CFP: Display: The Places and Spaces of Fashion (6/15/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
John Potvin
contact email: 


The editor invites essays for a book which explores
the relationship(s) between identity, display, space,
and fashion. Recently, we have witnessed the global
expansion of more spectacular and grandeur designer
boutiques with designers collaborating with famed
architects to become cutting-edge places of innovation
and spectacle, while numerous exhibitions and
institutions have lent their spaces to explore the
visual and material cultures of fashion. Never before
has fashion played such a pivotal role in the
cultural, social, and private lives of some many. Yet
the spaces and places which allow all this to take
place remain obscured functioning simply as backdrops
when in fact they are pivotal to the creation of
meaning and the very notion and function of display.
While there is a rich and significant body of work
which has interrogated the practices of shopping and
fashion as object of consumption, critical attention
has viewed the places and spaces of fashion simply in
terms of capitalism and consumer culture obliterating
the myriad nuanced layers involved. In addition, more
recently, much has been made of the connections,
metaphorical or otherwise, between fashion and
architecture, paying little attention to the material
and visual connections, objects and bodies interacting
in and negotiating the spaces of fashion. In other
words, attention has been paid to the
surface/flesh/fabric of fashion and architecture, and
little to the depth/interior/insides of these places
and spaces. This volume hopes to explore the display
of fashion as a site of spectacle, desire, pleasure,
identity, and performance. In sum, what we are
discussing here is the topography and spatial
representations of fashion.

The editor invites papers both historical and
theoretical which address either or all of the
following central core themes:
- how spaces, established either temporarily or
permanently, define fashion's meaning and knowledge
for society or the individual;
- the sites of production, circulation, exhibition,
consumption, and promotion of fashion; and
- the spatial interstices which provide for a bond
between embodied consumers/spectators and fashion

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the
following spatial structures/narratives:
• Boudoirs/closets/change rooms
• Museum/gallery exhibitions
• Spaces of protest through fashion
• Movement and navigation of the body
• The senses and the phenomenological
• Department stores and boutiques
• Runway/fashion shows
• Window displays/store fronts/mannequins
• Trade shows (international or national)
• Tailor shops
• Other cultural venues whose primary purpose has
nothing to do with fashion, but whose spaces and the
literature pertaining to its renown as a centre of
display has made it significant, such as operas,
theaters, nightclubs or other specific events/venues
• Show rooms/work rooms
• The body's relationships to the spaces of fashion
• The relationship of 'fine art' to the display of
• Performative aspect of being 'in' spaces of and
'looking' at display
• The blurring of the ideals of private/public,
inside/outside, personal/social, depth/surface
• Fashion districts as they function as a display
within the context of the city as a whole
• Ateliers (private and couture showrooms)
• Display as pedagogical tool for fashion students
• Virtual and cyber spaces of display and sartorial

The editor seeks contributions from scholars and
curators working in any geographic location between

Please submit a 500-750 word abstract (for completed
papers to be in the range of 5000 to 7000 words
including endnotes), in addition to a 200 word
relevant bio. by email.

Deadline for abstracts and bio. (and if available
completed paper): Friday 16 June 2006.

Notification of selection will be made early July

Dr. John Potvin
Assistant Professor
School of Fine Art and Music
University of Guelph

Dr. John Potvin
Assistant Professor
School of Fine Art and Music
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON
N1G 2W1 Canada
+ 519-824-4120 ext. 56741

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Received on Mon May 01 2006 - 08:48:20 EDT