Research Approaches to the Study of Dress and Fashion

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Research Approaches to the Study of Dress and Fashion

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Title: Research Approaches to the Study of Dress and Fashion
Author: Skov, Lise; Melchior, Marie Riegels
Abstract: Dress and fashion are rich and varied fields of study. Some scholars refer to them as ‘hybrid subjects’ because they bring together different conceptual frameworks and disciplinary approaches, including those from anthropology, art history, cultural studies, design studies, economics, history, literature, semiotics, sociology, visual culture and business studies. Invariably, such a pervasive phenomenon as dress has always been the subject of much commentary. Since the late 19th century, there has been no scarcity of research, but studies have been somewhat sporadic and tended to stay within these bounds of their own disciplines. From the 1960s to the 1990s, the leading educational institutions with words like dress and fashion in their titles, were, firstly, design schools and technical training institutions, servicing the industry, and secondly, institutes devoted to the study of dress history, directed as museums. It was only in the last decades of the 20th century that various approaches were integrated across disciplines and institutions so that it became possible to talk about something like ‘fashion studies’, reflected by the emergence of research centres, academic journals and graduate programmes with such heading. However, both the term, and what it is perceived to represent, is contested; while some scholars and institutions endorse ‘fashion studies’, others reject it or distance themselves from it.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/7766
Date: 2009-04-07

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