CFP: Fashion: Exploring Critical Issues

The 5th global conference Fashion: Exploring Critical Issues will take place at Mansfield College, Oxford, on Monday 9 September – Thursday 12 September, 2013.

Fashion is a statement, a stylised form of expression, which displays and begins to define a person, a place, a class, a time, a religion, a culture, subcultures, and even a nation. This inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary conference seeks to explore the historical, social, economic, political, psychological and artistic phenomenon of fashion, a powerful component of contemporary culture. Fashion lies at the very heart of persons, their sense of identity and the communities in which they live. Individuals emerge as icons of beauty and style; cities are identified as centres of fashion; the business of fashion is a billions of dollar per annum global industry, employing millions of people. The project will assess the history and meanings of fashion; evaluate its expressions in politics, business, pop culture, the arts, consumer culture, and social media; determine its effect on gender, sexuality, class, race, age, nation and other sources of identity; and explore future directions and trends.

Building on the foundations of previous meetings, publications and collaborations, the conference will be structured around 5 main areas of focus. Each area will have the opportunity to enjoy specific as well as whole group sessions. Papers, presentations, demonstrations and workshops are invited on the following themes:

1. Understanding Fashion
– Fashion, Style, Taste-Making, and Chic
– Fashion and Fashionability
– Fashion and Zeitgeist
– History of Fashion
-The Future of Fashion

2. Learning and Fashion
– Tools and Methodology
– Theorizing Fashion: Disciplines and Perspectives
– Fashion Education and Fashion Studies
– Identifying, Defining and Refining Concepts (e.g., ‘style,’ ‘fashion,’ ‘look,’ ‘fad,’ ‘trend,’ ‘in & out’)
– Studying and Documenting Fashion (curatorial practice, collections, archives, and museums)
– Fashion Specialists (e.g., pattern makers, fitters, embroiders, tailors, textile experts)
– The Materials of Fashion

3. Representing and Disseminating Fashion
– Fashion Icons
– Designer and Muses
– Stylists
– Style Guides and Makeover Shows
– Fashion Photography
– Fashion Magazines, Blogs, and Social Media
– Films and Documentaries about Fashion
– Fashion and the Performing Arts, Music and Television
– Celebrities as Fashion Designers

4. Identity and Fashion
– Fashion and Identity (e.g., class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, nation, transnationalism, religion, etc.)
– Fashion: (Sub)Cultures
– Fashion, Politics, and Ideology: e.g., ‘message’ fashion; political platform, regimes, and revolutions)
– Ethical Issues in Fashion (e.g., cruelty free fashion, eco-fashion, exploitative labour, the ‘fakes’ market)
– Fashion as Performance
– Fashion, the Body, and Self-Fashioning (e.g., beauty standards, body art, weight, plastic surgery, etc.)

5. The Business of Fashion
– Fashion Professions and Trades
– Fashion Cities, Fashion Weeks, Fashion’s Night Out
– Fashion Marketing (e.g., brands, flagship stores, guerilla stores, eCommerce)
– Fashion Models
– Fashion Forecasting
– Marketing Platforms (e.g., communication, streaming video, social media, etc.)
– Fashion Markets: Vintage, Nostalgia, Mass, Luxury, Emerging
– Producing Displaying Fashion (production sites, showrooms, runways, window displays, websites, etc.)
– The Rise of the Accessory as a Driving Force of Fashion

300 word abstracts are due by Friday 15th February 2013. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 21st June 2013. Full instructions for submissions can be found here.

The conference is part of the Critical Issues series of research projects. The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume.

For further information please contact the organising chairs: Jacque Lynn Foltyn or Dr Rob Fisher.

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