Learning Portfolio Post #5

When I was asked to define fashion in week one, I responded as “a dominant clothing trend which has lots of followers”. As the course goes through, my understanding on fashion gradually develops to its relation to body, culture, gender, and market.

The first few weeks focus on the relation between body and fashion. Specifically, I learn how a person’s identities are portrayed through the garments he wear, and how clothes and body interact with each other. In Joanne Entwistle’s “The Dressed Body’ in Real Bodies: A Sociological Introduction”, clothes “form part of our epidermis”, as dress and body “exist in dialectic relationship to one another”. In the Intersectionality Map and Dress Practice Interview, I understand the concept of style-fashion-dress deeper. For instance, in the  Intersectionality Map, I find myself sharing similar identities with female peers growing up in China. The similarities created by environment, age, and gender may affect our aesthetic taste (general style) on clothing, but my own characteristics, experience and preferences differentiate myself from other individuals, which I understand as fashion system.

As I think further, fashion is always hooked with commercial purpose. In massive production, a cloth has wild-accepted structure with certain functions; designers add typical manipulations which may not fit all clients but meet some customers’ desires. The interpretation brings more value to the garment than stereotypical designs.

Another important tern I inquire into is subculture. For the research paper, I investigated in cosplay, and learned how this subculture developed and affects the mainstream in the society. This “sub-fashion” pushes technical and fashion development in sci-fi work, and people purchase commercial products based on this subculture.

At this moment, fashion is an abstract tern which communicates designers’ ideas and demonstrate customers’ identity, transfers cultural aspects to new culture, and links artistic intelligence with commercial benefits.

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