Fashion in the expanded field: strategies for critical fashion

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Published in: The end of fashion: selected refereed abstracts. Hilary Radner and Vicki Karaminas (eds.). University of Otago. ISBN: 9780473374921.

This paper focuses on current strategies for critical fashion practices in an expanded field of fashion. In the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century, the field of fashion studies has increasingly scrutinized the relationship between fine art and fashion within an art museum context. Drawing a parallel with Rosalind Krauss’ notion of sculpture in the expanded field (Krauss 1979), this paper documents the development of interdisciplinary fashion practices since the early 1990s, suggesting that an expanded field allows fashion practitioners to engage in a critical discussion of the fashion system. As a fashion practitioner focusing on non-productivist interdisciplinary techniques across multiple media (the fashion film, sculpture, installation, and performance), I test this notion by developing parallels between contemporary fashion and Krauss' 1979 diagnosis. Most literature connecting fashion and art focuses on defining this relationship. Some authors (Geczy and Karaminas 2012) discuss the evolution of fashion image-makers throughout the twentieth century as having moved from depicting perfection and elegance to articulating fashion’s ephemerality via digital media formats. In this context, according to Robyn Healy, the cinematic/video apparatus has given fashion designers and curators the possibility to construct atmospheric environments and facilitated interdisciplinary practices, where clothes are presented as part of a larger work signifying the fashion idea (Healy 2013). With the advent of the digital age amidst growing concerns regarding sustainability and the fast fashion system, could this mean the end of a certain form of fashion related to production and consumption? Indeed, a postmodern understanding of fashion might suggest open-ended explorations of a possible new role for the designer within a post-product society (Margolin 1998). This paper argues for the relevance of establishing theories of interdisciplinary practice to better understand the contemporary field of fashion, challenging assumptions about fashion’s role in the twenty-first century.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016
EventThe End of Fashion: An International Conference - College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 8 Dec 20169 Dec 2016


ConferenceThe End of Fashion
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address


  • critical fashion practice
  • practice-based research
  • fashion film
  • , expanded field of fashion


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