Key Concepts for the Fashion Industry PDF by Andrew Reilly


Key Concepts for the Fashion Industry
by Andrew Reilly

Key concepts for the fashion industry

List of Illustrations viii
Acknowledgements x
1 Overview 1
Introduction to theory 1
Why use theory? 9
Methods of inquiry 10
What is fashion? 12
Who has fashion? 14
Fashioning the body 16
The tipping point 18
Semiotics 19
Modern, postmodern, post- postmodern 19
Organization of text 23
Boxed case 1.1: Rudd/Lennon model of body aesthetics 25
Boxed case 1.2: Maslow’s hierarchy and fashion 26
Boxed case 1.3: Fashion is a meme 26
Summary 27
Key Terms 27
Discussion questions 28
Learning activities 28
Notes 28
Further reading 29
2 Fashion and the Individual 31
The Public, Private, and Secret Self 33
Body image 35
Aesthetic perception and learning 38
Shifting Erogenous Zones 40
Historic Continuity theory 45
Symbolic Interaction theory 47
Boxed case 2.1: One individual starts a trend 49
Boxed case 2.2: Fashion leaders: Celebrities and fashion 51
Summary 52
Key Terms 52
Discussion questions 52
Learning activities 53
Further reading 53
3 Fashion and Society 55
Trickle Down theory 57
Trickle Up theory 62
Scarcity/Rarity 64
Conspicuous consumption 68
Political use of fashion 71
Boxed case 3.1: Cinderella’s glass slipper 75
Boxed case 3.2: Ethics focus: The diamond monopoly 76
Summary 76
Key Terms 77
Discussion questions 77
Learning activities 77
Notes 78
Further reading 78
4 Fashion and Culture 79
Zeitgeist 80
Spatial diffusion 84
Subcultural or style tribes/collective behavior 86
Cultural authentication 90
Fashion as modernity 92
Boxed case 4.1: Yakuza as subcultural style and spatial
diffusion 96
Boxed case 4.2: Ethics focus: Akihiko Izukura 97
Summary 98
Key Terms 98
Discussion questions 98
Learning activities 98
Notes 99
Further reading 99
5 The Fashion System 101
Market Infrastructure theory 102
Trickle Across theory 103
Innovation theory 104
Historic resurrection 107
Branding 110
Boxed case 5.1: Ethics focus: Knock- offs 113
Boxed case 5.2: New technology of body fashions 116
Summary 116
Key Terms 116
Discussion questions 117
Learning activities 117
Notes 117
Further reading 117
6 Conclusion 119
One phenomenon, many theories 120
Fashion blunders 121
Boxed case 6.1: Ethics focus: Offensive fashion 125
Boxed case 6.2: Classics can have fashionable details too 126
Summary 128
Discussion questions 128
Learning activities 128
Notes 129
Further reading 129
Bibliography 131
Index 139

Chapter 1
1.1 Man wearing a suit backwards 3
1.2 The stock market and hemlines 7
1.3 The fashion life- cycle 14
1.4 Panier and corset from the 18th century 17
1.5 Cartoon lampooning the semiotic nature of dress 20
1.6 Reverie by Roy Lichtenstein 21
1.7 Bracelet made from children’s Matchbox cars 22
1.8 The Rudd/Lennon model of body aesthetics 25
Chapter 2
2.1 Unique styles can ignite a trend 32
2.2 Damhorst’s model of the many infl uences on clothing meaning 39
2.3 The Theory of Shifting Erogenous Zones: the back 41
2.4 The Theory of Shifting Erogenous Zones: the shoulder 42
2.5 The Theory of Shifting Erogenous Zones: the leg 43
2.6 Graph illustrating the width of men’s jacket lapels in the
20th century 46
2.7 The Nivi style of sari 50
2.8 Reb’l Fleur by singer Rihanna 51
Chapter 3
3.1 Man exhibiting bad taste by wearing socks with sandals 56
3.2 The fashion of the Teddy Boys 60
3.3 Levi Strauss denim jeans were the work wear of miners in 1882 63
3.4 This bracelet is considered valuable because it is made
with diamonds 65
3.5 The Halston brand lost value when Halston III for J. C. Penney
was offered to consumers 67
3.6 Luxury designer brands are recognized as being expensive 69
3.7 The Sans Culottes of the French Revolution were identifi ed
by their clothing 73
Chapter 4
4.1 The Amish wear traditional clothes that do not change from
season to season 80
4.2 This 1949 Dior ensemble was made in the New Look style 82
4.3 Marc Jacobs’ grunge collection for Perry Ellis 85
4.4 The cast of the American television series “Jersey Shore” 87
4.5 The fashionable Australian Akubura hat and oil- cloth jacket 89
4.6 This comic by Jen Sorensen illustrates the irony of the Nerd or
Geek Chic style 90
4.7 This holok uˉ from the 1900s exemplifi es the concept of cultural
authentication 93
4.8 Yakuza- style irezumi sleeves demonstrate a fashion trend 97
Chapter 5
5.1 The availability of cultured pearls made them a classic
wardrobe staple 106
5.2 Fashion designers often look to the past: 1890s men’s shoes 108
5.3 Fashion designers often look to the past: Varvatos shoes in
the late 2000s 108
5.4 Gap returned to their iconic blue and white logo after a new
logo backlash 112
5.5 The unique design of the Hermès Birkin bag 114
5.6 Hermès Birkin bag knock-offs 115
Chapter 6
6.1 Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice of York were ridiculed for
their wedding hats 124
6.2 The keffi yeh scarf became a controversial fashion item 125
6.3 Converse shoes often have fashionable elements that change 127
6.4 Details from three trench coats 127

