Arc’teryx & the Luxury of Disruption: Sustainable Drivers of a Fashionable Brand. Conference Presentation, In Pursuit of Luxury Conference, May 26-27, 2022, Milan, Italy

Arc’teryx & the Luxury of Disruption: Sustainable Drivers of a Fashionable Brand. Conference Presentation, In Pursuit of Luxury Conference, May 26-27, 2022, Milan, Italy Abstract In Canada we struggle to recognize homegrown fashion talent, and our benchmarks for identifying quality work are based on imported luxury brands. Paradoxically, however, where we are most successful is when we are at our most Canadian. The Arc’teryx label for example. This brand that grew from a passion for rock climbing, and whose gear subsequently expandedRead more

Lilac Time at the Stampede

The subjects of the Lilac Time series of books are Gay male fashion and art practitioners we lost to AIDS. In Lilac TIme at the Stampede we visit with: Hibiscus & the Cockettes, Marie Debris, David Wojnarowicz, Martin Wong, and Peter Hujar. These men because of the stigma attached to their illness, were never properly eulogized. Bright, brilliant, and visionary all, the loss of these men to AIDS was devastating. In some cases, the memory of their oeuvres is fading,Read more

Marie Marguerite Rose: A Story of Early-Colonial French Chic and Emancipation…

By dr. Mark Joseph O’Connell, My recent post from the Seneca Canadian Fashion Diversity Project: This is Charlene Chasse she has worked as a historical re-enactor with Parks Canada for the past nineteen years. She states of herself:…”I knit, I sew, I cook and I do hot yoga.” She also brings to life the fascinating historical figure of one Marie Marguerite Rose… Fig. 1, “Charlene Chasse portraying Marie Marguerite Rose”, https://www.facebook.com/CanadaC3/photos/i-portray-marie-marguerite-rose-shes-a-freed-slave-she-gets-her-freedom-in-1755-/388351961562977/ The legacy of the fashion artifacts left behind inRead more

Rodeo References

Refences for my Rodeo book series: “Cockettes Founder Hibiscus Dies in New York; 300 Other Cases Reported” Body Politic (85). 1982. Toronto. July–August:16. “Fashion Between the New and the Forgotten: Rose Bertin” 2020. Fashion Heritage. fashionheritage.eu. https://fashionheritage.eu/fashion-between-the-new-and-the-forgotten-rose-bertin/#:~:text=’,-Pariser%20Coeffuren%3A%20Chien&text=%E2%80%9CIl%20n’y%20a%20de,except%20what%20has%20been%20forgotten.) “Founder of Cockettes, Hibiscus, Dead of GRID”. 1982. Advocate, June 1982 (345): 12. “Halston Part 1”. 2009. Designer Marathon Volume 5. Videofashion. Accessed May 6, “A Wall Street Journal News Roundup. 1970. “Moribund Midi: Woeful Retailers Say the Lower the Hem, the Lower the Sales Women Call itRead more

Succès de Scandale: Homophobia, Racism and Abject Marketing in Fashion

Succès de Scandale, the manipulation of outcry over the deliberately shocking, has been used frequently to garner notoriety and fame in the past. Currently, fashion brands are notorious for dropping crypto-offensive items into their marketing and then backing off with a meagre apology when customers react with legitimate offence. Social media hashtags generate viral visibility, and the associated brand is amplified exponentially. Engaging in this dance between the edgy and the truly offensive becomes tactical for brands to appear ‘cool’,Read more

“Y Sin Embargo Te Quiero (And Yet I Love You) Economic Policy Encoded in the Consumption of Used Garments” Conference Presentation: Secondhand Cultures in Unsettled Times Symposium, June 15-16, 2021 School of Journalism, Media & Culture, Cardiff University, Wales

I presented “Y Sin Embargo Te Quiero (And Yet I Love You) Economic Policy Encoded in the Consumption of Used Garments”  Secondhand Cultures in Unsettled Times Symposium, June 15-16, 2021 School of Journalism, Media & Culture, Cardiff University, Wales. The article this presentation came from is here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14759756.2021.1909207 The presenattion is here: This research involves an onsite ethnographic study and interview of the designers of the Clandestina fashion brand in Havana, Cuba. The Clandestina label creatively capitalizes on a commodityRead more

Conference Presentation: “The Hunger: Nascent Realities of Dematerialized Fashion Design & Consumption” at the Re-Imagining Global Fashion Business: New Models, Values and Ideas Conference

I will be presenting: “The Hunger: Nascent Realities of Dematerialized Fashion Design & Consumption” at the Re-Imagining Global Fashion Business: New Models, Values and Ideas Conference #RGFB2021 Thursday, July 22 2021, 9:30 am Toronto time (14.30 London) Register Here: https://reimaginingglobalfashionbusiness.webnode.com/ Reference List Appadurai, Arjun, ed. (1986) The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. N.p: Cambridge University Press. Aston, Jason; Owen Vipond, Kyle Virgin, Omar Youssouf 2020. “Retail E-commerce and COVID-19: How Online Shopping Opened Doors While Many WereRead more

“Cosmetics, Glamour and AIDS: Way Bandy, Scott Barrie and Halston”

“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe I presented “Cosmetics, Glamour and AIDS: Way Bandy, Scott Barrie and Halston” Thursday, July 1st at 1pm Toronto time for the Sartorial Society Series @SartorialSeries https://www.sartorialsocietyseries.com/ Here is the recording: https://www.sartorialsocietyseries.com/ My talk was part of week 5: Week Five: Trauma & the Legacies of Loss 1st July 2021 ​ Lucy Adlington (20-minute paper) The Apple-Green Gown: Ghosts of ADEFA and Nazi Germany ​ Mark O’Connell (20-minute paper)Read more

