On the website for his eponymous luxury fashion label, Telfar Clemens says of his products: “It’s not for you—it’s for everyone.” Eschewing conventional markers of luxury production, Clemens underwrites this claim through TELFAR’s “Bag Security Program,” which aims to curb the speculative resale market while ensuring equitable access to products ranging from handbags to durags. In the case of TELFAR, accessibility is figured not only through an intersectional analysis of race and class but also through the logics of self-fashioning. If the New York Times proclaimed 2021 “The Year of Telfar,” what remains on the fashion frontier for 2022 and beyond? If accessibility is at the forefront of the mission of luxury fashion houses, how do we assess this apparent paradox? Are accessibility and luxury necessarily paradoxical? If not, how do we understand them, especially in regards to self-fashioning?
For our 35th issue, InVisible Culture welcomes submissions that engage with a broad range of ethical concerns in the history of fashion, including both the production and reproduction of objects and the corollary production of selves, bodies, and communities. Questions of “access” may be filtered through a prism of material, social, and ideological frames that are continuously fractured and unresolved. There are increasing calls for accessibility for brands to maintain transparency in terms of their ethics, production, and political ties. But what are the consequences of accessibility? Transparency does not resolve the ubiquity of low wages, unsafe labor conditions, and exploitation of workers in the production and selling of fashion. From the violent conditions and consequences of the trans-Atlantic cotton trade or sweatshops in the Global South to contemporary discourses surrounding “fast fashion,” the liberatory potential of “self-fashioning” are often complicated by material realities. Nevertheless, there is an undeniable drive to dress that permits, at best, the celebration of identity and community. Where do we find ourselves, then, in front of our closets, our mirrors, our Instagram profiles, or archives of dress?
We invite scholarship that engages with fashion studies and history, critical disability studies, postcolonialism, Marxist theory, Black studies, queer studies, feminism and gender studies, material culture, textile and craft, art history, and visual studies. Further, submissions can be from any geographical area and historical period.
Contributions to this issue may address (but are by no means limited to) the following topics and themes:
- The methods and prohibitions of accessing fashion
- The politics and ethics of eco-fashion and/or fast-fashion
- (Re)production and labor
- Fashion and authenticity
- The intersection of race, aesthetics, and fashion
- The drive to redefine luxury
- Fashion in times of crisis
- Theories and philosophies of fashioning the self
- Fashion as it is represented in art, media, and visual culture
- The historical legacies of fashion houses and brands
- Fashion, capitalism, and neoliberalism
- Fashion and colonialism
- Ownership and cultural theft
- Religion, heritage, and tradition
- Temporality of trends
Please send completed papers (with references following the guidelines from the Chicago Manual of Style) of between 4,000 and 10,000 words to email@example.com by June 30th, 2022. Inquiries should be sent to the same address.
In addition to written materials, InVisible Culture is accepting works in other media (video, photography, drawing, code) that reflect upon the theme as it is outlined above. Please submit creative or artistic works along with an artist statement of no more than two pages to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions or more details concerning acceptable formats, go to http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu/contribute or contact the same address.
InVisible Culture is also currently seeking submissions for book, exhibition, and film reviews (600-1,000 words). For this issue we particularly encourage authors to submit reviews of games or other forms of interactive media. To submit a review proposal, go to http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu/contribute or contact email@example.com.
The journal also invites submissions to its Dialogues blog, which will accommodate more immediate responses to the topic of the current issue. Dialogues serves as a platform for short-form pieces (700-1000 words) that fall under two categories: 1) those that do not fit within the journal’s other sections and/or 2) those whose urgency demands a swift publication. For further details, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading “Dialogues submission.”
InVisible Culture (IVC) is a student-run interdisciplinary journal published online twice a year in an open access format. Through peer reviewed articles, creative works, and reviews of books, films, and exhibitions, our issues explore changing themes in visual culture. Fostering a global and current dialog across fields, IVC investigates the power and limits of vision.