As a young academic, the importance of publications is regularly reiterated to me. The often-repeated mantra of ‘publish or perish‘ rings in the ears of many of my peers. While some PhD students plunge forward into the world of journal publishing, others flounder without guidance of what, when, and where they should publish. As the editor of a history journal directed at postgraduate students, these questions often come in my direction. In this post, I will outline how the publishing process works, before giving some hints, advice, and titbits of information I have picked up.
1) When to publish
The first question many young researchers face is whether or not they have written an article of publishable standard. What is good enough? What is useful enough? Working in a very subjective field, there is no formula for ‘good enough’. Often, you won’t know if it is good enough until you start putting it out there. The best route is to try out your work at conferences, gauge reactions, and work from there. Most important though, is whether you, as a researcher, feel that you have made a contribution to your field with this work.
2) Where to publish
Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to brave the publishing experience, the first decision to make is where to publish. This post is written mainly with journals in mind, but of course there are also chapters in edited volumes, conference proceedings, and other avenues to consider.
Focusing on journals, do you publish in a postgraduate journal, or a specialist journal in your field? As the editor of a postgraduate journal, I recommend them as a first experience, but ideally with an essay from an MA, or work from early PhD research. They are a fantastic experience of how the process works, but they are not the best place for the finished research from your PhD. In the UK, we have the REF, and it is imperative to publish in REF recognised journals.
However, the best approach is simply to ask: what journal would it suit best? Which other journals have articles on similar topics? Are there any particular journals you frequently footnote? Don’t be afraid of trying your ideal journal, even if it seems scary and important. Even if they don’t accept you, the feedback will be invaluable.
3) How to submit
The important thing here is to follow guidelines exactly. Every journal will provide them, and if they don’t, request them. As an editor, mis-formatted submissions immediately receive a negative response. Not only does it create more work for the journal team, it also doesn’t look professional.
4) What will happen
Following submission, you will usually receive a response either directly rejecting the article (in which case, return to point 2 – this could simply mean you chose the wrong place), or informing you it will be going out for peer-review. In this process, two academics in your field will read and comment upon your work anonymously. These comments are returned to the editor, who in turn passes them on to you. There are three primary outcomes at this stage 1) acceptance, 2) acceptance with revisions, 3) decline. The latter two outcomes are far more usual than the first. Whatever happens, the feedback will be invaluable.
Feedback should never be ignored. Yes, it may be contradictory, and you may disagree, but these are the opinions of your peers. The editor will usually provide some guidance about what to ignore and what to follow, but aside from this, even if you are rejected, take that feedback onboard. If you disagree, make sure you still address the point – you may simply need to clarify some point they have misunderstood. The point of the process is to improve, and to publish the best possible research; and every submission, whether from a graduate student or a professor, receives the same treatment.
Everyone has to keep publishing, and every academic is scared of rejection. The key is to try, to take it in your stride, to improve, and to make your research the best it can be. That, after all, is why we do what we do.
The thrust of the collection is decidedly local. While some international designers are represented … they are dwarfed by items associated with notable Viennese personalities, such as one of Maria Theresia’s cashmere shawls, a pair of ballerina Fanny Elssler’s shoes, one of playwright Johann Nestroy’s dressing gowns, a parasol from the opening of the Suez Canal, boots belonging to Helene Vetsera… (117)
And on and on goes an impressive paragraph on the Wien Museum’s collection, ripe with meaning, personalities, and object lessons. But this excerpt also indicates Vienna’s bigger fashion issue that forms the premise of Wien Chic: it is bogged down in the city’s indefatigable history; the international items are true objects of fashion, while the local is represented best by historic dress. Susan Ingram and Markus Reisenleitner seek to identify “a locational history of Vienna fashion” that re-places Vienna into a global sphere, this time not the stylistic or the musical, but the fashionable.
Here, “fashion” becomes a byway through which the authors explore the aesthetics of the city, the multiplicity of Viennese self-identification and the spaces that at least some of those identified bodies interact with, create, enjoy. This is, after all, a locational history, and the locations are not only geographic (Vienna) but architectural or found in anecdotes on city planning. I was instead expecting a sort of glorified, academized street style book (possibly “misled” by the cover image), an understanding of how “Viennese” or “Vienna” can be expressed through clothing, fashion, and style.
