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“Doing” Danish Fashion: On National Identity and Design Practices of a Small Danish Fashion Company

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Abstract:

The Dutch dress and fashion researcher José Teunissen has stated that a new tendency in the fashion industry is the interrelationship of global fashion and local tradition. In the Danish case this has meant an increasing interest in identifying the national identity of fashion design in Denmark over the last five to ten years.

Based on a practice perspective evoked by poststructuralist actor-network theory (ANT), this article asks: how are fashion companies, and specifically the small Danish fashion company Mads Nørgaard-Copenhagen, dealing with issues concerning national identity in relation to their design process? In this article, Danish fashion is viewed as a social-material actor-network, which allows for a study of not only the representation of the nation, but also of its materialization within the complex micro-processes of the everyday design practices in the fashion industry.

By this research approach the article will point out both a more nuanced and in-depth understanding of the role national identity plays in relation to fashion design and the fashion industry, and of the potential of ANT to vitalize the study of materiality and practice in fashion research, which have been, for the most part, neglected since the cultural turn.

Keywords: Danish fashion industry; actor-network theory; design practice; fashion theory; globalization; materiality; national identity

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175693810X12640026716357

Affiliations: Email: frazerriegels@hotmail.com

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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