of the participating designers, Hanne Jurmu will give a tour in the exhibition as part of the seminar.

Participation is included in the museum’s admission fee. Free entrance for students. This event is part of the Aalto-festival. The event is held in English.

http://www.emma.museum/en/evets/critical_is_the_new_black
http://aaltofestival.fi/2017/en/critical-new-black/

Photo: Juho Huttunen

From the Pleasure of Preserving to the Pleasure of Displaying: The Politics of Fashion in the Museum
May
15
May 16

From the Pleasure of Preserving to the Pleasure of Displaying: The Politics of Fashion in the Museum

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon, Portugal)

Centro de investigação em Arquitetura, Urbanismo e Design (CIAUD), Faculdade de Arquitectura – Universidade de Lisboa; Instituto de História Contemporânea (IHC), Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas – Universidade Nova de Lisboa

The recent rise of the blockbuster fashion exhibition has underpinned a renewed interest in the topic of garment curation and preservation, encouraging academics from emerging disciplines, such as museum studies and fashion studies, as well as established institutions, to re-evaluate the presence of fashion in the museum. This increasing institutional and curatorial interest has led to a new research dynamics centered around the museum as an agency that can broaden and deepen our understanding of fashion.

New museological approaches tend to use fashion to increase institutional appeal, by focusing on strategies that prompt new understandings of the history of apparel and a critical approach towards its presence in museums, and to reflect an institutional desire to contextualise and integrate fashion into specific social and economic historical circumstances. This symposium will focus on the challenges, possibilities and multidisciplinary aspects involved in the exhibition of fashion in a museological and curatorial context.

More information and registration can be found at the conference website.