In this volume, clothing/dress/style are not given primacy in the authors’ understanding of “fashion.” There was a fashion for all things Baroque (albeit by a different name), and its lasting influence on Vienna is underscored. But in the whole chapter on “Baroque Chic,” fashion/dress are never discussed, only architecture and ethos. Neither is it in the subsequent chapter on “Ringstrasse Chic,” but the leather jacket is mentioned as a visual indicator of “Prolo Chic” in the next. The section on “Ausländer (foreigner) Chic” speaks more to the role of the foreigner as portrayed in films and the changes in vocabulary that accompanied their changing ethnicities and status over the past two hundred years. As they summarize:
Baroque chic paved the way for the expression and understanding of passion and of suffering. Ringstrasse Chic put capital in charge, which restructured the city and expedited the pace of change. Prolo Chic and Ausländer Chic both participated in and responded to this change, mitigating its tendency to mythologize elites. Taken together, they provide a unique composite that fashion has had to grapple with in trying to make inroads into the Viennese urban imagery. (96)
This is all very important backstory and separate fashions, and the real strength of the book: books about fashion don’t have to be about clothes, just as in English the word “fashion” does not always mean dress or clothing. It seems here that the authors use fashion as a metonym for modernity. They note that “what is at stake in fashion is the pleasure derived from change, an all-encompassing cultural phenomenon that applies to more than dress or ornamentation.“ (10) The authors’ struggle to bring the thesis back around to fashion/dress is mirrored in the struggles to achieve a balance in creating modern, forward-moving architecture while maintaining the baroque aesthetic that many in Vienna still cherish, described at length in the book: the story gets caught in a historical-interest loop. Vienna can’t commit to fashion/dress, and the authors can’t commit to it either.
Modernity means something quite different, something much more inflected and influenced by the weight of the historical, especially the baroque, in the Viennese context than it does in other modern Euro-American cities, such as London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. (9)
But although they “find fashion a useful heuristic wedge to open up the spatial specificity of the cultural-historical struggle inherent in the modernity of Vienna’s urban context,” [ed. note: Phew!] the wedge doesn’t seem a purposeful tool until more than 100 pages into the text (of 170). When we finally get to the applied fashion/dress section, it is split into Museum Chic and Designer Chic, reflecting the authors’ interest in the two as separate but occasionally overlapping spheres.
The introductory note to this section is quite good, using “the chics” to look very briefly at fashion (although not the other way around, as suggested above): “in the first instance, fashion is primarily staged in the city’s baroque tradition of conspicuous display.” In the Museum Chic section we are rarely treated with descriptions of the museums’ holdings, strengths, intriguing or important past fashion exhibitions (except for the passage above and a list is hidden in the notes), but most often the text jumps back into the loop for a comparison of the museums’ roles, historically and contemporarily, in Vienna’s cultural capital and landscape. However, the Wien Museum is credited with “mov[ing] the role of fashion … to the centre and giv[ing] it visibility.” Its inclusive intentions best fit with the Prolo and Ausländer chics, as a public offering with a focused mission. The MAK (Austrian Museum of Applied Arts Vienna) is most significant here for its leadership issues, Wiener Werkstätte collection, various fashion schools, and complex relationship with the category of “applied and decorative arts.”
The renowned museum cluster called the Museumsquartier (MQ) has worked with or offered spaces for fashion exploration and support, and also creates “inclusive” space for a wider public than private fashion shows (which are never truly addressed, other than to dismiss them as elitist), fulfilling an important anti-Baroque quality that the authors admire. (1).
The final chapter, Designer Chic, begins with designer Helmut Lang, offering a background on his unhappy teenage years that may have inspired him to become a designer, the schools he attended, Anna Wintour’s admiration…but not a lot about his collections, hardly an adjective or descriptor to explain his work–even from others. Is this less important than his childhood in the Styrian Alps? Is it left up to the reader to explore Lang’s work further, or does it assume a common foreknowledge of his aesthetic? The art Lang has made and shown is given more thought; it does, of course, use clothing, textiles, and garments from his label, but it is only in the guise of Artworks that these objects receive recognition and academic handling. The authors use the art to speculate about Lang’s attitude toward his clothing design, which is described as “champion[ing] the independent, proletarian heritage of jeans.” (Prolo chic!)
