The Psychopolitics of Fashion: Conflict and Courage Under the Current State of Fashion



What if fashion used to be a state? What sort of state would it be? Almost definitely not a democracy. Otto von Busch sees fashion as a totalitarian state, with a population all too eager to enact the decrees of its aesthetic superiority and deploy acts of judgment, micro-aggression, micro-violence, bullying, and passionate micro-fascism.

Using four design projects as case studies, Von Busch explores the violence and seductiveness of fashion and demystifies political and fashion theory at the subject. He proposes that violent fashion happens not only out of the country in arid cotton fields or collapsing factories, but within the on a regular basis practice of getting dressed, in judgments and rejections. Indeed, he suggests that feelings of inclusion and adoration are what make us feel the pleasure of being fashionable-of being seductive, popular, and powerful.

Exploring emotions associated with fashion in addition to the concept that of embodied experience, Von Busch posits that our totalitarian fashion state is bred out of fear, as consumers renounce their agency to be able to wield the power of superiority or to look down on those unworthy of their standing. Through these explorations, The Psychopolitics of Fashion offers new perspectives on fashion through the lens of politics, policing, identity production, and statehood, and even explores the implications of these findings for fashion design practitioners.

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