Fashion Seen as Something Imitative and Foreign

British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (1):1-19 (2008)
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Abstract

Philosophers have recently begun to write about fashion in dress. They acknowledge that philosophy traditionally ignored the subject altogether or else disparaged fashion. They do not observe that those past philosophers who slighted fashion characterized it as mass imitativeness; but in fact that one-sided characterization is what permitted commentators to overlook innovativeness in fashion. Indeed the figure of the foreigner that recurs in philosophical remarks about fashion only makes sense given a reading of fashion as imitative uniformity. The foreigner becomes a deus ex machina accounting for the newness in fashion that the imitative model renders otherwise inexplicable.

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Nickolas Pappas
City College of New York (CUNY)

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