In their conclusion, the authors remark that:
What became apparent in our investigations is that Vienna’s urban imaginary is so intimately linked to its historical legacy that its fashion system’s inherently modern, change-oriented dynamic is constantly forced to define itself in relation to its past. (175)
And this book certainly proves that, in part due to the lack of observation of fashion; the structures, both physical and social, surrounding them were examined at length here, and occasionally applied to fashion/dress. As an explanation of why fashion has such a difficult time taking in root in Vienna, this work is excellent. Maybe it’s unfair of me to expect or desire an account of buying and wearing clothing in Vienna as opposed to Paris or Seoul, or what it is like to design in Vienna instead of New York or London (or Denver?). But instead of adding to the body of work that describes fashion/dress outside of Major Fashion Cities, this book confirms that those are the places whose fashion systems actually deserve direct examination. An insightful, apropos remark is hidden in a note:
We would not want to be misunderstood as suggesting that it is due to Helmut Lang’s influence that these [younger designers'] collections contain echoes of his; rather, we would want to see them all as part of the larger system, one, moreover, that tends to produce a quite unique, more understated look than one tends to find in the fashion capitals. (172)
While the authors stated plainly that they did not want to create simply a comparison study, that “unique look” is never discussed explicitly. By offering each of the young designers and the entire concept of “sustainability” little more than a page or a paragraph and one small photograph each at the end of the book, contemporary fashion design that is unique to Vienna is effectively an afterthought, literally an endnote.
This book can perhaps be compared to the Fashion Scandinavia book I reviewed a few months ago; while an interesting read, it offered somewhat shallow, short interviews with fashion designs from all over Scandinavia, along with photographs chosen and submitted by the designer(s). Also locational, that book intended to help spread the word about new talent as well as collecting images and words that might begin to define “Scandinavian fashion” (despite the surprisingly different cultures within that loose geographical area). Wiener Chic does not attempt this definition, but rather seems to define everything but, the physical surroundings, the people, the art, the history. Somewhere in between these two is a truly useful and dynamic resource for the fashion historian; this book’s sister publication, Berliner Chic, accomplishes its goal much more effectively.
However, I really did enjoy this book! It was a truly engaging and well-written look at various aesthetic aspects of Viennese life, and laid a foundation for a very interesting future discussion on fashion and the spaces it inhabits, fills, or is lacking. I especially like the story-telling language that gives the often heavy academic historical prose a little lift:
[The Wien Museum] included, and put on display, the holdings of the city’s armoury (the Zeughaus), where not only the weapons that armed the citizens of Vienna were store but also the spoils of the two failed Ottoman sieges of 1529 and 1683. Displays emphasized the city’s historical role as a bulwark against the threats thought to be emanating from the East and characterized Vienna as a feisty place whose spirit of independence was temporarily subdued during the early modern absolutist period of the Habsburg’s reign, only to be resurrected by the Liberals wresting away the Ringstrasse urban modernization project from the imperial rulers. (112)
I can’t decide if it honors fashion/dress to go beyond the obvious descriptions and overwrought “examinations” of designers’ collections and museum exhibitions to find a more dynamic understanding of “Urban Chic,” or if the authors’ treatment of the subject (largely ignoring the material realities and even its easily accessible aesthetics) reduces it to a lesser-than-Art byproduct of life in Vienna. It’s obvious that the authors are more interested in film, architecture, and social structures than the fashion system per se, but by playing on that word in English, it does bring the fashion/dress into those “higher” scholarly realms. It may be interesting to more closely compare this 2014 look at fashion/modernity with Adolf Loo’s turn-of-the-twentieth-century commentary on modernity and Vienna (see Stewart). Although Vienna is not included in Breward and Gilbert or in Potvin, those books are more directly relevant to “locating” fashion in specific cities, albeit mostly the more obvious ones.
There are very few books like this out there, and I want to encourage these non-predictable approaches to the subject of fashion/dress. I look forward to the continuation of the Urban Chic Series (edited by Susan Ingram), and I especially hope it continues to avoid the traditional “Fashion Cities” and will look for the more interesting stories; this seems to be the intention. I wonder which city will be next?
Have you read this book, or Berliner Chic? Which cities do you think merit or require a locational history of fashion?
(1) Speaking of which, this book is relatively academic-jargon-free, the one exception being “baroque,” despite their warning of general overuse of the word when describing Viennese culture.
Lead Image: Cover of Wiener Chic by Susan Ingram & Markus Reisenleitner. Intellect & University of Chicago Press, 2013.
Find more Book Reviews on Worn Through here!
Brandstätter, Christian et al. Vienna 1900: art, life, and culture. New York: Vendome Press, 2006.
Breward, Christopher and David Gilbert. Fashion’s World Cities. Oxford: Berg, 2006.
Gilbert, David. “World Cities of Fashion” in The Fashion Reader, Linda Welters and Abby Lillethun, eds. Oxford: Berg, 2011. [More here about space/place in Part V, "Fashion: space and place].
