Am I Worth It?

Fashion Cultures Parsons


The Passion System[1]

In Pascism: The Fashion of Passionate Micro-Fascism, Professor Otto Von Busch described the fashion system as “the inter-human protocol of stereotypical judgment of others by fashion and appearance, normalizing violent microaggressions,” or simply “the desiring machine.”[2] His words highlight the fact that everybody is graciously invited to the fashion wonderland and is happy to judge others according to their appearance, but we, the wearers, are constantly judged by our friends and enemies at the same time.

Today, I wanted to share my personal experience of microaggressions to reemphasize that we should stop normalizing what Otto described during his presentation “Fashion Frictions”: direct violence, structural violence, and cultural violence. After I moved to New York last year, I sometimes received comments in public. Most of them were compliments, but a few were unintended judgments, which made me feel uncomfortable. They gave their opinions based on…

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Who Has The Power In Fashion?

Fashion Cultures Parsons


Vogue Editors Unite In Japan[1]

In Vestoj: On Fashion and Power, Anja Aronowsky-Cronberg described the link between power, social discipline, conformity and fashion as “often so entrenched that existing norms are beyond our discernment, causing us to often regulate and control ourselves without any deliberate coercion from others.”[2] Her words emphasized the fact that, unconsciously, we have become part of the fashion industry’s power hierarchy. Nonetheless, one might well ask: who has the real power in the so-called fashion system?

It is unlikely that journalists, editors, bloggers, and scholars exert any real power in the present day.[3] Realistically, power belongs to the big brands that monopolize the market. These brands use their power to create desire and compel advertisers and editors to seduce consumers. However, what is the role of fashion designers in this game? Are they still at the top of the pyramid? Unfortunately, the answer…

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The Joy of Creating – Rethink Fashion as the Locus of Self-expression

Fashion Cultures Parsons

Professor Pascale Gatzen’s description of fashion as “a mode of human togetherness amplifies the abundant and vibrant reality in which we share ourselves…moving beyond binaries, beyond duality” in Take Back Fashion: Fashion As Common stuck me as particularly intriguing this week, because it emphasized the fact that the initial and pure joy of making clothes is missing in capitalistic society (or what she called capital production) nowadays.[1] When she conducted a two-week workshop with museum guards at Art Tower Mito in Japan that questioned the idea of the museum uniform, this project resonates with her statement.

I agree that not only fashion designers, but also everyone, should rethink fashion as the locus of self-expression. Although Gatzen was trained in formal and well-known fashion institutions in Europe, she stepped back from mainstream fashion and went down a simple but sort of unrealistic path upon which there exists no ownership. I…

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