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Notebook 2015

Editor Federica Muzzarelli


Monographic Essays

Giovanni Matteucci, Simmel on Fashion
Federica Muzzarelli, From Family Album to Snapshot Style
Chiara Pompa, Antagonistic Fashion. The Last Generations after Japanese Post-atomic Wave

Collection of Essays on Fashion and Creativity

Giovanni Emanuele Corazza, Sergio Agnoli, Sara Martello, Introducing Irrelevant Information in the Creative Process: the DIMAI model for Fashion Design
Nathalie Khan, Digital layers and masks in fashion photography and the work of Pierre Debusschere
Yuniya Kawamura, The Social Construction of Creativity in Fashion

The first “Cultures, Fashion and Society's Notebooks” contains some monographic essays (reflections on aesthetics, phenomenology and research between art and fashion) and a collection of contributions on the relationship between  Fashion and Creativity.

The initial monographic essay by Giovanni Matteucci, Simmel on Fashion, is an original philosophical reinterpretation of the famous contribution on fashion offered in its accomplished final version of 1911 by the German scholar. Such version (not available in English yet) is thoroughly examined by Giovanni Matteucci - scholar of Aesthetics at the University of Bologna - who, among other interesting observations, questions the widespread interpretation of Simmel as advocate of the well-known “trickle-down” phenomenon in the diffusion of fashion.

Matteucci, instead, proposes a fresh interpretation of Simmel’s thought based on fashion as a valued model of a special form of life, a paradigm of the constitution of social groups, which establish social relationships especially in the new metropolitan society that often break free from deep rooted contents.

Hence the various implications of the phenomenon of fashion, in the creation of identity and permeating function of the aesthetic, make careful reading of Simmel’s essay still useful.

Federica Muzzarelli’s critical essay, From Family Album to Snapshot Style, starts with the analysis of  the primary role of memory and links up mechanisms both in the identity of photographic sign, and artistic operations that use photography.

Muzzarelli, a scholar of  Photography Theory, starts from a reflection of the meaning and  the role of time in pioneering experiences while using photographic means. She investigates some social practices (the amateur  use of the camera during the Kodak era and family albums) in order to find in them the necessary introduction for the explosion in the XXth Century of the cultured and conceptual phenomena of art and fashion.

The  essay Antagonistic Fashion. The Last Generations after Japanese Post-atomic Wave, by a young scholar of the University of Bologna  - Chiara Pompa -  deals with the latest radical trends and current inclinations labelled  as anti-pop, anti-form, anti-glam, in a word, anti-fashion. The prefix “anti” is to be intended as a banner of contrast and opposition in respect to mainstream fashion canons.

Drawing from a methodological frame rooted in the phenomenology of styles, from which she borrows a historical-critical structure usually applied to the arts, Pompa marks the  trends of some designers’ latest generations (such as Carol Christian Poell,  Maurizio Altieri and  Rick Owens) who are on the same wavelength as that of the research started by Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake.

Finally, the essay collection entitled Fashion and Creativity originates from a topic of the Summer School that took place in June 2014 at Zonemoda - University of Bologna - Rimini Campus.

On that occasion, some of the most important international fashion scholars (on the basis of their different study perspectives and methodologies) faced the theme of relationships between the mechanism of creativity and the  economic-cultural fashion system. This was crucial but hard to classify.

Giovanni Emanuele Corazza (life and soul of the Marconi Institute for Creativity, - University of Bologna - where he works with his partners Sergio Agnoli e Sara Martello) proposes a vision of the creative process that is transversal and particular in that field. Then he embeds it in the specificity of Fashion Design which is characterized by the multi-level definition of clients’ needs as well as by special parameters to determine a product’s success during a particular season.

Nathalie Khan, who teaches fashion history and theory at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion, investigated the relationship between Pierre Debusschere’s artistic production, fashion films, “Dazed&Confused” editorials, and the transposition in images of Martin Margiela the creative genius.

Yuniya Kawamura - Fashion scholar and sociologist at the Fashion Institute of Technology - New York - studied in depth the reception and construction of creativity notions in fashion from a sociologic point of view.

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See also

Notebook 2017
Editor Ines Tolic
Notebook 2016
Editor Roy Menarini
Editorial and scientific board