Ingram, Susan and Katrina Sark. Berliner Chic: A Locational History of Berlin Fashion. Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2011.
Kremer, Roberta S. Broken Threads: the destruction of the Jewish Fashion Industry in Germany and Austria. Oxford: Berg, 2007.
Kwon, Miwon. One Place After Another: Site-specific art and locational identity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.
Levine, Lawrence. Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988.
Potvin, John. The places and spaces of fashion, 1800-2007. New York: Routledge, 2009.
Quinn, Bradley. The Fashion of Architecture. Oxford: Berg, 2003.
Stewart, Janet. Fashioning Vienna: Adolf Loos’ cultural criticism. London: Routledge, 2002.
Thun-Hohenstein, Christoph. Contemporary Vienna: architecture, art, design, film, literature, music. Wien: Schlebrügge, 2010.
Walkner, Martin et al. No fashion, please!: Photography between gender and lifestyle. Wien: Kunsthalle Vien, 2011.
February, March and April are turning out to be very busy months for fashion exhibitions and events. It’s the sort of situation that makes me very angry at Star Trek: they promised me the future would have teleportation, after all.
Registration has begun for the 2014 Costume Society of America’s National Symposium, in Baltimore this year, celebrating 40 years of CSA.
The Italian Futurism exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York city, is entering its third week, and features a few lovely garments and textiles; while at the Museum at FIT, Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s is entering its second month. Given my love for all things material culture of the 1920s and 30s, words cannot describe how much I wish I could see these two. The Museum at FIT’s Trendology exhibition will also be up until 30 April.
Also in New York, the American Folk Art Museum‘s Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art exhibition will be up until 23 April. Jessica Sofia Mitrani: Headpieces for Peace closes this month at the French Institute: Alliance Française.
At the MFA in Boston, their exhibition, Think Pink, explores the changing meaning of ‘pink’ in both art and fashion. The exhibition opened in October last year and will be up through the end of May.
If you missed the costumes at FIDM Museum’s Television costume show this past summer — or if you’re just suffering withdrawals, now season four has ended — the Costumes of Downton Abbey show will be up at the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library until January 2015. I saw them when I was in LA the end of this past summer and they are truly beautiful pieces.
Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392 – 1910 opened this weekend at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, showing 150 objects of which many have never before been seen outside Korea, including several examples of dress and textiles. I’m very excited about this exhibition’s next stop in its US tour: LACMA. While I was a Japanese studies major in my undergraduate work, I’ve always preferred the artwork and textile arts of Korea so I will definitely be making a trip to Los Angeles to see it. Look for my review this summer!
At the Wilshire May Company in Los Angeles, Diane von Furstenberg’s 40th Anniversary show, Journey of a Dress, is in its last month.
Last but not least, I received an invitation to the opening of Hollywood Costume at the Phoenix Art Museum on 26 March. Oh how I wish I could go! But perhaps I will find a way to make it to Arizona before the exhibition closes on 6 July…
Have any of you been to any of these exhibitions? What did you think? Are there any other events that you think our readers should know about? Is there anything I missed? Please share your thoughts and impressions in the comments below, or email me with announcements!
The Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, reopened its doors after a four-year renovation, in the end of September 2013 with a grand exhibition dedicated to the Tunis-born fashion couturier.
If you pronounce the name ‘Azzedine Alaia’ to me, you may hear in return a series of onomatopoeia such as ‘oh’ and ‘ah’: I’m quite a devotee of the man and to me, visiting an exhibition dedicated to his work was just the cherry on the cake of my admiration.
Azzedine Alaia – Palais Galliera
Olivier Saillard, the museum’s director and the exhibition’s curator, chose about seventy garments to illustrate the couturier’s career that began in 1979, when pushed by his friend Thierry Mugler, Azzedine Alaia presented his first collection.
The designer’s work is often described as being timeless, he who also plays his own rules, refusing to respect fashion calendars and shows his collections at his own pace. To highlight the permanency of his creations, Olivier Saillard therefore decided to display the garments by types, refusing any idea of chronology: bandage dresses, African influences, zips, black tailored outfits…And as though to emphasize this idea of continuity, the garments were all placed on a lengthy line: a sort of endless procession of dresses standing tall at the visitor’s level. No glass cases surrounded the dresses which was such a refreshing display solution that bore a double significance: it evoked the initial objective of the Palais Galliera, destined to present the Duchesse Galliera’s collection of sculptures – echoing the palace’s 19th century aesthetic brought back to life with its Pompeiian red walls and dark wood carvings. The display also obviously recalled Azzedine Alaia’s creation that resembles sculpture – the designer had initially studied sculpture in Tunis and has since applied this art to his craft, renown for his garments that mould the body.
