Issue 1.1: Free issue

 

 

To mark the release of the journal, each article of issue 1.1 is available to download for free.

Contents

The internationalization of fashion studies: Rethinking the peer-reviewing process
By Emanuela Mora And  Agnès Rocamora And  Paolo Volonté

Abstract

The International Journal of Fashion Studies argues that the reception of contributions from countries with less visibility in English-language academic publications has been long overdue. This is why it has set as its main aim the dissemination of the work of non-anglophone scholars who write in their first language by publishing their writings in English translation. To do so, the journal has put into place a peer-reviewing process whereby it reviews submissions written in the authors’s chosen language, whether English or not.

The paper discusses the socio-cultural and epistemological issues related to the operationalizing of such a peer-reviewing process. It first looks at the development of fashion studies to situate the journal’s approach. It then discusses its linguistic project in relation to the cultural issues pertaining to the internationalization of fashion studies. Finally, it engages with the epistemological issue of being a journal that welcomes contributions by scholars situated outside the Anglophone world and western regions whilst also being embedded in a form of scientific publishing that originates from the West and is informed by, and reproduces, ‘western’ norms and values.

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Narratives of clothing: Concentration camp dress as a companion to survival
By Sofia Pantouvaki

Abstract

Common knowledge about Second World War prisoner identification in Nazi concentration camps usually focuses on the registration process and the striped uniforms issued to new inmates. Recent research on concentration camp clothing based on primary sources has revealed lesser known, and even entirely unknown other types of garments, including civilian clothing marked to identify camp prisoners. Dress was a valuable companion on the route towards survival; personal narratives relating to camp attire reveal individual stories hidden in every piece of clothing.
This study presents new material from an ongoing research project on prisoners’ clothing in Second World War concentration camps. Valuable information is gleaned from unpublished evidence documented in personal interviews with former camp prisoners from Central Europe. This article explores the journeys of the garments alongside the persons through the study of former prisoners’ narratives. It combines data collected from oral testimony and archival research using qualitative analysis, and proposes oral history as a valuable tool in documenting personal experience related to the clothing that accompanied concentration camp survivors to the end of the war. The article brings to light significant aspects of the role of attire within the Nazi concentration camp context as an essential key to survival.

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The power structure of the fashion industry: Fashion capitals, globalization and creativity
By Frédéric Godart

Abstract

Geography plays a crucial role in the fashion industry. For example, clothing brands are readily associated with specific countries and cities, and the apparel value chain is globalized in ways that have generated a lot of attention from social scientists, for example regarding outsourcing. In this article, the geographical perspective on fashion is extended and analysed through a power angle. In other words, the origins of the current ‘oligarchic’ structure of fashion – around New York, London, Milan and Paris – are explored in order to (1) better understand how power is shared in fashion; and (2) determine whether this structure actually has a future. More specifically, can the current fashion oligarchy make room for a fully democratized industry or a polyarchical structure that would include additional players, in Brazil, Russia, India or China among others?

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Brazilian fashion and the ‘exotic’
By Maria Claudia Bonadio

Abstract

The construction of an exoticism associated with diverse elements of Brazilian cultural identities is a subject that has been widely investigated in several studies. Although much of what one sees and does in Brazilian fashion is characterized by images of exoticism, there has been little reflection on how it has become exotic. And yet, is this something that is just exotic to ‘others’ or also to Brazilians? Do Brazilians also understand themselves as such? In this article, I seek possible answers to these questions by outlining a brief history of the way the visual identity of Brazilian fashion has been created, by examining the role of the textile industry and cultural institutions (in particular the São Paulo Museum of Art) in the preparation of this visual understanding.

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Re-presenting the body in fashion exhibitions
By Jeffrey Horsley

Abstract

One of the greatest challenges faced when staging fashion exhibitions in a museum is how to address the perceived disjuncture between garment and body and the resultant loss of those narratives that derive from this interaction. In practice, the location of this problematic decontextualization often focuses on the substitute body, the mount that supports the exhibited garment, and which is predominantly realized through certain commonly employed presentation techniques. Within the context of those presentation techniques conventionally adopted for the display of dress I will examine examples that indicate innovative strategies for the representation of the body, illustrating my argument with evidence from recent fashion exhibitions, and discuss the factors that enable their development and realization. Finally, I will briefly examine digital media techniques recently employed in commercial presentations that might impact on museum fashion exhibitions.

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Expanding fashion exhibition history and theory: Fashion at New Zealand’s national museum since 1950
By Bronwyn Labrum

Abstract

New Zealand museums, as opposed to art galleries, have been slow to exhibit fashion. Instead, fashion and decorative arts were part of human history collections and displays, emphasizing the country’s colonial heritage. Yet museums have increasingly focused on fashion as a distinctive mode of display. This article traces the story of fashion and its display at New Zealand’s national museum since 1950. It extends the notion of ‘fashion’ to include ‘the fashionable’. It combines social as well as cultural history, and the material as well as the visual, aiming for a more robust theorization and analysis of fashion exhibition history.
This account involves a shift from settler histories, honorary female museum professionals working in the background, and ‘decorative arts’, to the development of dedicated fashion galleries. These recognized New Zealand as situated in the Pacific with its own distinctive history of fashion and sat alongside international blockbuster exhibitions. New Zealand museums followed international trends, at a great distance from the centres of fashion and the famous world museums. They also brought a local sensibility and history that contrasts with, and sheds light on, the wider story of museum fashion.

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Powerful tools: Towards a fashion manifesto
By Regina A. Root

Abstract

Last year, the following manifesto appeared in Spanish in La Tempestad, a prominent Mexican cultural magazine that regularly publishes work on issues impacting international design. With a special issue dedicated to ‘The Traps of Tolerance’, the magazine featured the takes of prominent intellectuals on these issues. Here Regina A. Root reflects on the ways in which some Latin American design initiatives approach cultural appropriation and asks whether fashion constitutes a venue for social change in this age of global capitalism. The author has added some details to make this work more accessible to those perhaps unfamiliar
with the specific contexts engaged by Latin American sustainable fashion designers.

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Review
By Jamie Mulherron, Curator of Fashion and Textiles at National Museums Scotland

Abstract

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, The Art Institute of Chicago, 26 June–29 September 2013

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