What I Love About Fashion

Some of my fashion theory booksInspired an exchange with Dr Ben Barry on Twitter the other week, I decided to look into what my ‘take’ on fashion really is. What excites me or drives me to read and learn more about what we wear, why we wear it and the industry surrounding it. I’ll tell you this now, it’s not the glitzy part of the industry – the seemingly endless fashion shows, luxury behemoths, the supermodels, the glossy magazines or the increasingly important Insta-famous fashion bloggers. It’s ended up more like a list of things that some would say are more about clothing, style or dress than ‘fashion’, but I like giving the F word a broader definition.

So, this is a post on all the things that I love about fashion… which may not be the things you love about fashion. It’s not necessarily just a list of simply ‘good’ things, but it’s things I’m interested in, fascinated by, or things I want to change. I’ve split it into two categories that, to some, are distinct but that I would dearly love to combine in any further research. Maybe I’ll add to these lists in the future as my ideas develop.

Material Culture

  • Archives and the discovery of the past through fashion objects (including provenance).
  • Fabric, fibres and textiles (including textile technology, weave, knit and embroidery processes).
  • Garments involving specialist construction techniques (e.g. underwear, tailoring and footwear).
  • Craft and heritage (investigating the processes that lie behind a garment and its label).
  • Signs of alteration and reuse. How clothing is adjusted to the body.

Fashion Theory

  • Exploration of identity through clothing (especially gender, femininities/masculinities, LGBTQ).
  • Psychology and fashion (e.g. self-esteem, wellbeing, attachment to clothing/perceived worth).
  • Sustainability (e.g. recycling fabrics, reuse of garments/fabric, swapping and sharing clothing).
  • Diversity in fashion imagery (on catwalks, magazines, mannequins etc).
  • Community (particularly plus-size bloggers, lingerie bloggers & fashion ‘outsiders’).

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