Azzedine Alaia – Palais Galliera
Thus, thanks to this display, you could read the story of Alaia’s exploration of the female form and his definition of beauty and sensuality while you could also observe a personal take on fashion’s history – Azzedine Alaia is a costume collector and has taken inspiration from such designers as Madeleine Vionnet, Alix Grès and Cristobal Balenciaga with whom he shares technical skills: influences visible in his mastering of drapes and tailoring.
Almost like an evidence, the garments were all presented on ‘invisible’ hollow mannequins that emphasized on the clothing and nothing else as well as they assisted on showing how Azzedine Alaia’s garments shape the body and its forms – although we are placed in front of unreal headless silhouettes.
Azzedine Alaia, 2013.
Alaia is the master of the clear-cut and simplicity was therefore the connecting thread of the whole display: simple mannequins, a simple scenography mounted by the furniture designer Martin Szekely and simple documentary aids ( only discreet labels under the clothing).
I yet agree that the work of a designer such as Azzedine Alaia aims to purity and needs to be presented with a certain modesty but how can the woman’s body be absent from a tribute to a man who has worked his whole life through in celebrating it? Azzedine Alaia declared himself ‘I’d rather people remark the woman than her clothes’. Well, the woman was nowhere to be seen within the display. Or only through its forms…Although it may have polluted the very plain scenography desired by the curator, videos and photographies of women and models wearing the couturier’s creations would have at least brought a little more flesh…And speaking about models, if there is one designer I closely link to supermodels, it is Alaia: I wanted a Naomi or a Stephanie! The sexiness of the creations was still highly visible but it looked like a robotic sex-appeal. Here the discourse had been reversed: visitors were invited to focus on the clothes only not all the tricks behind, including the – fake – body wearing them.
Azzedine Alaia – Palais Galliera
The exhibition was pursued at the Musée d’Art Moderne, just opposite the Palais Galliera, where were displayed in the Henri Matisse room, eight exclusive garments commissioned for the display. This incursion into the world of art, was justified as Azzedine Alaia is a renowned art collector (he even owns a gallery), is a former sculptor and has often proposed cross-discourses with contemporary artists such as Dan Flavin or Julian Schnabel. And we’ve come full circle! Azzedine Alaia’s whose garments are displayed like art objects, like sculptures…was placed on the same level as artists, the fashion designer therefore disappeared behind the artist.
Azzedine Alaia – Henri Matisse Room, Musée d’Art Moderne
And, as Emma in her post about the Henrik Vibskov exhibition wrote, I regret not seeing more of the fashion designer, especially in a fashion museum. We celebrate Azzedine Alaia as such a fine craftsman, I wish I could have seen more of his creative process, a pedagogic ‘behind-the-scenes’…All the elements that make the richness of fashion and its procedure, were hidden here behind an aesthetic and artistic concept.
Although I was thrilled being able of observing such beautiful and fine pieces, I was disappointed to be confronted to an almost stereotyped ‘fashion as art’ concept placing aesthetic above education and most of all, I highly deplored that the ‘absent body’ debate took place here: Azzedine Alaia’s work is on the contrary about the present body.
I wish we could have seen more of his parallels with other designers and artists by proposing analogies: his designs compared to those of his 80s power dressing contemporaries, the influence he has on a younger generation, art works that infused his creations and most of all his inspirations – he who was the first to discover Madeleine Vionnet’s cutting techniques….How wonderful it would have been to confront their designs!
Do read Emma’s post I refer to as she raises an interesting debate I thought it would have been redundant doing so here.
Saillard, Olivier. Alaia. Paris: Paris Musées, 2013.
Wilson, Mark. Azzedine Alaia in the 21st century. Thorn: BAI, 2012.
Gaines, J. and Herzog, C. Fabrications: Costume and the Female Body. London: Routledge, 1990.
Robinson, J. Body Packaging: a guide to human sexual display. Los Angeles: Elysium
Growth Press, 1990.
Harvey, J. (2007) ‘ Showing and hiding: Equivocation in the relations of body and dress.’ Fashion
Theory, Vol.11 (1) : 65-94.
While fashion is most certainly an art form, it is also a product that is consumed. While trends, styles, and our own personal tastes may dictate what we consume and when, the fact remains that what we put on our bodies is obtained as a result of consumption. As our societies expand into what many would call “over-consumption”, this relationship is of increased interest to researchers in all fields, including dress studies. The four articles below examine different aspects of the consumption interaction, from the changes industrialization caused in consumption among eighteenth-century Norwegian fisher-men and -women to a proposed design solution for today’s excess apparel consumption problem, and from Black Friday to popular wardrobe self-help shows and literature. We hope you enjoy!
