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Cross-temporal explorations: Notes on fashion and nostalgia

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The article explores intersections among nostalgia, the circulation of images and temporalities of fashion. It traces shifting meanings of nostalgia from its spatial connotation as a diagnosis for homesickness to its temporal connotation as longing for the past. While homesickness became counterproductive to ideals of modernity, consumer culture became a key site for the processing of spatio-temporal longings – potentially associated with the production of ‘false’ memories. This article highlights how nostalgia and memory are dynamically configured and intimately bound up with the development of sociotechnical practices, mediation and commodification. Uses and experiences of nostalgia range from the idealization of the past to its demystification. A perspective on the current enactment of nostalgia through vintage dress and photography points to its potencies in embodied practice as performative exploration of the experiential dynamics of temporality and being/becoming in time.
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Keywords: Tavi Gevinson; mediation; memory; nostalgia; time/temporality; vintage

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Parsons The New School for Design

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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  • Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty is the first journal dedicated to the critical examination of the fashion and the beauty systems as symbolic spaces of production and reproduction, representation and communication of artifacts, meanings, social practices, and visual or textual renditions of cloth, clothing and appearance.

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