FASHIONING THE GLOBAL CITY
Guest Edited by Claudia Brazzale, Ph.D.
Institute for Research on Women
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Deadline December 15, 2011
“Fashioning the Global City” turns the focus of Streetnotes on the relationship between cities and fashion to explore how the cultural and material production of style informs and performs urban lives and places.
The fashion industry has historically drawn on the metropolis and its association with modernity to stir fascination and desire for novelty and change. Cities spatialize, ground, and give meaning to fashion by providing both its imagery and its physical and social context. Today cities are even more central to an increasingly global fashion system, serving as both sites of legitimation and concrete places from which to construct representations of urbanity.
If the dynamism of cities has long been recognized as a source of contemporary style, less attention is paid to how the fashion
industry/system has come to redefine the modern metropolis through its commodification, manufacturing, and circulation of urban style. We are interested in exploring how fashion remaps the cultural topography of cities and how urban culture feeds fashion’s cosmopolitan imagination.
We question how fashion comes to shape the urban landscape of global cities with its posters, ads, shows, and designer boutiques. What are the consequences of flagship stores in metropolises around the world? How do they serve as the fortified outposts of brands simultaneously promoting labels in key cosmopolitan centers while absorbing their urban edge? As Prada in New York (designed by Rem Koolhaas) and Romanticism in Hangzhou (designed by Sako Architects) produce spectacular and
experiential environments that have become tourist destinations on their own right, we question fashion’s role in urban renewal.
In this issue, we aim to explore how “street culture” intersects with fashion culture and industry, and examine how the implication these intersections perform contemporary urbanity. We ask how fashion systems transform images of historically marginalized communities such as the “hood” or “ghetto” into market trends? How are such communities constructed as sources of cosmopolitan fashion-style? And how is fashion, and the image of the metropolis transformed by such imagery?
We seek contributions which consider what contemporary fashion can tell us about the character of new metropolises and the dynamics of globalization? How do cities become stylish, and in turn, what of the urban is lost through the filter of commodified style? What kind of new geographical and urban configurations arise from the link between fashion culture and global cities? And, finally, what are the gender, class, race, and sexual politics of these new geographical and fashion configurations?
We invite scholarly essays, photography, descriptive poetry, and documentary analysis that explores the powerful relationships between fashion, cities, and urban culture as well those which address the role of fashion in shaping ideas of global urbanity and citizenship. We ask contributors to consider the ways in which these relationships are mediated and negotiated by the concrete conditions of production, local and intimate desires, and the processes of globalization.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
• Cities, urban lifestyles, subcultures, and fashion trends: Fashioning
cities versus fashion’s manufacturing of the urban.
• Urban fusion in fashion and the role of dress in connecting the urban
life-styles of different countries; especially in the appropriation of
marginal urban spaces (the hood, the ghetto, the barrio, and the favela).
• The ways in which fashion contributes, interferes with, or negates the
urban imaginary as it travels across global cities. How does fashion
extend and subvert urbanity?
• The class, gender, race, and sexual politics that the conjunction of
global cities and fashion performs, enacts, or enables. What kinds of
omissions are necessary to fashion global cities and urbanize fashion?
• The reproduction the metropolitan experience. How does fashion culture
performs the sights and sound of urban life in its communication?
• The role of new outlets of brands as shopping destinations and how
such outlets imagine and reconstruct the city.
• The particular life-styles, bodies, and environments that brands like
“Urban Outfitters,” “Abercrombie and Fitch,” and “Hollister” sell. How
do beach cultures or rural lifeworlds meet and shape city culture?
• The connection between fashion, art, and cities. How do museums’
retrospective shows of fashion designers, such as the recent Alexander
McQueen’s retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, serve
and impact cities?
• The role of globalization and the links between fashion capitals,
garment supply chains, and centers of production, consumption, and branding.
Submission deadline December 15, 2011
Papers should be submitted through the Streetnotes site at:
Inquires and questions about topics can be addresses to special issue
David Michalski, Editor