1. Cao, H., Chang, R., Kallal, J., Manalo, G., McCord, J., Shaw, J., & Starner, H. (2014). Adaptable apparel: A sustainable design solution for excess apparel consumption problem. Journal of Fashion Marketings and Management, 18(1), 52-69.
Excess consumption of apparel is driven by the apparel industry to offer more styles at lower prices in shorter time and the consumers’ desire to change fashion. The purpose of this paper is to apply adaptable design in apparel as a sustainable design solution for the excess consumption problem. Guided by sustainable apparel design model C2CAD, two adaptable apparel prototypes for female college students were designed and developed. Both prototypes were comfortable to wear by users with different sizes, indicating the users could wear the garment when she changed size. The adaptations and conversions were easily and enjoyably figured out by the users. The users would keep and use the adaptable apparel for a long time. The users would also buy fewer apparel items if they were to own the adaptable apparel. Adaptable apparel would increase apparel utilization, eliminate the need to purchase unnecessary additional amounts of clothing, and reduce excess consumption. This research provided a pilot study on adaptable apparel design as an innovative approach to help solve the excessive consumption problem. The adaptable garment prototypes would allow the fashion-forward female college student to easily change the function, fit, and style of the environmentally friendly garments. – Paraphrased Article Abstract
2. Hutchinson, A. (2014). Consumption and endeavour: Motives for the acquisition of new consumer goods in a region in the north of Norway in the 18th century. Scandinavian Journal of History, 39(1), 27-48.
Over the course of the 18th century, it is apparent from studies of probate inventories that the consumption of bought textiles, stimulants and household goods among common people increased substantially. This article presents empirical evidence to demonstrate that this is the case also among fisher-farming households in the region of north Norway studied here. The article then explores the relevance of the concept of an industrious revolution to explain the changes in consumption. It would appear that increased consumption was accompanied by more strenuous work, but whether consumption change was demand or supply led is undetermined. Attention is given to what motivated the acquisition of new consumables. It is shown that new consumer goods were used to bolster traditional customs. Nonetheless, attitudes towards acquisition and a desire to increase comfort might have been significant factors leading to increasing demand. – Full Article Abstract
3. Lennon, S. J., Lee, J., Kim, M., & Johnson, K. K. P. (2014). Antecedents of consumer misbehaviour on Black Friday: A social responsibility view. Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, 1(2), 193-212.
Consumer misbehaviour is non-normative behaviour in consumption situations and is a form of socially irresponsible behaviour motivated by self interest. Consumer misbehaviours have been widely reported on Black Friday (BF), the day after Thanksgiving in the US when retailers offer ‘doorbuster’ deals. Based on the exchange paradigm and the General Aggression Model (GAM), five hypotheses were developed and tested with structural equation modelling using data from BF shoppers (N=260). Results found that the presence of unpleasant fellow customers positively influenced perceptions of inequity, while crowding negatively influenced perceptions of inequity. Perceptions of crowding negatively affected consumer misbehaviour on BF, while the presence of unpleasant customers inflated consumer misbehaviour on BF. A positive relationship was found for perceptions of inequity on BF consumer misbehaviour. Both presence of unpleasant fellow customers and perceived crowding had significant indirect effects on BF consumer misbehaviour via perceptions of inequity. We show how BF misbehaviour is socially irresponsible and use a social responsibility framework to interpret results and suggest solutions that fairly balance the needs of all stakeholders. – Full Article Abstract
4. Mikkonen, I., Vicdan, H., & Markkula, A. (2014). What not to wear? Oppositional ideology, fashion, and govern mentality in wardrobe self-help. Consumption Markets & Culture, 17(3), 254-273.
