Introducing Our MA Fashion Studies Faculty

The MA Fashion Studies program is pleased to welcome Francesca Granata and Christina Moon as new Assistant Professors of Fashion Studies, and Todd Nicewonger in his second year as post-doc.  We are excited about the contributions their unique research and expertise will bring to the program.  Below, Francesca, Christina, and Todd discuss their projects, perspectives on the MA Fashion Studies program, the future of the field, their recommendations, and more.

Francesca Granata received her PhD in Fashion History and Theory from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in 2010.  She has previously taught in the visual arts department at Goldsmith College, University of London, the Department of Art and Art Professions at New York University and at Parsons ADHT.  She co-curated the exhibition Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion, at the Pratt Institute, and has been a Research Fellow at the Metropolitant Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. She is founder and editor of the print and digital journal Fashion Projects, which is concerned with experimental and sustainable fashion and its relation to greater visual culture.  Her publications include the co-authored book Bernhard Willhelm and Jutta Kraus (2010); as well as articles in Fashion Practice and Fashion Theory.

Image: Leigh and Nicola Bowery at Kinky Gerlinky, London1991

Please tell me about your research interests as well as any recent, current, or upcoming research endeavors and projects.

I recently completed my PhD at Central Saint Martins on The Bakhtinian Grotesque in Fashion at the Turn of the Twentieth-first Century with a wonderful committee: Caroline Evans was my director of studies, and Elizabeth Wilson, Alistair O’Neil and Joanne Morra were my advisors. At present, I am working on developing the dissertation into a book and on some related publications. The book, the working title of which is Transgressive Fashion: Performance, Carnival and the Grotesque, is a study of experimental fashion at the turn of the twenty-first century up to the present day, and focuses on designers whose work challenges established codes of what represents the fashionable body through strategies of parody, humor and inversion. The book focuses on experimental designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Martin Margiela and Bernhard Willhelm, alongside practioners like Leigh Bowery, whose work is at the juncture between fashion and performance.

An article I wrote titled “Decentering Fashion: Carnival, Performance and the Grotesque Body” is being published in Not A Toy: Radical Character Design in Fashion and Costume (ATOPOS and Pictoplasma, Sept. 2011), which is edited by Vassilis Zinadiakis, creative director of ATOPOS, a non-profit based in Athens for the exploration of contemporary visual culture. The book is accompanying an exhibition at the Benaki Museum in Athens, where I was invited to give a talk by ATOPOS and the American Embassy in Athens. So, in the immediate present, I am preparing the talk, which I have to deliver in two weeks!

I have also just completed an article “Martin Margiela and Carnivalized Time: Analyzing Fashion History through Contemporary Design,” which developed from my dissertation work, for an upcoming book edited by Heike Jenss, as well as contributing to the catalogue for the Bernhard Willhelm and Jutta Kraus exhibition at the Groningen Museum of Contemporary Arts (NAi Publishers).

One of my other ongoing areas of research is on fashion and sustainability and particularly the phenomenon known as slow fashion. In 2010, I co-curated the exhibition Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion at the Pratt Institute and co-wrote the accompanying catalogue of the same name. The exhibition  was organized around three themes – reuse, revalue and rethink – and set out to explore practical and symbolic solutions to integrating sustainability within the fashion industry. It focused on US-based practitioners including designers such as Loomstate, Alabama Chanin and Susan Cianciolo as well as artists, such as Andrea Zittel and Zoë Sheehan Saldaña.

I am also very excited about the publication in Fashion Theory of my article “Fashion Studies In-Between: A Methodological Case Studies and an Inquiry in the State of Fashion Studies” (forthcoming in 2012), as I believe it is very relevant to the new MA in Fashion Studies at Parsons. It came out of my need for both mapping the field and finding a place for myself within it. The article discusses the challenges in creating a multi-methodological approach to the study of fashion. It also sets a comparison between fashion study and other emerging and/or newly emerged disciplines and fields of study. Finally, it investigates whether fashion studies is, in fact, developing from a field of inter-disciplinary studies, as defined in Fashion Theory, into a self-standing discipline and what the potential benefits and drawbacks of such a transformation might be.

