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The Sociology of Fashion: Order & Change

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Lauren Del Nibletto

on 26 March 2014

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Transcript of The Sociology of Fashion: Order & Change

The Sociology of Fashion:
Body , Gender & Ethnicity
Fashion is about bodies

Model Bodies

Gender Differences & Markers

Ethnicity vs Designers
Identity & Class
Fashion is a marker for class and identity

Identity for Sub-cultures

The Consumption of Fashion
What is Consumption?

Is consumption relational?

Individuals are not born with an attraction to fashion

Fashion = “aesthetic markets”

What Does Fashion Mean?
Fashion is considered to be a language

Fashion portrays codes and and a set of "shared rules"

Fashion "denotes" & "connotes"

Denotation: Garments characteristics
Connotation: Meaning of the garment

Semiotic Idea
Example: Men in 18th Century Europe
Gender Boundaries
vs Connotation
Order & Change
Carla Clemente, Lauren Del Nibletto & Sophia Dhrolia
* Hermes Birkin Bag
* Orange
* Leather
* Gold Hardware
* Top Handles
*Worn by people with status
*Connection to Hermes Store
vs Connotation
Theory Of Fashion
Fashion: an unplanned process of recurrent change against a backdrop of order in the public realm
Question: What do you guys think of when you initially think 'fashion'?
Other Related Concepts to Fashion
fashion vs. fads

fashion vs. innovation,

fashion vs. style,

fashion vs. trend
Fashion is a process that is always changing
Fashion is inclusive and exclusive
Trickle-Down Theory
- 2 modern fathers of this theory:
Simmel and Veblen
- Simmel:
(inclusion) and

Class structure

Upper class drives the fashion cycle
When the lower class adopts the fashion, it is no longer desirable by the upper class

"We all look above ourselves, and, as fast as we can, strive to imitate those, that some way or other are superior to us…” -Mandeville (1714)

Two Processes of Fashion
Diffusion of Fashion
Tarde distinguished 2 forms of imitation:

: Imitation of the past and local

: Imitation of the present and the nonlocal (ex: styles and designs created in another country)
The Production of Fashion
What happens before the act of purchase by customers online or in stores

- Consumers make choices by what is offered
- Combine the process of production and consumption

Product life cycle
: styles can come back overtime
High-waisted pencil skirts, skinny jeans, floral print
- Garment sector:
one of the first to be industrialized in the 18th century
one of the first to become global

- Progressive Bundle System (PBS):
A system of production where each day is devoted to a single operation.

New modular techniques have emerged that accelerate the production

The Origins and Evolution of Fashion
Fashion as a Interdisciplinary Topic
Where does Fashion come From?
Is finding the origin of fashion even possible?
The "mystery" of fashion changes
What is fashion?
Confusion as to fashion as change and fashion as dress
1. Reverential imitation
: To follow the fashion of the upper class because of its status

2. Competitive imitation:
To show that there is nothing special about the upper class

How do you define fashion?
Blast From
The Past
The Fashion
Industry's Environment
Fashion has been polarized by two positions:

1. Fashion is essentially a status-based industry: what matters are the labels and logos, not the designs

2. Fashion needs intellectual property law to protect innovation.

Ethical Fashion
Fashion as an industry has often been criticized because of poor working conditions, particularly in low-cost countries, and because of its impact on the people and environment.

Unethical: sweatshops and factories with poor working conditions, long hours, low wages

Examples: Gap, Nike, H&M, Reebok
In the 12th century: French word
, which means ways of making and doing things together.
In the 16th century: conforming to prevailing tastes and to imply an idea of change.
As a result,
we relate fashion to clothing and dress.
Cultural studies
Timeline of Fashion
Full transcript