Wednesday 26 September 2012

Fashioning the City conference at RCA London

Fashioning the City: Exploring Fashion Cultures, Structures, and Systems is an international inter-disciplinary conference, hosted at the Royal College of Art (RCA), London, from 19th-21st September 2012.
This conference, and its accompanying exhibition, seeks to consider, or perhaps reconsider, the changing and developing dynamics of the fashion industry in the 21st Century. The staging of this event comes at a highly significant time in the development of the fashion industry as the structures and systems of the industry as we know and recognise them today, based around a network of five ‘’Fashion Capitals’’, namely Paris, London, Milan, New York, and Tokyo, is being increasingly challenged by innovations in technology, processes of manufacturing, and a reconfiguration of what we have come to think of as ‘’Fashion Cities.’’
As Lise Skov and Marie Reigels Melchoir (2011) assert, the fashion industry today is becoming increasingly decentred and ‘’poly-centric.’’ For example, symptoms of this include images from catwalk shows which can now be broadcast live and disseminated globally, off-shore manufacturing puts into doubt the authenticity and true value of fashion products, is it still possible to trust labels such as ‘’Made in Italy’’ or ‘’Made in Britain’’?, while cities such as Amsterdam, Antwerp, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Dakar, Seoul or Sydney, amongst others, are increasingly asserting themselves as ‘’alternatives’’ to the ‘’Big Five’’ Fashion Capitals, with their own distinct fashion cultures.

Investigating the cultures, structures, and systems of the fashion industry the aim of this conference and exhibition is be both a catalyst to (re)considering these cultures, structures and systems and to act as a platform to create an open, interdisciplinary forum in which such matters can be debated.

Special Guest Speakers Included: 
- Professor Amanda Bill, Massey University, New Zealand
- Kathryn Ferguson, Fashion Film Maker, UK
Lynne Murray, Brand Director, Holition, UK
- Branko Popovic and Nawie Kuiper, FASHIONCLASH Foundation, the Netherlands
- Dr. Marie Reigels Melchior, Designmuseum Danmark, Denmark
- Stefan Siegel, Founder/Owner, Not Just A Label, UK
- Professor Lise Skov, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
- Professor Julie Sommerlund, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts – School of Design, Denmark 
- Kaat Debo, director at MoMu Antwerp 
Professor Wendy Dagworthy, RCA London

This conference and exhibition is a project of Nathaniel Dafydd Beard, writer and curator, and currently PhD Candidate in the Department of Fashion and Textiles, School of Material, at the Royal College of Art.

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