The other project I am knee-deep in is the upcoming issue of Fashion Projects, a non-profit digital and print independent journal on art, fashion and visual culture which I founded in 2004. The upcoming print issue is on the topic of fashion criticism and it is the issue I am probably most excited about to date. The concept of the journal is to be a forum, so for it we have interviewed a number of journalists and critics including Suzy Menkes, Robin Givhan, Judith Thurman, Stefano Tonchi and others. The idea of doing an issue on fashion criticism came from a desire to explore how it developed in relation to other fields of design criticism as well as cultural criticism at large. The issue also addresses how and why the process of legitimization of such a field has occurred substantially later than with other aspects of cultural criticism, particularly in light of its gender specificity.

 

Oddly enough, the issue is the first examination of contemporary fashion criticism—so I am getting incredible responses from the people being interviewed. Something similar happened while curating the Ethics + Aesthetics exhibition: the director of the gallery pointed out that it was the first exhibition on the interaction of fashion and sustainability in the US, which turned out to be true—something I personally found a bit shocking! But, fashion studies is that rare academic field where there is so much that has not been covered—it’s certainly exciting, but it can also be very overwhelming.

That is why the new masters at Parsons is so vital: it addresses this hugely important aspect of culture which is still largely under-studied.

Tell me a bit about your background.  How did you find yourself pursuing the field of fashion studies?

As an undergraduate, I did a dual degree completing my BA in Art History at Tufts University and a BFA in Visual Arts from the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston. For my BA, I did an honor’s thesis with Madeline Caviness, a medievalist whose work combined very rigorous art historical research with a sophisticated theoretical approach. She was very influential on my intellectual development. I wrote my thesis on Imitatio Christi in late medieval female piety and, in retrospect, many of the elements which came to play in my dissertation were already there: performative practices, the power of visual images, and the grotesque body. Contemporaneously, I was focusing on performance art in my BFA, much of which revolved around issues of clothes, the body and visuality, but also the materiality of cloth.

At the time, I really had no idea fashion studies existed as an academic field, although I remember being really excited in discovering the first issue of Fashion Theory in a bookstore in Cambridge. I eventually enrolled in a masters in Cinema and Media Studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where my main interest was on fashion display and fashion films within early and silent cinema.

After completing my MA I ended up doing a project for Valerie Steele at the Museum at FIT, and it was only then that I really found out about the existence of a full-fledged field on the study of fashion. She was the one who told me about the PhD programs in the UK and very generously shared her contacts with me. Those programs were very appealing to me because, much like the new MA in Fashion Studies here at Parsons, they were unique in having multiple faculty members covering fashion from a range of different perspectives. It wasn’t until I actually met Caroline Evans at a conference (I had read her books and articles and I was a big admirer) and we started corresponding that I decided to start my doctoral studies with her.

In the meantime, I had developed Fashion Projects, and I was really glad I had worked on it before and during my PhD, as it provided a sense of community and a forum of exchange with other people studying fashion within various universities across the world, but also with people outside the academy.

I should add that I am Italian, so I am sure my interest in topic is also somewhat cultural, as my fashion consciousness was probably first formed in the 1980s at a time in which fashion in Italy was a hugely important cultural and economic phenomenon.

Where have you taught previously?

In the second year of my PhD, I taught in the Visual Arts Department at Goldsmiths College, University of London. There I taught an earlier version of a class which has since developed in a graduate seminar titled “Dress, Bodies and Borders”.  The class examines the proliferation of grotesque imagery within contemporary visual culture, with a particular focus on the work at the juncture between experimental fashion and the visual arts. At the time, Goldsmiths had a great Textiles Arts program; Yinka Shonibare had gone through it and it was a really exciting place to teach. Teaching at Goldsmiths was a great opportunity for me to interact with practice-based students and see an exchange in real time between the topics discussed in class and their own work.

After that I actually took a break from teaching as I received an Art History Research Fellowship from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, during which I was based at the Costume Institute. The next year, I taught a class on sustainability and fashion, focusing on slow fashion, within ADHT at Parsons. The class came out of my research for the exhibition Ethics + Aesthetics, as well as research on fashion, clothing and memory which I had done for an issue of Fashion Projects on the same topic. Finally, I taught graduate students in the Art and Art Professions Department at NYU.

Please share your perspectives on current developments in fashion studies, as well as the future of the field.

I am really interested and involved in this development and that is one reason I chose to enter this particular field, as one could actively shape its development, something which is certainly less likely in more established fields.

