Feeling fashion by Adele Joy Varcoe

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Feeling Fashion is a proposition for a new kind of fashion practice employing ‘selfing’, scoring and drawing to interrogate, isolate and feel fashion through my body and the bodies of others. Informed by ideas that fashion is “the invisible elements included in clothing” (Kawamura 2005), is “beyond the objects that materialise it” (Marchetti 2007) and is a “social animal” (Mallarme 1933), this research proposes that fashion is something we feel, rather than see. The research questions how fashion affects social relations between people. If fashion can be understood as immaterial or invisible how does a fashion practitioner go about making fashion?

The presented research projects are positioned between fashion performance and participatory art. A longitudinal project Jumpsuit Girl involved me wearing a jumpsuit as my only attire for four years as a means to provoke interactions, questioning and curiosity from you, and a series of auto-ethnographic insights for the research. These interactions were further unpacked, interrogated and felt through a series of event-based projects referred to as fashion situations titled Spotsville, Just Looking, Feelings of Undress and Wardrobe Swap. I worked with large groups of people to fashion situations and introduced garments and actions into existing situations to observe how they affect social interaction. Through these projects three new methods of practice emerged: selfing, scoring and drawing. These methods allowed me to draw out, feel and reflect on lived experiences. The research has generated insights into how one might feel fashion, and how I can practice as a designer by engaging more deeply with the experience of feeling fashion.

Year: 2016
Examiners:  Prof Chris Braddock, Dr Sally Gray  Supervisors:  Assoc Professor Mick Douglas, Assoc Professor Jessica Bugg

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