1981
Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-4417
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4425

Abstract

Fashion enchants, engrosses, caresses, itches, restrains, liberates, enfolds, reveals, protects and provokes. This article researches fashion’s ability to affect, and vice versa, how humans are affected by fashion. The first part introduces the main tenets of affect theory, while the second part of the article focuses on the pragmatics of affective method. We understand affect as both an autonomous force and a neurobiological bodily response to a trigger that offsets feelings and emotions. To practically engage with affective experiences and the bodily sensations, feelings and emotions they evoke, we use Laura U. Marks’s affective analysis as a a method. We describe our experiments with this affective method using two case studies: a couture dress designed by Dutch fashion designer Jan Taminiau and a simple T-shirt produced by fast fashion giant Primark. The case studies illustrate the affective qualities of fashion by researching embodied responses, feelings and emotions. The affective method aims to circumvent representation by focusing on the body and how it relates to what fashion can ‘do’. It also allows for a sustained focus on the materiality of the fashion object itself. The article argues that affective method is a valuable and compelling tool that can break open material fashion research, by foregrounding the embodied experiences, feelings and emotions that play a key role in our relationship with fashion.

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2021-12-01
2023-02-03
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