This 5-day course addresses the current state of the fashion system and its various players. The participants will discuss how politics, culture, and society influence fashion photography, fashion journalism, fashion production, and consumption. The course offers insights into the cultural aspect of fashion, as well as a holistic view of the industry aided by non-western perspectives.
Along with these issues, we will discuss the rise of postcolonial feminist viewpoints in fashion journalism and fashion styling. The challenges to the industry posed by increasingly grave matter like climate change, the connections between fashion politics and politics in the past decades. Thus, the participants will discuss how access to public space is negotiated in fashion; how fashion serves to both re-assign and challenge appropriate gender identities; how fashion defines power and powerlessness; how age, ethnicity, race express through fashion.
Relying on visual examples, academic texts, and textual analysis of fashion publications, the students will attempt to form a critical evaluation of the fashion system and look beyond the current moment, creating a prognosis for the future of the fashion industry delving into trend predicting.
This course will be a useful exercise for art and design students, as well as students in Art History, Sociology, and Gender Studies. By the end of the course, the students will submit their concept for a research project addressing one of the issues discussed during the course. The choice of the format for the research project will be up to the students: it can be a proposal of an art piece, article, styling, or photography project with clearly outlined aims, research goals, and concept. As part of the workshop, there will be talks with the industry’s experts, arranged visits to some of Berlin’s seminal art and design spaces, venture out to the museums. The key aspect of the course will be seminar-style discussions, as well as one-on-one talks with the teacher.
Ira Solomatina is a Berlin-based writer. She holds M.A. in Cultures and Literature of South- and Southeast Asia (Moscow State University) and Modern South- and Southeast Asian Studies (Berlin Humboldt University). Since 2018, she is an external Ph.D. student at the University of Amsterdam.
Ira curates content for brands and magazines and contributes to a number of publications on art, culture, and fashion in Europe and Russia. She has worked with renowned magazines such as Artguide Magazine, Vogue Russia Online, Sleek Magazine, GQ Russia, Moscow-based Theory of Fashion, and Munich-based Mytheresa. As a freelance researcher, whose interests span issues of cultural appropriation and fashion globalization, she also works with universities and fashion schools across Europe. Since August 2018, Ira has been working as a freelance editor for Brand Marketing at Zalando, giving lectures at London College of Fashion for BA Fashion Styling, and working as a research tutor at the University of Arts in Berlin for MA Fashion Design.