In this paper, the authors draw attention to the emancipatory premises of oppositional ideologies and the ideological nature of consumption in the context of fashion. Drawing on the Foucauldian concept of power, they illustrate how a specific genre of self-help literature, termed wardrobe self-help (WSH), produces an alternative mode of discourse about fashion and clothing as a cultural mediator. The findings challenge the prevailing fashion ideology that capitalizes on emancipation and unravel the means through which WSH oppositional ideology governs consumers. Consequently, the authors argue that while oppositional ideologies can blur the boundaries between coercion and consent, and act as vehicles of repression and liberation, they ultimately come to govern, if not limit, consumer choice and expression. – Paraphrased Article Abstract
Image Credit: stellafluorescent.blogspot.com
Contemporary South Asian Youth Cultures and Fashion Symposium
September 25-26, 2014
London College of Fashion
Dynamic growth and an expanding middle class are making South Asian (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) consumers among the most confident in the world. A large part of this includes the increasing consumption of fashion and related products amongst the youth. In this international interdisciplinary symposium the organizers would like to extend and question the role of clothing cultures within the changing transnational discourse of consumerism, sexuality, faith, politics and media technology within the youth in South Asia and the diasporas. They invite papers and creative presentations (of up to 20 minutes) from interdisciplinary perspectives including (but not limited to) the following themes:
- fashion and consumer cultures
- fashioning youth in cinema /television/music/magazines
- dress cultures, gender and sexuality
- fashion, politics and faith
- South Asian fashion trends and culture in the diasporas
- dress and fashion as resistance and defiance
- fashion, media and technology
Deadline for abstracts: March 30, 2014
Abstract length: 250 words
Please send abstracts to: email@example.com
For full posting and submission requirements, please see southasialcf.myblog.arts.ac.uk.
I have been assigned to teach one of the larger lecture courses in our department next fall. Normally, I teach smaller design classes and pride myself being present and available to my students, who I call on by name and with whom I interact with daily. How can I apply my tools to a large lecture course? It is as if I have to create a new teaching identity for the large lecture course, I need to prepare a new set of tools. Seeing as I have time to plan, I would be interested in trying new things and consider new approaches.
I would like to hear from our readership about tools and tricks that work for you while teaching large classes. In the end, my goal is to have the students feel connected, engaged and interested in the class while meet the course objectives. To be completely sincere, as a student I abhorred large classes as I learn in small, engaged groups. Being on the other end of the podium now I feel inspired to solve the conundrum of the large class. I feel an ethical responsibility to teach in ways that engage each type of learner, is this even possible?
I have re-read Monica Murgia’s post on Surviving a Large Class. She has some great pointers regarding policies and practices for large classes. I am interested in hearing from you. I have created a poll. My hope is that our readers will share their experiences and I can report back. Thank you and Happy Teaching!
Click on the image below to fill out a short 3 question poll. I will share findings in a future “On Teaching Fashion” post.
Ok so this is a bit of a frivolous post, but I have a nagging question for readers that I don’t think I’ve asked before (If I have my apologies):
I have a handful of Disney “It’s a Small World” items that I adore, and recently put in my daughter’s bedroom as part of an international theme. However, there is one boy magnet I purchased in 2002 and in all that time I’ve never been able settle on where he is supposed to be representing. I’ve got my guesses, but I’m curious of your thoughts.
Certainly some global fashion expert can identify the details?
I know they recently came out with a TV show and are updating the ride, however I cannot seem to get the info from those websites either.
Yes…I’ve spent too much time on this! I guess that’s a born fashion researcher right?!
This week, I am taking a break from the UK, having just returned from Finland, where I had the pleasure of staying in Fiskars, a small village whose claim to fame is being the original location for the country’s largest metalware brand. Fiskars is internationally known for their ergonomic orange scissors, which anyone who has ever dabbled in dressmaking or taken up fashion design as a more serious pursuit will be familiar with as an iconic tool of the trade.
With cloth and pattern in mind, I made the journey into Helsinki to the national Design Museum to see an exhibition about the menswear designer Henrik Vibskov. I went with an Icelandic product designer who was very enthusiastic about Vibskov, and to whom I had to admit I had never heard of him before. I became vividly aware of how little I knew about Danish contemporary dress, let alone Scandinavian fashion.
On my return home, I skimmed Berg’s Companion to Fashion for some kind of further reference but found nothing. Yet, perhaps that was part of the problem. What was I looking for? A nice summarized discussion on the identity of Scandinavian fashion that would explain the cultural identities of several quite distinct geographical locations? Well, yes, sort of. Searching on this site, I was pleased to find Arianna’s review of Fashion Scandinavia and to discover Vibskov is one of several Scandinavian fashion designers recognized within a wider international discourse on the subject. This was certainly reiterated within the exhibition by a huge graphic timeline of his career in the main room. It was also a canny opportunity to showcase the museum’s new visual identity including font and logo designed by the Finnish branding agency Bond. However, the question of fashion design as an aspect of a national identify played only a small part in the overall exhibition as it was dedicated more to an exposition of the range of outputs produced by Vibskov since he graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2001.
