“Items: Is Fashion Modern?” at the MOMA

Visited the “Items: Is Fashion Modern” Exhibition at MOMA which is described on the museum website as an exhibit that “explores the present, past—and sometimes the future—of 111 items of clothing and accessories that have had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries—and continue to hold currency today”. Some of these items are of modern vintage like Levi’s 501s, the Breton shirt, and “the Little Black Dress”, and there also ancient and “culturally charged” items likeRead more

Second Hand News: Cultural and Economic Messages Encoded in the Consumption of Used Garments

Second Hand News: Cultural and Economic Messages Encoded in the Consumption of Used Garments Mark O’Connell@2015 no reproduction without permission Velvet fragments with Medici arms, 1440–1500 http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/46.156.118 ABSTRACT: Adoption and re-use of textiles and garments has been practiced by all textile-producing cultures. The manner of consumption of second hand clothes has been dictated and redefined by cultural directives specific to where the practice was taking place. Prevailing cultural, classist and economic factors can change how a second-hand garment will beRead more

Set Dressing: Courbet’s “L’Atelier du Peintre” and the Power of Fashion

“Studio Dressing: Courbet’s ‘L’Atelier du Peintre’ and the Power of Fashion” Gustave Courbet : “L’Atelier du Peintre. Allégorie Réelle Déterminant une Phase de Sept Années de ma Vie Artistique (The Artist’s Studio. A Real Allegory of A Seven-Year Phase of My Artistic Life)” (1855), Collection Musée D’Orsay, Paris. “I have studied, outside any system and without prejudice, the art of the ancients and the art of the moderns. I no more wanted to imitate the one than to copy the other;Read more

From Versailles to the Ganges, Dress as a Form of Sartorial Nationalism

From Versailles to the Ganges, Dress as a Form of Sartorial Nationalism, Mark O’Connell@2015 No Reproduction without permission “We should not ask ‘what is a nation’ but rather […] How does nation work as a practical category, as classificatory scheme, as cognitive frame? What makes the use of that category by or against states more or less resonant or effective? What makes the nation-evoking, nation-invoking efforts of political entrepreneurs more or less likely to proceed” Rogers Brubaker quoted in: PatriotsRead more

Glamour is Not Gamine

Glamour is not Gamine: Thoughts on the Construction of Modern and Historical Glamour ”Adorned with the most modern artifices, beautified according to the newest techniques, she comes down from the remoteness of the ages, from Thebes, from Crete, from Chichén-Itzá; and she is also the totem set up deep in the African jungle; she is a helicopter and she is a bird; and there is this, the greatest wonder of all: under her tinted hair the forest murmur becomes aRead more

Habitus to Tribe, the Evolution of the Dissemination of Style

https://www.flickr.com/photos/markoconnellstudio/21400834923/ Digital painting: Men’s Corset by Gaultier, Mark O’Connell, 2014 Habitus to Tribe, the Evolution of the Dissemination of Style Mark O’Connell@2015 No reproduction without permission “The feature of “modernity” in fashion is especially significant. Fashion is always modern; it always seeks to keep abreast of the times. It is sensitive to the movement of current developments as they take place in its own field, in adjacent fields, and in the larger social world.” Herbert Blumer (1969, 283). Abstract: “CanRead more

Conquest by Consumption: Fashion as a Colonial Agent

Conquest by Consumption: Fashion as a Colonial Agent @Mark O’Connell 2015, no reproduction without permission “As a society becomes increasingly affluent, wants are increasingly created by the process by which they are satisfied…. Wants thus come to depend on output. In technical terms, it can no longer be assumed that welfare is greater at an all-round higher level of production than at a lower one. It may be the same. The higher level of production has, merely, a higher levelRead more