From Fashion Models to Fashion Workers: Towards a Double-Edged Feminist, New-Materialist Vision on Fashion.
Uden, E. van
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This thesis presents a feminist new materialist analysis of fashion. Fashion has historically developed into a major player in late-capitalist, postmodern society. In academia, cultural theories of fashion have produced interesting and constructive insights. The position of the knowledge produced in this thesis is a valuable contribution to this body of theory, but is also critical towards the image-led approaches. The thesis is written from a feminist new materialist perspective that literally transforms how we see fashion not as an image, but, as materialized and produced in the enfolding of matter and language. This research offers insights in a relating industry that facilitates the construction of fashion: the modeling industry. A critical creative theory of fashion modeling provides helpful insights into a type of job that is highly differentiated, not only in the sense of ‘objective’ job characteristics but also in other, less visible aspects of labor that contribute to the performance and practice of becoming fashion’s intelligible body. “From fashion models to fashion’s workers” signifies a personal dedication to view fashion modeling as labor or ‘work’ and thereby unsettle fixed views on fashion.