You Should Be Reading: Fashion Collaborations and Performance Art

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Here are three journal articles relatively hot off the press that you should consider adding to your reading list. The theme for this week is ‘fashion collaborations and performance art.’ The three articles listed below discusses this intersection each from differing angles. Enjoy!

1. Gindt, Dirk. “Performative Processes: Björk’s Creative Collaborations with the World of Fashion.” Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, Volume 15, Number 4, December 2011 , pp. 425-450.

This article analyzes how Icelandic singer-songwriter, actress, and fashion icon Björk uses dress as a creative medium to enhance her musical vision, visualize her patriotic politics, as well as ally herself with performance art and further strengthen her position in the avant-garde. I devote specific attention to her joining forces with British designer Alexander McQueen and British photographer Nick Knight and unpack the implications of this creative collaboration, arguing that Björk strategically uses McQueen’s and Knight’s understanding of fashion as a performative process, that is, constantly in a state of becoming and transformation, in order to create her unique style that is characterized by the shifting and unstable identity of the Icelandic geographical body. -Excerpt from article abstract

2. Pecorari, Marco. “Zones-in-between’: The Creation of New Fashion Praxis.” Art Monthly Australia, No. 242, Aug 2011: 67-70.

The catalogue of Yohji Yamamoto’s autumn/winter ’86-’87 collection portrayed the Italian painter Luciano Castelli wearing Yamamoto’s creations while painting his own works. Angelo Figus’s autumn/winter ’02-03 invitation took the shape of a vinyl whereas Maison Martin Margiela’s invitations took the shape of a dish or a calender. Prada’s press releases for spring/summer ’92 were written by the visionary fashion writer Anna Piaggi while Bernhard Willhelm’s spring/summer ’03 press release appears in the form of a poem. All these examples are only a few of the infinite variations that are continually materialised in fashion communication materials. A constant citationism, the use of extravagant materials, and collaborations with artists, writers and graphic designers are more than occasional events, and they have become a consolidated practice in fashion communication. But what are these objects representing? Are they merely fashion communication devices which use some artistic practices to raise designers’ agency?  -Excerpt of article abstract

3. Potvin, John.“Fashion and the Art Museum: When Giorgio Armani Went to the Guggenheim.” Journal of Curatorial Studies, Volume 1, Number 1, 31 January 2012 , pp. 47-63.    *This article is free!

This article explores the collision of fashion with the modern art museum. Fashion exhibitions have been the source of much animosity and criticism among cultural arbiters and power brokers, while also being highly popular amongst museumgoers. Taking the controversial travelling Giorgio Armani retrospective initially staged at the Guggenheim Museum (New York) in 2000 as the focal point, the article argues how a non-avant-garde designer of Armani’s stature troubles the steadfast cultural, conceptual and corporeal economies of the modern art museum. -Full article abstract

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1 Comment

  • Joy D. June 05, 2012 02.06 pm

    YES! These are all really dense but enjoyable reads.


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