Who Wore it Best? Understanding Mediated Fashion as Design

Synne Skjulstad


How interdisciplinary design practices intersect as a powerful communicational core in fashion is given little attention in design studies. Even as fashion design is a design domain in its own right, this paper argues that our conceptions of power in fashion need to more fully include fashion as a matter of communication design. This paper argues that power is enacted via combinations of material and immaterial articulations of design practices in fashion. Design practices are essential in shaping the tastes, styles, and desires at the heart of fashion, thus rendering fashion design as an expanded field that reaches far beyond material garments. This discussion paper proposes an expanded conception of fashion design, one that includes a mesh of networked media and design practices central to fashion. Via analysis of the fashion collective Vetements, these intersections are regarded as a locus of both economic and aesthetic power.

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