My article forthcoming in Fashion Theory is basically an answer to your question. Very briefly, fashion studies as a field developed out of the cultural turn in academia, Elizabeth Wilson’s Adorned in Dreams being one of the first books employing a cultural studies approach the study of fashion.  In the late 1990s with the establishment of the first journal on the topic, Fashion Theory by Valerie Steele, it gained a great amount of visibility in the US and globally. Since its inception, fashion studies has brought and continues to bring incredible insights to visual and material culture, gender studies and queer theory, to name a few. Partially because of my research interests and training, I find one of most exciting developments for the field in its interaction with performance studies, with which it shares much in common, not least the fact that it combines theories and methodologies from the humanities and the social sciences.

I think right now it is an incredibly exciting moment to enter the field, as some really strong new programs have developed, obviously the MA at Parsons, but also the Fashion Studies Concentration at the CUNY Graduate Center and the Centre for Fashion Studies at the University of Stockholm.

What do you hope to help students — both undergraduates and those in the MA Fashion Studies program — gain and achieve?

I am really excited to be teaching at Parsons, as I have made at least so far a very conscious decision to teach primarily in art and design schools or departments, as I strongly believe in an integration of theory and practice. I hope I will be able to foster students’ ability to look critically at their own practice, particularly in terms of the need for more sustainable design practices.

As far as graduate students, I bring a specific point of view on fashion studies, which is very much the product of the UK design education, although combined with my earlier graduate work in the US. I think what I bring that is unique is a look at fashion through critical theory but combined with a close-analysis of fashion as a designed object. My methodology is very much an “applied theory” one.

I am also very excited to see what the students will bring to me, as the program seems fantastically inter-disciplinary, so I am sure there will be a dialogical exchange between myself and the students.

What are you most looking forward to in your role as Assistant Professor this year?

I am literally just starting in the fall, so it is hard for me to know what my role will be exactly! I am certainly looking forward to interacting with the students both graduate and undergraduate, as well as the rest of the faculty both within ADHT and Parsons at large.  I would love to collaborate with faculty members from other schools to develop a practice/theory class on the topic of sustainable fashion, as I feel very strongly about the integration between theory and practice.

I would be very interested in contributing to the graduate curriculum: as there are a number of classes which I would love to develop, although realistically that will probably not happen within my first year. Among them would be a class on fashion and the museum. Another class I would be very excited to develop is on the topic of fashion criticism, as the new issue of Fashion Projects, the journal I edit, takes a panoramic look at fashion criticism in the context of cultural criticism and journalism at large. The issue is comprised of in-depth interviews with critics and journalists at work today, but the class would also include an historical view of the phenomenon and examine its development within women’s sections of newspapers, as well as exploring its possible futures; how the field is changing and adapting itself to the impact of new technologies, and how it is more fluidly incorporating a multimedia aspect where the visuals and written expressions more closely interact and complement one another.

What are some of your favorite books, and who are some of your favorite authors — both to read and to work with?  Please provide some recommendations that might inspire students who will be entering the field.

As far as fashion studies proper, the people who supervised my dissertation have, of course, been very influential in my development. And I would certainly suggest to anyone interested in the field to read Elizabeth Wilson’s Adorned in Dreams and Caroline Evans’s Fashion at the Edge. Alistair O’Neil has written a really interesting book, titled London: After a Fashion, and Evans will soon be publishing her new book with Yale on the origin of the fashion show, provisionally entitled Modelling Modernity: Early Fashion Shows in France and America 1900-1929.

This summer, I just finished reading Monica Miller’s Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity. Miller is a literary scholar based at Barnard, but her work has very important implications for fashion studies. On my reading list for the summer is also Djurdja Bartlett’s new book with MIT Press Fashion East: The Spectre that Haunted Socialism. To prepare for a Fashion Projects interview, I have also just re-read Judith Thurman’s writings on fashion for the New Yorker, which are compiled in the anthology Cleopatra’s Nose: 39 Varieties of Desire. Her work is a brilliant example of the power of good criticism to make complex points in a lyrical, succinct and clear way—something that is, of course, incredibly difficult.

What exhibition have you most enjoyed this year?  Do you have recommendations for any current or upcoming events or exhibitions?

