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Conference: Fashion: Exploring Critical Issues

Fashion: Exploring Critical Issues

3rd Global Conference

Thursday 22nd September – Sunday 25th September 2011
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

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, and even a nation. This interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary conference seeks to explore the historical, social, cultural, psychological and artistic phenomenon of fashion. 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 project will assess the history and meanings of fashion; evaluate its expressions in politics, music, film, media and consumer culture; determine its effect on gender, sexuality, class, race, age and identity; examine the practice, tools, and business of fashion; consider the methodologies of studying fashion; and explore future directions and trends.

Papers, presentations, workshops and pre-formed are invited on issues related to any of the following themes:

1. Understanding Fashion
~ Fashion, Style, Taste-Making, and Chic
~ Fashion and Fashionability
~ Fashion and Zeitgeist
~ History of Fashion
~ Fashion Theory
~ Fashion, Politics, and Ideology: e.g., ‘message’ fashion; fashion as a political platform, fashion as defiance; graffiti as a fashion statement

2. Studying Fashion
~ Tools and Methodology; disciplines and perspectives; professions and trades
~ Documentation
~ Identifying, defining and refining concepts: e.g., ‘style,’ ‘fashion,’ ‘look,’ ‘fad,’ ‘trend,’ ‘in & out’
~ ‘Chasing’ Fashion: Studying fashion collections, archives, and museums
~ Fashion collections; fashion archives
~ Designers and Muses

3. Cultures of Fashion
~ Fashion in the City
~ Men and Fashion; Children and Fashion
~ Fashion Subcultures: e.g., pets and fashion, sports and fashion, supermodels, The Red Carpet, celebrity, vintage, glamour, gothic, etc.
~ Fashion and Nostalgia
~ Fashion and Professional Dress: e.g., Fashion and the Law
~ Ethical Issues in Fashion: e.g., cruelty free fashion; PETA anti-fur movement; slave labour, sweatshops, child labour; the growing ‘fakes’ market

4. Fashion and Identity
~ Fashion, Culture, and the Human body (e.g., beauty standards, body art, weight, plastic surgery
~ Self-fashioning: e.g., fashion as performance; body modifications, including make-up, hair design, piercings, tattoos, body sculpting, plastic surgery
~ Fashion and Social Status: Gender, Sexuality, Class, Race, Age and Fashion
~ Fashion and National Identities
~ Fashion and Transnational Identities
~ Fashion and Religion

5. Fashion, Representation, and Evolving Patterns of Communication & Criticism
~ Fashion Photography, Magazines, Blogs, and Twitter
~ Fashion Icons
~ Fashion, Film and the Performing Arts
~ Fashion and Music
~ Fashion and Fantasy
~ Fashion and Television

6. Fashion Practice
~ Fashion and Curatorial Practice: e.g., possibilities and problems of creating fashion Archives; creating and accessing private and public fashion collections
~ Fashion Design
~ Fashion Specialists: e.g., pattern makers, fitters, embroiderers, tailors, textile experts
~ Fashion Economies and the business of fashion, e.g., traditional markets, the luxury industry, the design industry, producing and displaying fashion (building showrooms, production sites, runway)
~ Beyond Dress: e.g., architecture, food, furniture, kitchens, perfume
~ Style Guides and Makeover Shows

7. The Future of Fashion
~ Trends and Cycles; predicting fashion
~ The Materials of Fashion: e.g., eco-fashion, intelligent textiles, nano-technology, etc.
~ The rise of the Accessory as the Driving Force of Fashion: e.g., handbags and shoes
~ Branding, the Mass Market, and Consumerism: e.g., designer collections at H & M, Top Shop, M & S, Target, Wal-Mart
~ Celebrities as Fashion Designers: e.g. J. Lo, Jessica Simpson, Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, P.Diddy.
~ Anti-Fashion

Papers will be accepted which deal with related areas and themes.

The 2011 meeting of Fashion – Exploring Critical Issues will run alongside a project on Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging and it is anticipated that sessions will be held in common between the two projects. Any papers considering the problems or addressing issues of Fashion and Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging are welcome.

Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 4th March 2011. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 22nd July 2011.

300 word abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract
E-mails should be entitled: Fashion Abstract Submission

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). Receipt of submission will be acknowledged and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply in a week you should assume your proposal was not received; it might be lost in cyberspace! It is suggested, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs
Jacque Lynn Foltyn
Professor of Sociology, Dept of Social Sciences, College of Letters and Sciences, National University, CA, USA
E-mail: Jacque Lynn Foltyn

Rob Fisher
Network Founder and Network Leader, Inter-Disciplinary.Net, Freeland, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
E-mail: Rob Fisher

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.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and they are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

Style Sheets
In preparing your submissions, please make use of the style sheets posted on the website.

For more information, please visit the Inter-Disciplinary.Net webiste:


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