CFP: ‘Fashion and Materiality’ Special Issue of the journal Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty

Whilst the fashion system persists over time, the relative fashionability of an item of clothing is, by definition, ephemeral; the knowledges and transient meanings that are seen to constitute fashion would seem to be at odds with a focus upon materiality of items of clothing.
Even if items wear down and change, their material persists for longer than they are fashionable. However, this special issue will engage with understandings of materiality not only in terms of persistences and endurances, but also in terms of transformations and material processes. The emphasis then will be upon how fashion is materialised, and conversely, how clothing is immaterialised. Paradoxically, even if the immaterial sense of ‘being in fashion’ can be detached from a specific garment, often it is the very materiality of clothing that was necessary to the creation and connotations of fashionability in the first place. The processes through which they come about are no longer present in consumption; their presence in/as fashion is their materiality.
Centring on the core question of how fashion is made material and how clothing is rendered immaterial, papers are invited in, but not restricted to, the following areas: The way in which items of clothing are visualised or images are materialised. The temporalities of fashion and of clothing. The consequences of materiality in terms of sustainability. How relationships to the materiality of clothing has changed over time (including in a ‘fast fashion’ era). Sensory effects and the tactility etc. of clothing.
The length of papers is negotiable; images are welcomed. Please send proposals for papers in the form of an abstract of between 500 and 1000 words, to Tom Fisher ( and Sophie Woodward ( by June 14th 2013. Full drafts should be ready by 2nd September 2013.