One of my favorite exhibitions this year was the Charles Le Dray’s retrospective. I have been interested in his work for some time and the way it plays with masculine ideals, as well as its employment of the traditionally feminine craft of sewing and the miniature, which has historically been associated with ideal femininity (the “petite feminine”). His work brings to mind that of designer Martin Margiela, and his exploration of the miniature and the gigantic in his collections. Of course, the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Met is very relevant to my work and it was fascinating to see the amount of press attention and the crowd it has drawn. I am also looking forward to visiting the exhibition ARRGH! Monsters in Fashion at the Benaki Museum, as it seems to tackle themes which were relevant to my doctoral research: non-normative bodies and alternative construction of subjectivities in experimental fashion.

I also really enjoyed the Fashion in Film Festival that Marketa Uhlirova from Central Saint Martins brought to New York at the Museum of the Moving Image. The festival is continuing in the fall with a symposium at Yale, while the next edition of the festival will come to MOMI in Spring 2012.

 

Christina Moon was formerly a Post-doctoral Fellow in Fashion Studies in the School of Art Design History and Theory at Parsons.  She received her PhD from Yale this past spring in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, having completed her doctoral dissertation entitled, “Material Intimacies: Labor, Creativity, and the Global Fashion Industry”.  Her work is focused on urban anthropology, with a particular interest in the transnational study of labor and race within the global fashion industry.  Her ethnographic field work has been undertaken in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Seoul.

Please tell me about your research interests as well as any recent, current, or upcoming research endeavors and projects.

For the past five years, I have been studying the global fashion industry through its cultural workers. Along the way, I have met with designers, design students, interns, sample-makers, factory owners, clothing wholesalers, and sewers, among many others – all who play some role in the material and immaterial making of fashion. I had the opportunity to work for several different design firms to carry out my field research, including a multinational design corporation, a high-end fashion company, and a mass-fashion wholesale company. This work and research took me into the depths of the global fashion industry – into design studios, factories, corporate offices, and on the runway of shows. At the heart of my research is the realization that the cultural labor of migrating subjects has played an enormous role in transforming cities like New York, Paris, and Milan into global fashion capitals. They do this through their creative work of design, but also through their cultural work of forming social ties and connections between global fashion capitals and manufacturing landscapes throughout the world. In fact, much of my research is the exploration of these encounters between design worlds and manufacturing landscapes in the making of fashion. In general, though, I write on material culture, social memory, the ephemeral and everyday, and ways of knowing and representing in ethnographic practice.

I’ve just finished writing a really fun review of the exhibit, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, for Design Issues (MIT Press) with my colleague Todd Nicewonger.  I am also finishing up a couple of written pieces this summer: a chapter on methodology in fashion studies which will appear in an edited volume by Heike Jenss, and a journal article on my research on fast-fashion designers in Los Angeles. Finally, I’ve begun work transforming my dissertation, Material Intimacies: the Labor of Creativity in the Global Fashion Industry, into a book.

Tell me a bit about your background.  How did you find yourself pursuing the field of fashion studies?

I’ve always been interested in fashion and clothing for as long as I can remember, but my background training is in Social and Cultural Anthropology. As a graduate student at Yale, I was inspired by the writings of Walter Benjamin and Roland Barthes, but also anthropologists Dorinne Kondo and Daniel Miller. David Graeber, an anthropologist, social theorist, anarchist and activist who is now at Goldsmiths, became my main advisor and an incredibly influential mentor – we explored anthropological theories of value; he through ‘debt’ and I through ‘fashion.’ With one foot in anthropology, my other home became American Studies where my teachers were Michael Denning, Hazel Carby, and Paul Gilroy – members of the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies – who, alongside Dick Hebdige and Angela McRobbie were mentored by Stuart Hall. I felt honored to be in the classroom with these incredible thinkers.  They constantly reminded me what was at stake. Our classroom discussions were always magical and each one greatly encouraged me to pursue my studies in fashion.

When I arrived in New York I couldn’t believe my luck – while other students were headed to exotic locations around the world, from Nigeria to Japan, I took the subway to what I thought to be the most exotic location of all – New York. I immediately met with several scholars who were developing this new field of fashion studies including Hazel Clark, Valerie Steele, Eugenia Paulicelli, Thuy Linh Tu, Harold Koda, and Andrew Bolton. These fashion scholars greatly encouraged me, providing me with opportunities to publically share my research. I also had several friends already working in the fashion industry and I thought it interesting that we were all pursuing similar questions on and about fashion – its global nature, notions of value, questions on sustainability, labor practices, its time/space compression, utopic possibilities, social implications — only they as designers in the industry and I as an anthropologist in the academy. I was excited –-I felt I was onto something.

