‘Making sense of fashion and culture’
After exploring a variety of theories, you will have developed a critical eye on Fashion, as well as an understanding of the importance of cultural validity.
You will examine fashion products, retail spaces and branding strategies in your personal research, current fashion news and weekly trending topics – connecting what you see with the theoretical input provided in this module. At the end of the unit, you will have chosen one case-study and one theoretical perspective and reason with clarity over its cultural implications.
How do we define the function of fashion in current society?
Are clothes utilitarian, hierarchical, or seductive?
Do clothes have a semiotic function and value within society?
Do clothes mirror or inform society’s attitudes and behaviour?
Any point can be proved wrong or right as long as you have a strong argument. A strong argument leaves no space for doubt, is based on concrete information and relevant academic research.
If you decide to explore a subject / theme or question, make sure it is something you are passionate and excited about. You should also personally benefit from additional knowledge through researching and writing on the topic.
Within a specific word count, you will construct a question around one of the following themes:
Fashion, postmodernity and the future
Fashion, taste and power relations
Fashion, gender and the body
Fashion, mass markets and luxury
Fashion, design, production and sustainability
Fashion, globalization and ethnicity
Remember that identity, aspiration, aesthetics and a contextualization of time and space are topics which permeate all the above. It is up to you to make these connections creatively and with originality.
A good essay should focus on one specific case study from industry (a brand, a garment, a retailer or a marketing strategy) and link it with a social phenomenon (consumer behaviour, urban tribes, data on gender inequality, etc). You will question this, consider a variety possible answers / arguments and defend your point of view, backed up by strong academic referencing. © Copyright of London Artscom Ltd
Each essay must have a minimum of:
5 direct quotes
5 indirect quotes
3 authors from the reading list
2 relevant academic authors from your personal research
The essay must be self-explanatory and include:
An introduction to the subject matter
A development of the argument
It must be written in academic language and use the Harvard Referencing System.
You need to make sure your text is engaging, well presented and interesting to read.
You may select from the following essay titles, or suggest your own:
Note: Your own essay title must still sit under one of the six main themes and must be discussed with the tutor. It must be pre-approved with your ‘essay skeleton’ task.
Fashion, postmodernity and the future:
– Digital subjectivities; Is there a difference between the expression of identity, online and offline?
– The future of fashion; What does a fashion brand of the future need to have and why?
Fashion, taste and power relations:
– Niche x commercial fashion media; Do they follow similar power dynamics?
– The taste-makers of today; How do brands pigeonhole trendsetters and absorb them into their world?
Fashion, gender and the body:
– Ew! for Fashion; Can the representation of abjection within fashion be liberating?
– Gender bending on the cover of magazines. Good or bad?
Fashion, mass markets and luxury:
– Is ‘luxury for all’ a reasonable possibility?
– The high street language; Is it ok to copy?
Fashion, design, production and sustainability:
– Aesthetic and social sustainability; Why and how?
– Good or bad fashion; Explain. What lies behind it?
Fashion, globalization and ethnicity:
– The re- emergence of ‘Made in England’: Is it culturally appealing?
– Inspired or usurped? Folk and local symbols in big brand collections; What are limits?
© Copyright of London Artscom Ltd
Essay: A minimum of 1500 words, maximum 2000 words written report. A4, double spaced, 12 point, Arial. Please print out a hard copy.
Deadline: See outline. Hand in to SA office. Sign your work in.
Assessment evidence / weighting
Essay: 100% of the final grade
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