Introduction to theory
In Paris a fashion designer is sketching a new collection. At a convention in Las Vegas a buyer is looking among more than one thousand vendors to select dresses to sell in a boutique in Miami. In London a forecaster is analyzing data to predict the fashion trends three years from now. In Shanghai a merchandiser is preparing a report to propose the fashion direction for a popular chain of budget- priced retail stores throughout Asia. Each of these people is an expert in their fi eld and each person will use a framework or principles of fashion to guide their decisions. The fashion designer will lower the hemline of dresses by two inches because she understands the directional nature of fashion. The buyer will scout for merchandise that is unique and exclusive because his customers desire to look different from other people. The forecaster will examine the social movements to make a prediction because she understands how society impacts trends. And, the merchandiser will fl ood the market with a few styles because he understands that if businesses offer a limited number of styles there is greater chance of them becoming a trend . Each of these people makes logical choices based on established principles and concepts of fashion.

The word theory is derived from the ancient Greek word theoria which meant “to look at or view.” Greek philosophers would “look at” a situation and try to fi nd an explanation for it. In scientifi c terms today theories are a framework for thinking about, examining, or interpreting something.

We can examine behaviors, actions, occurrences, works, and any other tangible or intangible phenomena. Theories are made of different parts that contribute to the total understanding. Part of the theory might be true while other parts might not have support, but it does not necessarily change the theory as a whole. “Like fashion itself, the theories that explain fashion movement are constantly revised and refi ned” (Brannon, 2005, p. 82). By analogy, a garment that is made up of a bodice, skirt, collar, sleeves, and cuffs is called a dress . However, if you take off the cuffs it is still called a dress, or if you add a pocket it is still a dress. Changing part of the whole does not invalidate the whole.

Theories are divided into three categories based on their scope of explanation: grand, middle- range, and substantive (Merriam, 1988). Grand theories are very broad, all- inclusive, universal and are useful for organizing other ideas; they offer general ideas, such as Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Middle- range theories do not attempt to explain such overarching phenomenon as do grand theories but rather concentrate on limited phenomena; one could argue that the theory of collective behavior (i.e., that fashion trends are inspired by specifi c groups of people with unique aesthetic styles; further explained in Chapter 4) is a middle- range theory. And substantive theories offer ideas and reasons in a narrow setting, such as the reasons for Japanese immigrants to adopt westernized clothing in Honolulu, Hawai’i in the 1920s.

Theories often come from concepts or laws. A concept is a general abstract idea; the idea of fashion —adoption of trends for a specifi c time period—is a concept. A law is a simple, basic description of phenomena that is undoubtedly true. The explanation of or why the phenomena occurs is a theory. A theory surmises or postulates why it happens. A theory is sometimes referred to as a theoretical framework . This is different from a conceptual framework , where the specifi c relationships between variables are detailed. A conceptual framework is nested within or based on the theoretical framework. For example, a theoretical framework might be that people tattoo their bodies to mark rites of passage. A conceptual framework will use this theory and examine specifi c variables—how do age, social rank, economics, and gender affect tattooing? Throughout this text you will fi nd many examples of theoretical frameworks and conceptual frameworks.

Theories are developed from hypotheses. Hypotheses are educated guesses based on observation. Hypotheses can never be proven, only supported or rejected. When a hypothesis has been supported by numerous tests it becomes a theory. There is no guideline as to how many tests it takes to transform a hypothesis into a theory; rather, that decision is left up to the community studying it after they have determined they have exhausted all possible variations of the hypothesis.

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