FSN 223 Concepts and Theories..

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
School
Ryerson University
Department
Fashion
Course
FSN 223
Professor
FSN 223
Fashion Concepts and Theories
Dr. Ben Barry
Week 1
Why Study Fashion theory
Think critically about fashion
Use fashion to empower
Reinvent the fashion system
Explore, question and re-imagine the production. Promotion and consumption of
fashion.
Fashion
- Sociology
- Anthropology
- History
- Business
- Fine Art
- Psychology
Lecture Topics
- Fashion Impulse
- Fashion cycles, symbols and flows
- Fashion Representation
- Eurocentric Fashion System
- Fashion, Body Techniques and Identity
- Fashion, Aesthetics and Art
- Fashion as a Business and Cultural industry
- Popular culture and fashion
- Politics of fashion
- Film
Evaluations
Theory in action: 15% FEB 13
Wardrobe: 45% MARCH 13
Exam 40% APRIL 15th-17th
businessoffashion.com
Fashion Impulse:
Key Terms
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- Fashion: prevailing custom of dress ( it is collective, time limited)
- Dress: all ornamentation on their body
- Style: combination of silhouette, details, fabric... it is personalized
- Fad- short term style
- Trend- direction that a style/ fashion is heading
- Classic- style that has lasted for an indefinite period of time
- Anti-Fashion- and outfit of a particular style that is outside of fashion
- Fashionable- style that conforms to fashion
3 Main Elements of Fashion
- Fashion is a system of Communication
o They convey identity
o Meaning
o Clothes function as symbols
o These symbols change in different contexts
o Le Saap- group of men in congo, group of tastemakers and elegant
people that wear pink. They are the epitome of masculinity.
Pink- for a different meaning, gay/homosexual, queer movement-
color of pride
Versace H&M- pink suit, genderless, new look, avant garde, marketing
- Fashion Helps Us Define Ourselves As Individuals and Group Members
o We will model ourselves in some ways from another group
o Black is the best selling colour- safe (blend in), and slimming, want to
stand out, elegant and glamorous, anti-fashion (sub-culture)
- Essence of Fashion is Change
The Fashion Impulse
- Constantly changing clothing codes and stylistic registers-20 (more group)
- Clothing codes that balance the impulse to belong to a group and the
individual desire to stand out and assert that attributes of the self -48
(individual)
The Fashion Paradox
- Express yourself, yet conform, sometimes subconsciously
- Maintain some customary style be current yet classic
- Do we have control. Or following a larger code in fashion
Sumptuary Laws
- Regulate the ownership of certain clothes
- What colors, fabrics types certain class women could wear
- Queen/royalty purple and silk
- What not to wear- certain look that is acceptable, they all conform, are their
rules enforced..?
Does Fashion Exist Beyond Consumer Culture?
- The Little Black Dress
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o Black can signify death… only for mourning
o Elegance and luxury, nobility
o White accents around the face, mood, gesture facial expression
- Macaroni
o After young men finished university they would take a tour of france
and Italy, year of travel to learn food, culture, slim cut clothing, never
eaten macaroni and ate it in Italy and brought it back to the UK,
fashion was very popular- brought back a slim style and taste in
fashion
- Sailor
o 1800s Functional uniform, wide leg pant, blue and white
o To runways, Tommy, Dolce, Chanel
o Gay community
Does Fashion Exist Beyond Western Culture?
- yes
- Myth that the traditional ways of dressing are conventional, unchanging not
influenced by trends or fads, idea that non western groups haves dressed the
same forever
- its like looking at the suit it hasn’t changed, but if you look there are
differences in the way the aesthetic has changed
- Canadian aboriginal, fur trade, cloth and beads
o Change in the types of beads they wanted, size & color
o Taste was highly subjective
o Fashion trends change
o Fashion before the westernized consumer culture
Chpt. 1 The Fashion Impulse:
Many have argued that fashion is a modern cultural practice that coincided with the
emergence of capitalism and consumer culture- I have argued fashion is not
exclusively the domain of modern culture and its preoccupations with
individualism, class, civilization and consumerism.
Fashion Impulse- constantly changing clothing codes and stylistic registers
- these occur in non-western & non-modern societies
- myth that non-western cultures have stable, unchanging clothing codes
(called costume/customary dress)
Fashion was used to describe the dress performances of preindustrial cultures. It is
wrong to suggest that fashion in contemporary cultures is different from that of
other societies
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Document Summary

Fashion as a business and cultural industry. Fashion: prevailing custom of dress ( it is collective, time limited) Style: combination of silhouette, details, fabric it is personalized. Trend- direction that a style/ fashion is heading. Classic- style that has lasted for an indefinite period of time. Anti-fashion- and outfit of a particular style that is outside of fashion. Fashion is a system of communication: they convey identity, meaning, clothes function as symbols, these symbols change in different contexts, le saap- group of men in congo, group of tastemakers and elegant people that wear pink. Pink- for a different meaning, gay/homosexual, queer movement- color of pride. Versace h&m- pink suit, genderless, new look, avant garde, marketing. Constantly changing clothing codes and stylistic registers-20 (more group) Clothing codes that balance the impulse to belong to a group and the individual desire to stand out and assert that attributes of the self -48 (individual) Maintain some customary style be current yet classic.

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