A quick Google search on ‘socialite’ will inevitably come up with any number of recognisable faces from twenty-first century celebrity culture. Touted by gossip magazines and tabloids like The Daily Mail, Hello and Who, the term is rarely used with flattering connotations. Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Tara Reid, Blake Lively and Kim Kardashian, among many other women, are just some of the wayward celebrities that nowadays are deemed as ‘socialites’.
NASA sought public engagement by inviting audiences to vote on the design of their new generation of spacesuit, and as a result the designs incorporate elements of contemporary fashion in an effort to gain popularity. To reinstate their position, NASA has recently sought public engagement to counteract competition from emerging corporations including Virgin Galactic and SpaceX.
The American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class remains an influential work in sartorial studies, although it is typically invoked as an Aunt Sally, and a popular subject of criticism and contention. Veblen’s thesis, which is probably better known for enunciating the concept of ‘conspicuous consumption’, identified a burgeoning social elite within nineteenth-century America: the Leisure Class.
Released in 1874, the same year of its demise, Mallarmé’s La Dernière Mode, is a magazine/art project/journal on fashion that has come to be regarded as one of the most important publications in fashion academia and literature, and indeed our critical understanding of fashion today.
Fashion’s love affair with architecture is, at least at face value, an aspirational one, the academic tendencies of architectural discourse lend authenticity to fashion, which is traditionally perceived as trivial, and changeable in contrast to the sheer solidity of an architectural structure.
For most of us, our closets are home to sentimental garments with a story to tell alongside clothes we tend to forget. Wardrobes reveal the complex and often contradicting perceptions that dictate how we emotionally prioritise our clothing.
The concrete stage of a street-scape is where fashion becomes visible, meaningful, and most importantly, embodied. From the mundane surrounds of down-and-out urban areas, to the poised, style-conscious images from a street photographer, the power of the street-scape and its importance to the fashioned body is often overlooked.
In October 2012, Prada announced the winners of its Prada Journal contest, an initiative, in partnership with Italian publishers Giangiacomo Fettrinelli Editore, soliciting short stories from emerging writers for publication in a new print and online magazine ‘in keeping with the brand’s innovative spirit and constant search for new creative voices.’
The creative marriage between James Dyson and Issey Miyake Design Studio has given birth to a series of projects between the two companies which began when Fujiwara invited Dyson to work on the Issey Miyake spring/summer 2006 collection.
In 1997 choreographer Merce Cunningham invited fashion designer Rei Kawakubo to work with him on a dance piece, the result was ‘Scenario’ which premiered in October of that year at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.
Since 1967, filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has produced an enormously influential and insightful series of documentaries. Over the course of some forty films, he has taken viewers inside an insane asylum (‘Titicut Follies’), uncovered the workings of the welfare system (‘Welfare’), witnessed terminal patients on a hospital ward (‘Near Death’) and victims of spouse abuse (‘Domestic Violence’).
Few fashion archetypes measure up as having the symbolic power that the ‘business suit’ has. The suit is both a symbol of power and professionalism in corporate culture, but also of monotony and complacency, which in turn hints at the potential for human frailty.