The panel explores the realm of relationships between the social and the material through the focus on Indian fashion, zooming on contemporary Indian society through the lens of its manifold relationships with fashion, from craftsmen to designers, production to consumption, tradition to modernity.
The proposed panel sets as its objective to explore the realm of the relationships between the material and the social, taking as its point of departure clothing and fashion. These are the materials closest to our bodies, materials shaping our selves and reflecting the society around them at the same time as their production and consumption gives shape to the very society around them. Clothing and fashion in India is a topic of daily talk and preoccupation, it employs millions and preoccupies minds of even more, and yet anthropological explorations of Indian society through the lens of material culture and particularly clothing and fashion are still very marginal and limited (though there are notable exceptions). This panel therefore invites contributions investigating these relations further and bringing new perspectives on a range of related topics: aesthetics, hierarchy, femininity and masculinity, seduction versus modesty and respectability, tradition and modernity and so forth. This panel is also open to explorations of contemporary fashion system in India and invites papers on various crafts and their market, as well as relationships with designers and other professionals, juxtaposing vernacular with capitalist economy and addressing the relations of production and consumption and their dialectics.