I then threw myself in field research working for several different fashion design companies. One day I could be interviewing a fashion designer in an air-conditioned studio, another day a sewer in a one-room workshop. I had the fortune of receiving grants from the Fulbright, Kauffman, Wenner-Gren, and Korea Foundation which supported my research for the next three years. I traveled to New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Porte Alegre Brazil, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, up and down the coast of China, and Seoul to study this incredible ‘thing’ called ‘the global fashion industry.’

What grounded me throughout was a study group I had become a part of for five years – The Working Group on Globalization and Culture – and a fashion studies writing group formed right after the field research. With the first, we drew connections between vastly different culture industries — fashion, cell phones, baseball and soccer, music, food, and graphic design and branding. With the second, we wrote on the links between fashion, beauty, the body, labor, and the impact of images and media in fashion. Fashion suddenly became something much larger and more urgent than I had ever imagined – part of the movement of peoples, ideas, and goods that have powerful consequences on the patterns of our everyday lives. With these two collectives, I presented my work in a number of forums including the American Anthropological Association, the World Social Forum in Brazil, and the Transnational Institute of the Americas in Tepoztlan, Mexico. This allowed me to discover how much I love collaborative work and research.

In sum, all of these experiences were incredibly important to concretizing my passion and pursuit of fashion studies.

Where have you taught previously?

I have taught at Yale and at Parsons.

What do you hope to help students — both undergraduates and those in the MA Fashion Studies program — gain and achieve?

I hope to help students cultivate their sense of curiosity, passion, and interest in fashion in all of its fascinating dimensions. I’d like for our classroom and discussions to become a space for one to explore the many different perspectives found in fashion studies but also an open platform for one to express one’s own perspective and learn about oneself in the process. In other words, I hope students gain knowledge on fashion – the breadth and possibilities of this field – but at the same time, gain a sense of depth and self throughout the learning process. I truly believe that we are each other’s teachers.

I hope our class becomes a collaborative laboratory for ideas and experiences  – a space to sharpen our critical lens, while understanding the impact and power of our ideas, actions, and words. When students leave this program, I hope they realize the very active role they’ve played and will continue to play in shaping this important field and the way we come to think of fashion in theory and in practice. These different ways of seeing and thinking about the world through fashion will no doubt follow one in life whether in the industry, the academy, or beyond.

Please share your perspectives on current developments in fashion studies, as well as the future of the field.

Fashion is part of our world second by second. We are consumed by it, surrounded by it, we think about it and are inundated with it. I am making an obvious point: Fashion affects us. If we were to take a moment to think about it, we’d realize how much fashion is a part of so many moments of our everyday lives. When we wake up, we think about what we will wear, how we will present ourselves to the world. We may turn on the computer and watch a youtube tutorial on how to do our hair. We read fashion magazines, blogs, and watch TV programs on fashion. We go through our everyday rituals of dress, beauty, and glamour. We head out the door, walk down the street, and perform or negotiate different gender roles. We pass as this or that, as masculine or feminine, all through clothing. We go to work in certain clothes and we get home and change. For leisure, we shop for designs, styles, and labels. At home, we wash our clothes in a laundry machine, empty out our closets and donate to the Salvation Army. We outgrow our clothes and yet can’t get rid of some sort of sentimental item – a prom dress, a wedding dress, a pair of jeans – which still hangs in the closet. We remember back to those other decades and years when we wore this or that, and have the photos in the album to remind us. I could go on and on.

All throughout these daily thoughts and rituals, we constantly negotiate ideas and representations on gender, race, sexuality, identity, beauty, and value. So it’s funny that most of the time, we don’t give ourselves a moment to think about all the hands that played a role in how that thing we wear was made, how it touches our body, how it makes us imagine glamorous worlds, how it may have shaped our identity and our politics. We may never think about where our clothing goes after we are done wearing them and how that process affects other people or the environment here or in other places.

I am interested in all these aspects on fashion, but always with a bent towards these lived-experiences of the ordinary. Whether worn, purchased, or labored over, these daily and ordinary aspects of fashion have become a strong thread within the field of fashion studies and greatly apparent in my own research.