“Shocking Pink: Homophobia and Abject Marketing in the Digital Age” Conference Presentation: Fashion, Style & Queer Culture, May 20-22, 2021

I presented my research”Shocking Pink: Homophobia and Abject Marketing in the Digital Age” at the Fashion, Style & Queer Culture Conference: May 20-22, 2021 https://drexel.edu/fashion-style/ #queertheory #fashiontheory Conference Abstract: “Shocking Pink: Homophobia and Abject Marketing in the Digital Age” Conference Presentation: Fashion, Style & Queer Culture, May 20-22, 2021 Dolce & Gabanna recently got into hot water with an advertising campaign that was so unbelievably tone deaf and racist, that it caused substantial business losses in Asia, and virulent backlashRead more

Conference Presentations:

July 2021: (London UK) “The Hunger: Nascent Realities of Dematerialized Fashion Design & Consumption”  At the following conference: Re-Imagining Global Fashion Business: New Models, Values and Ideas, Thursday 22nd-Friday 23rd July 2021, Coventry University London. July 2021: (London U.K). “Cosmetics, Glamour and AIDS: Way Bandy, Scott Barrie and Halston” at theSartorial Society Series, U.K. Week 5: Trauma & the Legacies of Loss, 1st July 2021(Speakers: Lucy Adlington, Mark O’Connell & Kimberly Lamm) @SartorialSeries June 2021: (Cardiff, Wales) “Y Sin Embargo Te Quiero (And YetRead more

“Browsing the Virtual Boutique with Baudrillard: The New Realities of Online, Device-Based, Fashion Design & Consumption” (2021)

I have a new article “Browsing the Virtual Boutique with Baudrillard: The New Realities of Online, Device-Based, Fashion Design & Consumption” (2021) being published in the special publication: the 3rd Special Issue: In Pursuit of Luxury Journal in collaboration with the Journal of Design, Business & Society.  Abstract Contemporary engagement with fashion is with slick simulacra, daydreams, and digital fantasies; an impossible promise of a beautiful, de-corporealized perfection. The virtualizing of fashion consumption has in turn dematerialized garments completely. Although late to the party, the consumerRead more

Toller Cranston in San Miguel de Allende

    Normally I travel a great deal. For research, for pleasure, for the opportunity to meet new people, see new things. Not now. Since traveling is not currently an option, well not a good option anyway, I have taken the opportunity to travel back through my own journeys and to revisit some of the places I’ve been and things that I’ve seen. I’m living vicariously through myself (how meta).   This has actually proven to be surprisingly rewarding. OnRead more

Rich Relations: The Evolution and Uneasy Symbiosis of Art and Fashion

From its earliest roots, art was used to codify and communicate what is fashionable, powerful and luxurious. Recently, however, through institutional mega art projects like the Fondation LV and the Fondazione Prada, fashion seeks not just to legitimize itself, but to position itself as patron-cum-collaborator. Up until now the art world has been happy to take the money, but has been ambivalent towards the commercialization that co-branding brings. However, as the highest grossing exhibits at hallowed cultural institutions – like the McQueen retrospective at the Met – have been fashion based. It seems, as of late, the fashion industry has gone past sponsorship and now seems to be colonizing the environs of the art world itself. These new imbrications hold significance for a broad range of related topics such as creative appropriation, feminist theory, and issues of gendered representation and power. As such, the politics of criteria for inclusion and collection must now become a necessary aspect of the dialogue within fashion, art and museum studies, and the thinking that situates them as discrete entities that exist within autonomous domains irrelative to each other also needs to be challenged. This article explores the cartography between autonomous art culture, fashion marketing, and fashion exhibition, and the increased blurring of their overlapping borders. It also looks at the commercialization of the museum and fine art institutional domain.Read more

Modular Menswear

Highlights from my fashion label: Modular Menswear, a brand that focused on handworked knitwear, artisanal (local) tailored production, using gorgeous fabrics imported form Europe. active at the turn of the century!Read more

Publications & Lectures:

Techniques From the Time Before Us”: The Chilkat Dancing Blanket as a Safeguard of Canadian First Nations Culture  Sartorial Society Series, Week 3: Place Making 7 April, 2022 (20-minute paper) References: Albers, Anni, Nicholas Fox Weber, Manuel Cirauqui, and Tai Smith. 2017 [1965]. On weaving: new expanded edition. Princeton NJ, Princeton University Press. American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) Accessed September 1, 2019. https://anthro.amnh.org/collections Angeleti, Gabriella. 2017. “New York’s Natural History Museum Works with First Nation Community on Northwest CoastRead more

Sweetarts: The Politics of Exclusion, and Camping Out with Susan Sontag at the Met

“Sweetarts: The Politics of Exclusion, and Camping Out with Susan Sontag at the Met” (2019) Mark O’Connell “I have a confession to make, here, lean in a little closer, I’ll whisper it: I went to the Camp exhibition at the Met, fully expecting not to like it…”   Abstract:   Camp, historically a coded communication of queer identity has been recently dragged out of the closet and into the limelight with the exhibition “Camp, Notes on Fashion” (2019) at theRead more

“Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture” by Dr. Cheryl Thompson (Book Review)

Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture by Cheryl Thompson (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2019) Abstract With her recent publication Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture, Dr. Cheryl Thompson provides an in-depth exploration of the history and evolution of the Canadian beauty industry, in particular focusing on hair products for black consumers, but within this analysis has also brought in relevant and timely discussions concerning: politics of representation, accessRead more