Please note that this product is not available for purchase from Bloomsbury. Most studies of fashion do not make a clear distinction between clothing and fashion. Kawamura argues that clothing is a tangible material product whereas fashion is a symbolic cultural product. She debunks the myth of the genius designer and explains, provocatively, that fashion is not about clothes but is a belief.

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Fashion is not created by a single individual but by everyone involved in the production of fashion, and thus fashion is a collective activity. It is the result of the acceptance of certain cultural values, all of which are open to relatively rapid influences of change. I argue that a fashion system supports stylistic changes in fashion. The system provides the means whereby fashion change continually takes place.

Fashion has been seen as a device for confirming women to an inferior social order, largely because it demands an unequal expenditure of time and money by women on activities which do not attract the professional attention and efforts of men.

Fashion works to intensify self-absorption and thereby reduces the social, cultural and intellectual horizons of women Cultural anthropologists make cross-cultural comparisons of traditional, non-industrialized societies in terms of dress.

Their studies help us understand that using clothing to express modesty is a function that is determined by the culture, learned by the individuals and is not instinctive in nature. Some scholars, such as Sombart , Nystrom and Anspack approach fashion from an economic point of view. The less practical and functional a garment is, the more it is a symbol of high class.

Fashion is governed by the social strategy of class. It is a sociology of culture that recognizes the importance of and pays much attention to the social-structural processes of cultural production and consumption.

It operates with an understanding of social institutions and cultural symbols, which include activities and objects signified through culture. Thus, it provides the interpretation of structural features of cultural life. In the study of culture, it is necessary to understand not only technical processes and arrangement for manufacturing and distribution of cultural phenomena but also the culture through which the products are given meaning.

Culture is the means through which people create meaningful worlds in which to live. These cultural worlds are constructed through interpretations, experiences and activities whereby material is produced and consumed. Likewise, fashion can be a matter of personal consumption and identity, and also a matter of collective production and distribution.

Fashion is not visible or tangible and therefore uses clothing as a symbolic manifestation. The production of symbols places emphasis on the dynamic activity of institutions. Cultural institutions support the production of new symbols. A fashion system is the inter-relationship between highly fragmented forms of production and equally diverse and often volatile patterns of demand.

Clothing can be used as a metaphor. This has been criticized by many fashion writers as clothing and fashion cannot be used for communication as acutely as the language we speak.

Such approach to fashion and dress is very limited and does not expand further. Despite the title of the book The Fashion System , Barthes is not talking about a fashion system but a clothing system. One can use his complex analysis in finding a distinction between the fashion system and the clothing system. The clothing system teaches us how to wear garments and what to wear in specific social and cultural contexts because each context has different social meanings.

There is a whole network of people involved in clothing production and fashion production. The term does not describe the process of sewing clothes, which belongs to a separate kind of system, that is the clothing of manufacturing system.

Economic capital involves command over economic resources. Social capital commands relationships, networks of influence and support into which individuals can tap by virtue of their social position. Cultural capital explains the way in which both tastes and perceptions of what is beautiful or valuable, and social groups are ranked in society.

Using cultural capital, according to Bourdieu, the elites constantly distance themselves from the non-elites.

Admission into the French fashion system grants both social capital and economic capital that separate the elite designers from the non-elites outside the system, that is, designers of mass-produced apparel. Designers need to earn symbolic capital for their products for those customers who wish to share that capital to differentiate themselves from those with whom they do not with to identify.

The symbolic value of goods is realized whenever people engage in consumption and thereby express their social identity. Luxury clothes are meaningful only in relation to non-luxury clothes, but in modern capitalist societies anyone can obtain luxury clothes in less expensive ways. The motivation to attain is based on the desire to make a slight difference with others because luxury items provide a sense of superiority as an image and added values are attached to them.

Fashion is a symbolic production while clothes are a material production. Fashion is a symbol manifested through clothing.

These groups and individuals are sources of meaning for the masses, and they invent and deliver symbolic meanings that are largely constructed by prevailing cultural co-ordinates established by cultural categories and cultural principles.

Individuals, such as influential leaders of fashion, and institutions that help create and spread fashion, such as fashion magazines and newspaper periodicals, are participants in the system. When we separate clothing production from fashion production, the difference between clothing and fashion become even more succinct. Fashion is produced as a belief and an ideology. People wear clothes believing that they are wearing fashion because it is something considered to be desirable.

Clothing production involves the actual manufacturing of fabric and shaping it into a garment.



Once you have successfully made your request, you will receive a confirmation email explaining that your request is awaiting approval. On approval, you will either be sent the print copy of the book, or you will receive a further email containing the link to allow you to download your eBook. Please note that print inspection copies are only available in UK and Republic of Ireland. For more information, visit our inspection copies page. We currently support the following browsers: Internet Explorer 9, 10 and 11; Chrome latest version, as it auto updates ; Firefox latest version, as it auto updates ; and Safari latest version, as it auto updates. Tell others about this book Lorem About Fashion-ology This new edition of a classic work offers a concise introduction to the sociology of fashion, and demystifies the workings of the fashion system. From the origins of fashion studies and the difference between clothing and fashion, through to an examination of 21st century subcultures, and the impact of the digital age on designers, Fashion-ology explores fashion as a global, social construct.


Fashion-ology: An Introduction to Fashion Studies






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