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Modern Fashion Traditions

Negotiating Tradition and Modernity through Fashion


M. Angela Jansen and Jennifer Craik (eds)

978-1-4742-2952-4 (online)
978-1-4742-2949-4 (hardback)
978-1-4742-2947-0 (paperback)
978-1-4742-2951-7 (epdf)
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Modern Fashion Traditions is a provocative exploration of the phenomenon of fashion that is found in non-western cultures that are developing fashion cities and spaces of consumption in contradistinction to mainstream ‘western’ fashion. To date, insofar as non-western fashion (as opposed to dress) has been studied, non-western fashion has been regarded as a product of globalization and the pervasive spread of western fashion rather than as separate fashion systems with their own logics, tensions and histories. In particular, this volume examines the similarities and differences within and between these self-contained yet dynamic and dialectical fashion systems that can be found in a wide range of non-western regions and contexts. The overarching framework used to explore this phenomenon problematizes the key oppositions conventionally used to describe fashion in non-Eurocentric contexts, namely: tradition and modernity, continuity versus change, local versus global, commodification versus self-expression, and self orientalism versus nationalism; above all, the volume challenges the assumption of fashion as ‘the West versus the Rest’.

The chapters in Modern Fashion Traditions bring together case studies from diverse contexts that are cultural powerhouses with distinctive fashion systems including Japan, China, India, Bhutan, Turkey, Africa and Australia to challenge preconceptions about non-western fashion. Throughout, authors question the assumption of tradition as the foundation of non-western dress habits, instead arguing that there are dynamic interplays and re-workings of mainstream global fashion to carve out unique and robust fashion cultures and subcultures with distinctively local references. Furthermore, these defy the usual assumptions about the phenomenon of fashion and the defining role of Euro-centrism as overriding Orientalism and Otherness in the forging of powerful fashion cultures and identities.