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The 20th century brings new debates about fashion for anthropologists interested in material culture and social rituals, which this panel explores through the use of clothing and the practice of dress. This panel is convened by Dr. Heike Derwanz and Emma Davenport
Fashion is a socio-cultural reality that has become so complex that we cannot assertively define it in contemporary times. Since industrialization, fashion has inspired fruitful debates in dialogue with societies. The twentieth century led us to the spectacle of fashion shows (SKOV 2009, DUGGAN 2001); veiled expressions and manifestations, such as feminine (CRANE, 2006) or social-political (BOLLON, 1996) claims; the production and consolidation of brands (LIPOVETSKY and ROUX, 2005; SAMPRINI, 2006); the democratization of access to fashion novelties; to fast fashion as a business model.
In the 21st century new debates have been gaining expression: diversity and inclusion as opposed to industrial production and economy of scale (ROFEL and YANAGISAKO, 2019); an environmental concern regarding waste produced by the fashion industry; fair labor conditions in relation to slave-like labor (MENSITIERI, 2018); the speed of production problematizing the logic of innovation as a result of planned obsolescence (EWEN, 1988).
How are the uses and practices of fashion-clothing dialoguing with these new movements? What meanings can we problematize in relation to what is dressed and what is called "fashion" today (LUVAAS and EICHER, 2019 and MILLER, 2004, 2010)? This panel hopes to problematize these issues, relating them to wider cultural concerns about place, embodiment and sustainability.