Patrizia Calefato is Professor of Sociology of Culture and Communication at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy. She is also affiliated professor at the Center for Fashion Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden. Her main fields of research are fashion theory, the social dimension of language and cultural studies. She is member of the advisory boards of international journals; Fashion Theory (Routledge), Journal of Asia Pacific Pop Culture (Penn State Uni. Press), Semiotica (Mouton, Berlin) and the Jomec Journal (Cardiff Uni.). She is the Director of the series “Culture, segni, comunicazione” (Bari) and a member of the Scientific Committee of the series “Culture, moda e società” (Milano) and “Les Cahiers Européens de l’imaginaire” (Paris). Her publications include: Fashion Journalism (2015), Luxury. Fashion, Lifestyles and Excess, (2014); La moda oltre la moda (2011), Body and Beauty, in J. B. Eicher (ed.), Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion (2010) ‘Fashion as cultural translation: knowledge, constrictions and transgressions on/of the female body’, Social Semiotics, 20: 4, 2010. Forthcoming publications include, Paesaggi di moda, (2016); Il giubbotto e il foulard, (2016), Sustainable luxury and fashion: from global standardisation to critical customisation, in M.A. Gardetti (ed.) Sustainable Management of Luxury, (2016).
Fashion beyond fashion
Along with anthropologist Arjun Appadurai’s definition for global cultural flows, I am using the neologism fashionscapes in order to determine the stratified, hybrid, multiple and fluid disposition of images of the clothed body in our time. Fashionscapes set up fashion nowadays according to new patterns, different from both Simmel’s classic model (1895) and the second half of the Twentieth Century ones, based on the relationship between institutional fashion and subcultures, which is perfectly summarised by the catchphrase “from the streets to the runway”. In the last two decades at least, the global economic and cultural dimension of fashion has to deal on the one hand with local, idiolectal and even personal characteristics of clothing, expressed through day to day styles and DIY of clothing and accessories. On the other hand, the typical fluidity of our times produces unpredictable exchanges, translations and fusions of the globally circulating signs of fashion and of the social imagery. In the field of fashion, therefore, are included not only the items of clothing themselves, but also the common objects of daily use and the idea itself of the clothed body. Through clothing, accessories, daily signs, fashion acquires its own rules and inventions, stories, meanings, passions, values that are handed down, bringing fashion beyond fashion itself.