Dress and Body Association Annual Conference 5.-6. November 2022
The Beginner’s Mind: Asking and Telling About Dress Studies
Panel 2: Dress and Fashion in Academic Contexts
Linda Schraner & Dagmar Venohr
Dagmar Venohr: Searching for an appropriate way to teach fashion, constantly more and more question marks appear. To me, asking already begins with questioning terms, that increasingly have no more adequate equivalent in the contemporary practice of fashion design. As a dressmaker and fashion scientist I never separated practice and theory. However, I now realize that the critical and analytical language of fashion theory completely fails to capture the essence of dress at all. So how can I teach, research or write fashion now?
Linda Schraner: Out of a frustration about the fashion system, which defines the good in terms of profit rather than in terms of human need, I refused working on a standardised dress form for my bachelor thesis in fashion design. I was searching for a design method which seeks to embrace the individual, sensual and intimate more. The starting point of each piece was a body print of the intended wearer, which allowed me to let the traces of the body directly flow into the pattern making. From this point of view, dress becomes a prophetic extension of the body, a kind of incorporation.
On the concrete example of Lindas creative research into the design process, Dagmar will illustrate her theoretical point of view, why the term ‚fashion‘ is not fitting any longer. Dagmar’s arguments against ‚fashion‘ as we currently know it seem to be embodied in Linda’s design process and pieces.
By using quotes, photos, film sequences and some materials and designs, we would like to exchange ideas, share doubts and raise even more questions around our way of thinking body and dress as an indissoluble interaction.