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

“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

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

The Ruins at Mitla, a Legacy of Proto Surface Design

On the advice of friends from the weaving community of Santa Ana del Valle, I visited the Zapotec architectural ruins at Mitla, about an hour from Oaxaca City, Mexico. Like many legacies of pre-Hispanic cultures much of the site was taken apart and used to build new buildings that supported the visual supremacy of conquering forces. What is significant however is what has been left. The walls of the ruins are made of decorative repeating motifs, or “grecas” in Spanish.Read more

Visiting the Studios of Zapotec Weavers in Santa Ana del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico

Carpets woven in Mexico today use design elements found at historical sites in the vicinity of their manufacture, and local indigenous weaving techniques function within an unbroken line of traditional familial wisdom. The weaving culture of the Zapotec Nation of Oaxaca now exists at the juncture of multivalent competing visual, economic and cultural mediators, which makes for a compelling case study to examine the impacts of globalization, as well as the preservation of creative and cultural autonomy. Textile weaving isRead more

Natural Dye Intensive: San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico

In February of 2019 I participated in a natural dye intensive taught by sustainable fashion designer and master dyer Nereida Bonmati of Naive Slow Fashion, at the Tlapanochestli Grana Cochinillia in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. During this fascinating and academically rigorous engagement with the practical application of natural dyes I learned about the following natural dyestuffs: pericone; brazilwood; huizache; cochineal; and añil (indigo). I also learned about the history of natural dyeing in Mexico, the history of cochineal (preRead more