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Introduction to week 3

This week we will focus on the concept of 'fashion'. The intention is not to attempt to define fashion, but to expand our thinking.
Male model in black leather jacket and studded choker. Backstage at LCF19 catwalk show at Here East, (BA) Fashion Design.
© Andrea Capellov

Throughout this course we have been looking at Carol Tulloch’s combination of three terms (style-fashion-dress) as a system of concepts. In week 1 we focused on style, followed by dress in week 2. This week we will focus on the concept of fashion. The intention is not to attempt to define fashion, but to expand our thinking about what fashion is and can be.

In Carol Tulloch’s style-fashion-dress conceptual model introduced by Caroline Stevenson in week 1, fashion is about change, and how this change happens in societies. It contrasts with dress, which is the physical clothes and accessories that we can touch, and style, which is how we put clothes and accessories together on our bodies.

We can think of fashion as the changing dress and styles that people adopt in different places and at different times. Thinking of fashion as change gives us a framework to explore how and why certain clothes or styles become fashionable.

It also helps us shift our thinking of fashion as being primarily the dress and styles emerging out of the so-called ‘fashion capitals’ of the Global North, such as London, Paris, Milan or New York. Authors including Rimi Khan, Sandra Niessen, Abby Lillethun and Linda Welters have critiqued the conventional definition that fashion is a phenomenon of the Global North.

When thinking of fashion as change in style and dress we will reflect on how this change occurs. We will consider power relations that create ideas of fashion, acknowledge that style and dress all over the world change, and recognise that multiple influences transform fashion.

Through this exploration, we can also look at the implications of changing fashions for cultures and sustainability. We will stimulate our thinking so that we can be creative in our response to the sustainability challenges presented by fashion, in and through storytelling.

© Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, UAL
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Fashion Values: Cultures

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