Vibskov is presented in this exhibition as a designer and an artist, a creative individual, credible in both worlds. In some ways, he is perfect for a museum to exhibit because his work crosses such diverse mediums from sound and film to clothes and sculptures. His ability to cross disciplines is recognized in a list of accolades that include both distinguished art and design prizes.
A small exhibition, it is loosely arranged chronologically, although the fit between sculpture and space seems to take precedent over the organisation of the artifacts. However, as the exhibition is accessed from two sides, it is possible to start with the now and work your way back or start with the past and work your way here. Therefore, each room appears to stand alone as well as playing a role in an overarching biographical narrative.
There is a strong tactile quality to Vibskov’s work, whether it be in his use of inflatable shapes, foam props or textile creations, and I was especially drawn to his graphic knitwear, frenetic prints and the Fringe project from 2000/2001. There is no doubt that his sartorial designs are beautiful and humorous, also wearable, which I thought was well reflected in the decision to display them on coathangers and not mannequins. However, having watched some of his shows, which often involve lots of motion and theatrical techniques, the absence of a kinesthetic connection with the clothing was noticeable throughout the exhibition.
Nonetheless, in one room, I was drawn to a men’s jacket from his The Stiff Neck Chamber Autumn/Winter 2013 collection that featured a retro flamingo print. Hung up next to the other garments, it could have been mistaken for a pair of kitsch pyjamas. Overlaying the fabric were black strips that externalized interior seams.
A striking piece, I was then quite excited to discover another room dedicated to the display of an installation for the same collection. Featuring black birds that were similar in form to flamingoes, they were hung from the ceiling to create a forest of birds. Vibskov explained that for the show, the birds were laid on the floor appearing as upside down kites, before being hoisted up where their very long necks created material lines through which one could walk in and out. It was lovely to find myself seeing the installation within which the garments had been shown originally. So then imagine my joy when, in the final room, I noticed a photograph from the show placing all three aspects together!
However, this interest in conjoining garments with show sets, immersing the visitor into a more embodied experience of Vibskov’s world was not often reflected in the curation of the exhibition, with emphasis placed on displaying his outputs in isolation so it felt more like an art exhibition than one focused on exploring the design process. I often think this is a missed opportunity whereby the different aspects of how clothing is made, worn and represented can come together for the viewer to better understand what is arguably a intricate design process.
The curator suggests that it is a celebration of creativity yet I think the exhibition is more a celebration of a recognised creative as there is little said about the process of creativity or the business of fashion. This exhibition seems to be a logical step after Vibskov’s art exhibition in Paris last year and a monograph published by Gestalten in 2012 in establishing the designer as a key signifier of Scandinavian fashion design. There is just one glimpse of the design process, where the visitor is invited to gaze upon Vibskov’s sketchbooks, samples of printed textile designs and collected ephemera that demonstrate his work in process. This is perhaps only matched by a film in another room that documents the setting up of a show in Copenhagen, where Vibskov makes explicit his intentions for his visual style.
I find exhibitions about fashion designers slightly problematic, particularly when they are located in design museums. I noticed this when visiting the Hussein Chalayan exhibition at the Design Museum in London in 2009. Although it was a fantastic opportunity to see contemporary fashion on display, the decision to present his work as art rather than design meant there was no discussion of Chalayan’s collaboration with Puma nor Marks & Spencer’s Autograph range. This surely limits how much we can understand the world of fashion as a complex place where design and art are arguably blurred activities, influenced by social, cultural and economic factors. These exhibitions would benefit from reflecting upon the way in which particular designers understand fashion as art, design and/or craft in an effort to engage the visitor in these same debates.
To conclude, I think I agree with Valerie Cumming, who in her book Understanding Fashion History (2004) argues that exhibitions which emphasise one designer are challenging for anyone who is interested in the role of fashion in the 21st century because they provide little opportunity to compare or contrast their designer contemporaries. This is often a frustration I have with these exhibitions because they choose to celebrate the work through the lens of designer as original artist. There is rarely a critical perspective by which to assess the work and its impact beyond the assumed status of creative celebrity. Cumming also makes the point that when considering whether fashion is art, it is difficult to assess when academic scholarship of male dress is generally absent from the debate. The exhibition of Vibskov’s work certainly attempted to address that imbalance yet, overall, I felt disappointed with a curatorial decision to approach the subject in such a singular fashion.
Our colleague Francesca from Fashion Projects graciously took some time to profile my book Punk Style. We talked about the study and the inspirations.
Thank you to FP for the nice post!
Check it out here.