The second aspect on fashion and clothing I am deeply interested in is its emotional content, as well as its tactile and sensual nature as material culture. Much of my work explores material intimacies – how fashion and clothing become powerful mediations and encounters between people. Fashion conjures memories, stands for social ties, or materially represents the ins and outs of daily work life for many people. Fashion can be that sentimental object, part of a biographical story, an intimate part of one’s ‘social skin.’  In this way, when we talk about fashion, we can be talking about a complex global political and economic system, but we can also be talking something that is so deeply emotional and personal.

What are you most looking forward to in your role as Assistant Professor this year?

I look forward to meeting with and being around students. I love sharing ideas and find students to be endless sources of inspiration with their diverse backgrounds and thoughtful insights. Please come visit me during office hours!

What are some of your favorite books, and who are some of your favorite authors — both to read and to work with?  Please provide some recommendations that might inspire students who will be entering the field.

Theorists: Walter Benjamin and Roland Barthes are my favorite.

Fashion Studies: Get to know the work of Caroline Evans (Central Saint Martins) and the journal Fashion Theory.

Cultural Studies: Thuy Linh Tu and Monica Miller are both in New York City (NYU and Barnard).

Web: Threadbared is a fashion blog run by Mimi Thi Nguyen (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) and Minh-Ha T. Pham (Cornell) – It’s the best and there isn’t anything like it out there! Other good ones: Susie Bubble, BryanBoy, and Tavi Gevinson’s The Style Rookie.

 

Dr. Todd Evans Nicewonger is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Fashion Studies at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. He received his doctorate from the Joint Program in Applied Anthropology program at Columbia University, Teachers College. Dr. Nicewonger’s research is focused generally on the anthropology of design, and specifically on how the institutional socialization of creativity, morality, and aesthetics shape the production of design forms. He previously conducted ethnographic research among apprenticing avant-garde fashion designers and is currently developing a manuscript based on these experiences. Dr. Nicewonger’s new research examines the production and circulation of sustainable design knowledge between the Global North and the Global South.

Tell me a bit about your background.  How did you find yourself pursuing the field of fashion studies?

I have an interdisciplinary background in the animal sciences, rhetoric, American ethnic studies, education, and anthropology. My doctorate is in Cultural Anthropology. All of these different subject areas come together, at least in my mind, through my long held interests in creativity, morality, and material innovation.

For me avant-garde fashion is a unique site for thinking about the imaginative processes that organize sociality around material forms. And because I am deeply interested in how these processes get taken up across different institutional settings I largely study the embodiment of design practices, particularly in institutional settings like fashion design academies.

Where have you taught previously?

Yes, I have taught in a range of different programs, extending from American Ethnic Studies to Cultural Anthropology, and in the areas of fashion, science and technology studies, and design studies. Institutionally, I have worked at Kansas State University, Hofstra University, Barnard College, Teachers College, and now Parsons.

What do you hope to help students — both undergraduates and those in the MA Fashion Studies program — gain and achieve?

The three most important things I hope students will get out of my classes are to:

1)   be imaginative with their questions, arguments, and explorations and thus learn to “think outside the box.”

2)   be able to articulate how their interests in fashion studies relates to larger socio-political or economic issues. In other word, what’s at stake in asking a certain kind of question versus another?

3)   recognize the fact that certain questions require them to physically go out into the world and observe fashion in its natural settings.

These points of course draw on my interests in ethnography and thinking about sociality through the cultural production or creation of fashion.

Please share your perspectives on current developments in fashion studies, as well as the future of the field.

In the future I think more and more work will focus on the cultural practices of fashion producers, particularly from a comparative standpoint.

What are you most looking forward to in your role as Post-doc this year?

I’ll be teaching a course I designed last year that I really enjoy, which focuses on the improvisational aspects of fashion producers. I am also working on a number of articles and a new research project on the socialization and circulation of sustainable design practices – so it will be a busy and hopefully productive year.

What are some of your favorite books, and who are some of your favorite authors — both to read and to work with?  Please provide some recommendations that might inspire students who will be entering the field.

-Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just and also The Body in Pain: the Making and Unmaking of the World

-Elizabeth Hallam and Tim Ingold, Creativity and Cultural Improvisation (especially the Introduction)

-Dorinne Kondo, About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater

-Daniel Miller, Materiality (ed.) – especially the Intro, Webb Keane, and Kuchler articles

What exhibition have you most enjoyed this year?  Do you have recommendations for any current or upcoming events or exhibitions?

The McQueen exhibit was excellent; unfortunately it won’t be here in the fall!

 

 

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